July 8, 2019

Newtec Disruptive Innovation Tackles 6 Key Trends in GovDef Applications over Satellite

GovDef Innovation

In light of increasing tensions in global military hot spots and the growing number of natural disasters around the world due to global warming, the need for disruptive innovation is gaining more urgency in order to enable us to face the challenges of today and tomorrow. The contributions to innovations that the satellite community brings evolve around 5G, the upcoming LEO, MEO, HEO and GEO HTS constellations and agile, efficient and resilient communications to serve the needs of the dispersed and increasingly mobile military and humanitarian end-user to provide connectivity anytime, anywhere.

Increased Focus on Security and Resilience

Newtec has recently introduced Newtec Mx-DMA® Government Grade Frequency Hopping with randomization of carriers and spread spectrum on board of the Newtec Dialog® VSAT platform to provide an adequate answer to the increased demand for secure, resilient and efficient satellite links.

In the majority of deployed military and government satellite networks the security measures are not in balance with the services running over the satellite links. Using tactical Satcom modems for a non-tactical application is overkill and a very expensive solution indeed. The security layer offered by Newtec Dialog Platform has the ambition to close the gap between Core and COTS systems providing a secure, resilient and yet scalable and efficient VSAT solution adapted to the government or defense application.

Along with the Newtec Mx-DMA Government Grade Waveform, other key security technologies have been launched on the Newtec Dialog platform such as the option not to transmit the GPS coordinates over the satellite link in order not to give away the position of a terminal and endanger the operation. Newtec Dialog-based On-The-Move (OTM) and On-The-Pause (OTP) terminals can switch off their satellite transmissions during a covert operation and automatically log on the network again when the operation is over. Finally, in case a satellite transponder gets jammed, the Newtec Dialog platform supports a seamless beam-switching mechanism to automatically repoint the deployed terminal to an alternative satellite in the network and add an extra layer of resilience.

Next Generation Waveforms

Waveform development, innovation and efficiency have always been an essential part of the Newtec DNA. Recent waveform designs such as DVB-S2X and Newtec Mx-DMA have been successfully introduced in both civil government and defense applications and have brought seamless and efficient Satcom links that are both resilient and affordable. Newtec continues to innovate and launch new waveform initiatives such as the European protected Waveform (EPW).

Against the backdrop of increased European focus on security, different initiatives were launched to boost the cooperation between European nations and industries. Newtec is leading a consortium of European companies to start the design and development of the European Protected Waveform under the 2019 European Defence Industrial Development Program (EDIDP). The European Protected Waveform is built around four corner stones: efficient, secure, affordable and interoperable satellite communications. The EPW is licensed-based and can be flexibly adapted according to the application, service or platform during peacetime or in operations.

5G Revolution

A lot has been written about 5G or the fifth generation of cellular mobile communications, which promises higher data rates, reduced latency, energy saving, cost reduction and higher system capacity – all aspects of which are relevant in the military context. In fact, 5G serves as an aggregator technology that involves both satellite and terrestrial  communications and encompasses a range of network types, applications and services including voice, data and video. The end-user remains connected to the 5G network across networks, devices and platforms such as vehicles, vessels and sensors. As such, there is a high degree of synergy between 5G and the Newtec Dialog multiservice platform, a multi-application system that connects multiple platforms on land, air and sea. This has been proven during tests with Newtec Dialog at the basis of 5G/4G and LTE networks in OTM applications involving land vehicles.

In the current scope of 5G the most use cases for government and military applications over satellite are linked to edge computing and the backhaul of data creating a 5G bubble in remote locations (base, missions, operations) or on moving platforms. In this bubble, all devices and services can run 5G to exchange both local and external communications.

GovDef Innovation

Multi-Orbit Constellations

Linked to 5G connectivity, there will be an increased need for high data throughput and low latency required by new, HTS constellations to cater for the bandwidth-hungry sensors and mission critical communications. At the same time the new LEO, MEO, HEO, HAPS and GEO satellites and networks will need to address operations at sea, on land and in the air on a global scale.

Military operations are becoming more complex as conflict areas grow more dispersed across the globe. To address the complexity of military operations the end-user demands small and easy to use satellite terminals with global connectivity to provide high throughput across OTM, OTP and fixed platforms. As with the 5G network and smartphones, the ground segment technology, the space segment and the services they deliver need to go hand in hand in a satellite network. With the new satellite constellations, these can no longer be considered separate entities. The Newtec Dialog VSAT platform hosts a concerto of technologies such as efficient waveforms, adaptive coding and modulation, beam switching, roaming, beam forming and satellite hand-over technologies to provide the end-user with seamless and agile communications across government and defense satellite networks whether they are traditional wideband satellites or new HTS constellations.

Connectivity Anytime, Anywhere

Different market reports and dedicated media predict a big increase in OTM and OTP applications over satellite, mainly due to the change in operations by government and defense agencies to cope with the new geo-political events, environmental challenges and conflicts. Traditional narrowband and legacy VSAT solutions find difficulties in coping with these new requirements. Disruptive VSAT technologies are taking over this market at a quick pace.

In recent years, the Newtec Dialog VSAT platform has become the first choice for land-based, maritime and airborne connectivity networks over satellite. Newtec Satcom technologies overcome the various challenges (smaller antennas, doppler, beam hand-over, shadowing and fading effects) linked to OTM satellite communications while simultaneously maximizing efficiency, service availability and end-user experience for a mix of services anytime, anywhere.