8 août 2019 | International, Aérospatial

Army interested in iPad-sized satellite terminals

By: Nathan Strout

The Army is interested in a new commercial satellite service with a focus on small, mobile terminals.

According to a July 2 request for information, the Army wants to expand beyond line-of-sight communications capabilities for tactical users with a new commercial satellite service. The proposed network would put small terminals, slightly bigger than the larger iPad Pro, in the hands of soldiers in the field, allowing them to communicate via a low earth orbit or medium earth orbit constellation.

John Swart, the director of the Army's Technology Applications Office, said that the Army was simply interested in learning more from industry. He declined to provide further comment.

The Army currently relies on a combination of military and commercial satellites for beyond line-of-sight communications, but satellite coverage and the size of terminals can limit their availability. The suggested satellite service would provide the Army with global coverage, excluding the polar regions.

Part of the benefit of using LEO or even MEO satellites is that they reduce the need for larger, bulkier terminals. Since they are closer to Earth, users need less powerful terminals to communicate with the satellites. That means the terminals can be physically smaller, and that's a key focus of the request.

The Army wants the commercial satellite service provider to supply troops with so-called “ultra sat terminals” ― basically small terminals 12 inches by 12 inches. Ideally, the Army wants terminals for aircraft, vehicles and dismounts that are small enough to fit in a rucksack, although airborne terminals can be larger. These terminals would preferably be able to switch between satellites as they move from coverage area to coverage area, allowing for uninterrupted service.

Broadly, Department of Defense leaders have said that as they develop new satellite architectures they will have face a significant expense in replacing legacy terminals that are not compatible with modern satellites.

While the service said it is willing to obtain the satellite services and terminals from different suppliers, they would prefer to go with one provider. It's not clear from the request how many terminals the Army would be interested in acquiring.

Responses to the request were due July 31.


Sur le même sujet

  • Indra moves forward as spain’s industrial coordinator and leader of the four key elements of the FCAS program

    19 juin 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    Indra moves forward as spain’s industrial coordinator and leader of the four key elements of the FCAS program

    Spain, June 16, 2020 - Indra, one of the world's leading global technology and consulting companies has made significant progress in its role as a national industrial coordinator in Spain and the leader of four of the eight core elements of the European Defence program NGWS / FCAS (Next Generation Weapon System / Future Combat Air System). Today, Indra signed the General Protocol that establishes the commitment given by Spanish companies to the Ministry of Defence in the program that will define the future of the Defence industry in Europe. The document sets out the responsibilities that the Ministry has assigned to each of these companies to provide Spain's Armed Forces with the required capabilities and at the same time to increase the sector's strategic autonomy. Ángel Olivares, Secretary of State, signed the agreement on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, while Ignacio Mataix, Managing Director for Transport and Defence signed on behalf of Indra. By signing this protocol, Indra strengthens its role as coordinator of Spanish industry within the program and as representative to the industrial coordinators appointed by France and Germany, Dassault and Airbus, respectively. In addition, this consolidates Indra's position as the Spanish leader of four of the eight core elements on which the program has been structured. The company leads the two main crossover elements (the system's Concept Study and the one related to coherence among other project elements), together with Dassault and Airbus. In addition, Indra is responsible for two of the technological elements: Sensors and the System of Systems, which involves the development efforts required to ensure that the different systems in each of the technological elements of the project can be managed as a whole, thus facilitating operations in Combat Cloud mode. Indra has made significant progress in its role as national coordinator and leader of four of the project's core elements. The company already signed an agreement with the coordinators from France (Dassault) and Germany (Airbus) to join the Joint Concept Study (JCS) that France and Germany started in February 2019. The contract that will make Indra a co-contractor together with Dassault and Airbus Germany is under final review, with the signing scheduled in the next few weeks. Since March this year, Indra has been negotiating its adherence to the ongoing contracts of Phase 1A Demonstrators, launched by France and Germany on February 20th, 2020 and related to the other program elements led by Indra. At that time, the Spanish Government signed a letter of intent to adhere to this new phase of the program and it is expected to be formalized at the end of July this year. In the meantime, the contractual amendments necessary for Spanish companies to join this Phase 1A will be made and expanded to other elements that were initially left out of the contract agreed by France and Germany; such as the Sensors element of the program. The signing of this Protocol with Spain's Ministry of Defence represents a new step forward in the implementation of the Spanish industrial strategy for the NGWS / FCAS program, the objective of which is to complete its incorporation as a full member on an equal footing with Germany and France. Indra's role as coordinator in the NGWS / FCAS program is intended to guarantee that Spanish industry reaches the maximum level of participation. Its development will generate significant know-how and added value for Spanish companies and will provide them with the opportunity to develop cutting-edge products, both in the Defence and Civil fields. Indra's appointment as the national industrial coordinator of the program ensures the maximum return of the program for Spanish industry and ownership of the technologies developed by its companies. Indra's commitment as the national coordinator in Spain is to ensure maximum return and for the NGWS/FCAS program to achieve the highest quality for Spanish industry as a whole (Defence and Civil). This all be achieved via business generation, development of its export capacity, creation of technologies that can also be used in the civil sphere and creation of high-value employment. Indra, as national coordinator, will represent the interests of Spanish industry as a whole, respecting the independence of the different companies involved in the project and strengthening its position in relation to companies from other participating nations. It is estimated that in the next decades the program will generate investments of billions of euros both in the development phase and later in the production phase. The first estimates indicate a potential economic value of the program of 300 billion euros in the next 40 years. About Indra Indra (www.indracompany.com) is one of the leading global technology and consulting companies and the technology partner for key business operations for clients worldwide. It is a leading global provider of proprietary solutions in specific segments of the Transport and Defence markets, and a leading company in digital transformation consulting and Information Technology in Spain and Latin America through its subsidiary Minsait. Its business model is based on a comprehensive range of proprietary products, with an end-to-end approach, high value and a high component of innovation. At the end of financial year 2019, Indra reported revenues of 3.204 billion euros, more than 49,000 employees, a local presence in 46 countries, and commercial operations in more than 140 countries. View source version on Indra: https://www.indracompany.com/en/noticia/indra-moves-forward-spains-industrial-coordinator-leader-four-key-elements-fcas-program

  • Reports: Google won’t renew Pentagon contract to use AI

    11 juin 2018 | International, C4ISR

    Reports: Google won’t renew Pentagon contract to use AI

    By: The Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO — Google won't renew a contract with the Pentagon that provides the company's artificially intelligent algorithms to interpret video images and improve the targeting of drone strikes. That's according to reports in Gizmodo, Buzzfeed, and The New York Times Friday. The reports said Google Cloud business head Diane Greene told employees of the decision not to renew the 18-month deal past the end of 2019, when the current contract ends. Google representatives did not respond to a request for comment. The so-called Project Maven had riled Google employees, including several who quit and thousands of others who signed a petition asking CEO Sundar Pichai to cancel the project and enact a policy renouncing the use of Google technology in warfare. https://www.c4isrnet.com/news/pentagon-congress/2018/06/03/reports-google-wont-renew-pentagon-contract-to-use-ai/

  • NODAR to develop 3D vision systems for US Army’s autonomous ground vehicles

    29 octobre 2021 | International, Terrestre, C4ISR

    NODAR to develop 3D vision systems for US Army’s autonomous ground vehicles

Toutes les nouvelles