May 4, 2020

6 Facts about the Recently WGS Certified MDM9000 Modem

In January 2020, ST Engineering iDirect obtained the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) certification for its Newtec MDM9000 DVB-S2X point-to-point modem. This expands ST Engineering iDirect’s portfolio of WGS-certified solutions, which include the iDirect Evolution Defense platform, Tactical Hub, Defense Line Cards, and 9-Series family of modems.

Time to address a couple of important facts about the MDM9000 modem and what benefits the modem brings to the military end-user.

5 Facts about the Recently WGS Certified MDM9000 Modem

Fact 1: A Perfect Match for Military Applications

The MDM9000 modem is mainly targeted towards government and defense applications. The modem will typically be used in milsatcom networks for higher data rate links from 1 Mbps up to 425 Mbps (850 Mbps duplex) to support the transmission of video, data and voice in a very efficient, secure and reliable way. A good example are ISR networks that need to exchange bandwidth-hungry sensor data and situational awareness information to improve the level of decision making. In other networks MDM9000 modems link military airports and large bases aggregating large chunks of data from different applications and services in a satellite trunk.

The 256-bit AES encryption on board the MDM9000 modem protects both the content and the management layer across the satellite link which is paramount for mission-critical operations. As such both the data flowing through the satellite pipe and the network information are secured against intrusion or interception.

Fact 2: Barrier-Breaking Efficiency at Maximum Service Availability

The modem is in full compliance with the DVB-S2 and DVB-S2X standards while supporting the backwards compatible DVB-S2 Ext mode. When deploying the MDM9000 modem in DVB-S2X mode the efficiency improvement can range between 15% to 51% compared to DVB-S2 depending on the application and the selected MODCOD. In combination with on-board technologies such as FlexACM and Bandwidth Cancellation the modem achieves barrier-breaking efficiency at maximum service availability. These technologies can be switched on depending on the use case or the authorisation by the satellite/network operator. Through the fast-acquisition feature the modem will restore a link in matter of milliseconds after a full shadowing effect or a link interruption due to jamming or interference.

Fact 3: Reliable Access to the WGS Constellation

The Wideband Global Satellite (WGS) program represents around 70% of the worldwide military satellite bandwidth capacity and is the backbone of the US military’s global satellite communications. The WGS constellation has 10 satellites on orbit with an 11th satellite under construction. WGS provides flexible, high data rate and longhaul communications for the US Department of Defense (DoD) as well as its international partners such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Czech Republic.

Only certified terminals and modems can be activated on the WGS constellation. To obtain a WGS certification the modems need to pass a long series of stringent tests and evaluations. In short, the MDM9000 is not only the most efficient and powerful SCPC modem in the shortlist of WGS approved modems, it also adds a high level of service availability and reliability to the equation.

Fact 4: Versatility and Flexibility

The MDM9000 is a versatile next generation modem optimized for a wide range of fixed and on-the-move government and defense applications over satellite. The modem is typically installed at both ends of a point-to-point satellite link. The unit can act as a modulator, demodulator or modem depending on the network configuration and integrates seamlessly with terrestrial networks. The modem comes in a 19 inch 1RU rackmount version or in an OEM board module design that can be integrated into rugged OTM or OTP terminals.

The network operator has the flexibility to deploy the MDM9000 modem on a wide range of traditional wideband or HTS satellite constellations (military, government and commercial) in different frequency bands (C-,Ku-,Ka-,X-band) and satellite orbits (GEO, MEO, LEO, HEO and HAPS). Through a wide range of configurations, the modem can be redeployed anytime depending on the situation at hand.

Fact 5: Field Proven

The MDM9000 has a large installed base in military and government networks across the world. An example is the Canadian Aurora Program that is partly deployed over the WGS satellites: The CP-140 Aurora is a long-range patrol aircraft operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force for domestic and international defense missions. They are used in a wide variety of operations, including strategic airborne surface (sea and land) and subsurface missions, as well as maritime, overland ISR and Search and Rescue (SAR) mission. In a recent test XTAR demonstrated 26Mbps of throughput using the on-the-move WaveStream terminal over their X-band capacity.

Still, the vast majority of the deployments are in fixed networks with hundreds of MDM9000 modems deployed supporting different mission critical links worldwide. This WGS certification highlights ST Engineering iDirect’s ability to provide the highest quality levels of design, development, production, delivery, installation, and maintenance of information and communications technology products, including hardware, software and services.

Fact 6: Quick Deployment and Easy to Upgrade

Whenever a new crisis or conflict is ongoing, the MDM9000 can quickly be redeployed in a new satellite network. Through a comprehensive wizard and wide range of configurations, the modem can be set-up to best fit the application and services over satellite. The software-defined MDM9000 modem can be configured and upgraded remotely over the air without the need to come back to a service center. The MDM9000 is running in a lot of emergency networks to restore communications in a conflict or disaster area or to provide mission critical links for the emergency workers. During the current COVID-19 crisis the MDM9000 can be deployed across dispersed emergency centers and used for a range of situational awareness, video conferencing, internet access for doctors and patients, logistics and e-medicine services.

To find out more about the MDM9000 modem download the datasheet here or ask your local ST Engineering iDirect representative.

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