a key means of meeting the naval forces communications requirements.
“For a lot of our ships, in the not too distant past, that
was their primary communications means, especially
when you talk about DDGs [destroyers] and smaller
ships,” said Lt. Cmdr. James Knoll, section head for satcom and communications in Daniels’ office.
But in the Navy’s communications concept, commercial “always will be an augmentation to milsatcom,” he said. “As long as milsatcom has the capacity
to meet our global networking needs, then that is our
Commercial satellites would be used to augment military satellites and for a backup in case they fail, he said.
But, Daniels said, with the growing demand for bandwidth, “it’s hard to imagine a world in which we won’t
have some need for some [commercial] augmentation.”
The Navy must provide the terminals that allow
ships and stations to utilize the commercial bandwidth. The current terminal is the AN/WSC- 8, part of
the Commercial Wideband Satellite Program (CWSP).
The program guide says CWSP is a FORCEnet
enabler that provides voice, video, data and imagery
circuit requirements for a wide range of ships and Navy
school facilities in San Diego and Norfolk.
“It has transitioned from augmentation to surge and
in recent years has become an integral part of Navy’s
SATCOM architecture because of the existing and
extremely overburdened military satellite communications systems,” the CWSP guide says.
FORCEnet integrates sensors, networks, command-and-control, platforms, weapons and people into a networked, distributed combat force, scalable across the
spectrum of conflict from seabed to space and sea to land.
CWSP and INMARSAT will be replaced by the
Commercial Broadband Satellite Program terminals.
The five-year, $85 million contract was awarded last
year to Harris Corp. New terminals are to be installed
on 44 ships by the end of fiscal year 2009 and a total
of 104 ships across the FYDP.
Next to MUOS, the biggest program for Daniels’
office is the Navy Multi-band Terminal, which will provide protected, anti-jam, wideband EHF satcom services for approximately 300 Navy ships, submarines and
shore stations. The terminal can carry secure voice,
imagery, data and fleet broadcast systems and will
enable naval users to work with existing satellites and
the new AEHF satcom.
Raytheon is expected to begin fielding the terminals in
2010 under a nearly $1 billion contract awarded in 2007.
Knoll compared the military satellite terminals to
the TV dish receivers used in many homes, with an
antenna and wiring carrying the signal to a processor
that converts the signal into usable data.
Daniels noted that one of the Navy’s challenges is
integrating terminals on a wide array of ships, submarines and aircraft.
“The biggest challenge that folks don’t always
remember, there’s only so much real estate on a ship”
to hold an antenna system, she said.
Knoll added that size of a satellite receptor antenna
is affected by the fact that “the ship is moving in several dimensions, and you have to keep tracking that
To help smaller ships gain access to needed data, the
Navy provides the Global Broadcast Service program,
“[It] is very similar to a TV dish network. It is
receiver only,” and allows receipt of large data files
with a small dish antenna when there is no requirement to send data, he said.
The Global Broadcast Service system is on a number
ships and more are being fielded each year.
The Navy has budgeted $1.9 billion for satcom terminals over the FYDP.
A key part of the effort to get more data through
existing bandwidth is the Automated Digital Network
System (ADNS), which uses off-the-shelf protocols,
processors and routers to create a robust, flexible networking environment.
“That’s the thing that sort of pulls some of these
capabilities together, more efficient networking,”
In the past, Knoll said, a satcom user with two
receiving paths would have to decide which path the
data would go through. ADNS breaks up the data
stream into packets and decides operationally the best
path for them.
“That allows us to make more efficient use of the
bandwidth that’s available. It doesn’t take a two
megabit pipe and make it into four, but it allows you to
use more of that two megabits through different links,”
SAIC and Cisco are developing ADNS.
Another initiative being fielded to make more efficient use of the available bandwidth is the Enhanced
Advanced Bandwidth Efficient Modem, Knoll said.
“What that does, through various modulation
schemes, allows us to get more data through existing
bandwidth than we would without that type of a
modem,” he said.
ADNS, receive-only Global Broadcast Service and
the enhanced modem are among the ways “we’re trying to combine the technologies to provide the most
benefit to the warfighter,” Knoll added.
“That goes back to the beginning premise of looking
at this architecturally,” Daniels said. “You can’t go in
just one direction.” ■