September 6, 2019

Newtec: Supporting Mission – Critical Communications

GovDef Innovation

Next week, DSEI will begin in London’s Docklands. This world-leading defence and security event will bring together governments, national armed forces and industry thought leaders as well as the very latest technological innovation in the sector.

Satellite plays an integral role in government and military communications. For communications-on-the-move and where no other connectivity is available, nothing beats satellite. Therefore, the loss of a satellite link during a government or defence operation has a direct impact on the operational efficiency of the deployment and can result in cancelling the operation or even jeopardizing human lives. At the same time, the content of the transmission over satellite needs to be protected against eavesdropping or monitoring of activities during government and defense operations. In the past security, resilience and the efficiency of the satellite link have been a trade-off which has resulted in high bandwidth costs, important CAPEX investments for the ground infrastructure and throughput limitations.

The COTS Approach

In recent years government and defense agencies have taken a new approach to their communication equipment procurement and have been considering Commercial-of-the-Shelf VSAT systems for a large part – around 80% – of their satellite networks and a few highly secure and resilient (but very expensive and non-efficient) modems for tactical communications (around 20%).

Thanks to the disruptive and innovative satellite technology inside the Newtec COTS VSAT and modem platforms that result in efficient, resilient always-on and secure connectivity, Newtec has been approached by both military, government and humanitarian agencies across the globe to provide ground segment solutions.

Here is a taster of the products and solutions you can expect to see from Newtec at DSEI this year:

Newtec Dialog®

Newtec Dialog is a scalable and flexible multiservice satellite communications platform

Maritime Security (image courtesy Koen Willems)that allows government and defense network operators to build and adapt their networks easily as peacekeeping, conflict and crisis management operations evolve or grow. A set of key technologies bolsters the high availability platform to offer secure and highly reliable services at unsurpassed efficiencies. This addresses the continued pressure brought about by the ever-increasing need for more data throughput.

The VSAT platform consists of a variety of hub and modem flavours that are adapted to the type of network (wideband or HTS) and applications (OTM, OTP, Fixed VSAT). Both the VSAT hub and modems are basically software defined nodes that allow for easy upgrades in future when new features become available. The upgrades and updates can occur over the air in an automated, planned or manual way without hampering operations. Therefore, there is no need to set up a logistical carousel to bring back units to the end-user service centre for each single update and upgrade.

Newtec Government Grade Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS)

The good news when deploying the Newtec Dialog VSAT platform is that it already has an inherent frequency hopping scheme on board with the Newtec Mx-DMA waveform, at no additional cost. The Newtec Mx-DMA waveform changes the modulation, FEC, power, symbol rate and centre frequency every single second for each carrier in a given bandwidth.

Increased security can be achieved when the Mx-DMA carrier randomization license is activated as well as the spread spectrum capabilities to make Mx-DMA a FHSS waveform.

On top of the Mx-DMA frequency hopping, an extra functionality has been added to randomize the carriers in order to avoid interference, jamming and interception of mission critical data. Every single second the carriers will jump order in a random order in the allocated satellite frequency range.

The Newtec Mx-DMA waveform incorporates a set of Very Low Signal-to-Noise (VLSNR) spreading MODCODs as part of the full Newtec Mx-DMA MODCOD range. These spreading MODCODS have a double benefit: on one hand, they allow to work efficiently with small antennas for on-the-move and on-the-pause applications without creating adjacent satellite interference (ASI). On the other hand, the spreading MODCODs allow the end-user to hide the carriers under the noise to conceal traffic activity during stealth operations.

Newtec MDM9000 WGS/Milsatcom DVB-S2X modem

The Newtec MDM9000 is the versatile next generation modem optimized for the widest range of applications and is considered the most powerful and efficient modem that could be used under the WGS constellation. The WGS-certification pending modem is typically installed at both ends of a point-to-point satellite link or in a high-speed MESH architecture in combination with the Newtec Dialog VSAT platform and the Newtec Satlink Manager solutions. The modem is in full compliance with DVB-S2 and the latest DVB-S2X standard to achieve barrier-breaking efficiency at maximum service availability. The enhanced AE256 encryption feature protects both the content and the signaling inside satellite link to avoid interception of mission critical data.

Contract Manufacturing Services

ST Engineering iDirect’s Manufacturing Competence Center (MCC) produces electronic assemblies for a multitude of airborne, space and defense products. The center, which is based in Erpe-Mere, Belgium, supports mechatronic design companies providing flexible manufacturing and repair services and specializing in delivering electronic assembly, testing and repair services according to the highest quality standards.

Factory of the FutureThe MCC was awarded with the Belgian Government’s ‘Made Different’ quality label and then ‘Factory of the Future’ status in 2015, which was renewed in 2018.

The MCC continuously monitors and improves its processes to stay future-proof and agile, whilst further investing in knowledge building and state of the art production assets. Today, it serves a wide variety of customers in the industrial, defense, aeronautics and space segments, and has tripled its turnover since 2015.

Earlier this year, QinetiQ selected Newtec’s MCC to provide the soldering of on-board electronics for two projects. The work will contribute towards Newtec’s European Space Agency (ESA) certification which the company hopes to complete by 2020.

Under the agreement, Newtec will work on two initiatives – the International Berthing and Docking Mechanism (IBDM) and the development of onboard computers for the next generation of satellites QinetiQ is planning to build. The IBDM, which is being developed together with ESA, will enable vehicles carrying cargo or passengers to dock softly at any space station with less force.

Find Out More at the Belgian Pavilion

2019 represents Newtec’s fourth year of participation at the show and you will find us at the Belgian Pavilion, stand N2-300, where we will be showcasing these key products and services that help enable government and military organisations to meet their mission-critical objectives.

Want to meet our Newtec representatives at DSEI? Book your meeting now. Our team looks forward to seeing you at the show to discuss your unique requirements.