3 août 2018 | International, C4ISR

Army, NASA Want Laser Micro-Satellites For 50 Times The Bandwidth

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It was hard enough keeping the data flowing to the far mountains of Afghanistan, but at least the Taliban didn’t have the technology to attack the network. Russia and China, however, are investing heavily in capabilities to eavesdrop on or jam the radio transmissions and to blind or outright shoot down the satellites.

ASSOCIATION OF THE US ARMY, ARLINGTON: War zones, it turns out, get crappy reception. But the Army, NASA, and multiple private companies are looking to optical communications — that means lasers — off affordable micro-satellites that could dramatically increase bandwidth. Just this morning, the federally funded Aerospace Corporation announced a successful test for NASA that provided bandwidth 50 times higher — an almost 5,000 percent increase — than current military satellites that use radio waves.

Bassett: Military Necessity

Not three hours before the Aerospace Co. announcement, Maj. Gen. David Bassettwas getting excited about optical satellites at the Association of the US Army’s annual cyber and networks conference here. That matters because, after a successful tour in charge of armored vehicle programs, Bassett is now the Army’s Program Executive Officer for Command, Control, Communications – Tactical (PEO-C3T).

Currently, Bassett said, during a typical exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center, meant to depict realistic combat conditions, an Army brigade HQ gets a satellite link that can transmit two megabits a second. By comparison, he said, one of his fellow panelists, Forcepoint Federal CTO George Kamis, had just clocked his smartphone at 70megabits per second. That’s 35 times the power the 4,000-soldier brigade gets, for just one person.

“We have to provide more bandwidth to a headquarters than Mr. Kamis has in his pocket,” said Bassett.

Full article: https://breakingdefense.com/2018/08/army-nasa-want-laser-micro-satellites-for-50-times-the-bandwidth

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