November 28, 2022

Global MilSatCom 2022: Spotlight on the Ground Segment

Global MilSatCom 2022 ground segment

Against the backdrop of the London skyline, Global MilSatCom was held last week. As one of the world’s leading events on military satcom, this year it attracted over 600 attendees including global representatives from the military, industry, government, and research communities. This impressive turnout is testimony to the importance placed on satellite technology by the armed forces. Along with key updates from the leading Satcom programs, there was much discussion on the war in Ukraine, the rise of cyber warfare and the importance of COMSATCOM, as well as innovations and cutting-edge technologies shaping the future of military satellite communications.

Global MilSatCom 2022 ground segment
M-300 Flat Panel Terminal in front of Westminster Abbey

In previous years, the conference had focused more on New Space and the great innovations happening in the space layer. However, this year, the focus shifted to the ground segment and its critical role in enabling hybrid, flexible and resilient networks, or what ST Engineering iDirect has coined New Ground. This presents a significant challenge for ground infrastructure providers and, as we have reinforced through our New Ground initiative, one that will be achieved through unique ideas, transformative technologies and impactful collaboration.

It was notable that Barry Austin, Satcom Programme Manager, Defence Digital for UK Strategic Command said, “The space segment is the part of the program I am least worried about. We have to figure out questions like what is the impact on the ground and user segment. This is the most complex area of the program. 75% of our program is on the ground. People forget the fact that the complex bit is on the ground.”

The idea of “Allied by Design” was discussed as a way to address threats in collaboration with partners and allies to build a more resilient and reflective space architecture. This goal would be achieved through interoperability, not only when it comes to technology, but also people, culture, and architecture. It would demand the resiliency and information sharing across all allies, including the ability to roam on allies’ networks if primary networks go down. That’s why it’s so important that the military community leverages the space industry which innovates, develops and commercialized key technologies and that can instill layers of classified sharing.

Global MilSatCom 2022 ground segment
ST Engineering iDirect’s Head of Global Government Strategy, Koen Willems, presented on A New Ground Paradigm Calls for a Multi-Layered Security and Resiliency Approach

During the main conference, ST Engineering iDirect’s Head of Global Government Strategy, Koen Willems, presented on A New Ground Paradigm Calls for a Multi-Layered Security and Resiliency Approach. The presentation detailed six best practices:

  • Adopt a Multi-Layered Security & Resiliency Approach
  • Leverage Multi-personality Modems & Network Diversity
  • Apply Secure, Efficient and Agile Waveforms
  • Build in Redundancy with Fixed & Mobile Gateways
  • Adopt a PACE Approach (Primary, Alternative, Contingency, Emergency) to mitigate risk
  • Act Now by deploying Evolution Defense resilient integrated solutions

During the conference, it was clear that the speakers acknowledged the importance of significant investment in ground equipment, and moving on to the exhibition, delegates had the opportunity to view the latest array of terminals and cutting-edge products and solutions for the military.

ST Engineering iDirect displayed:

  • M300 Flat Panel Manpack Terminal: lightweight, compact, and rugged Ku-band manpack terminal designed for harsh environmental operations and rapid deployment within minutes
  • Series 11000 Tactical Hub: compact, cost-effective, and durable hub solution designed for a mobile or tactical environment
  • SMB3315 Satellite Modem Board: multi-personality modem board is suitable for integration into highly compact COTM terminals for the government and defence, broadcast and mobility markets with unprecedented performance and flexibility
  • Global MilSatCom 2022 ground segmentMDM3315 Satellite Modem: compact, high-throughput multi-personality modem covering a wide range of markets and applications and features DVB-S2/DVB-S2X on the outbound and various return waveform technologies, depending on the platform, for the greatest flexibility
  • 950mp Satellite Modem Board: our smallest and most powerful, lightweight modem board designed for integration into highly portable COTM solutions, certified for WGS and designed for operation in TRANSEC networks
  • 9350 Satellite Modem: designed for high-bandwidth, mobility applications, and features TRANSEC, WGS certification with dual DVB-S2 demodulators, an 8-port Gigabit switch and two Ethernet ports.

Global MilSatCom served, once again, to remind us all that space is a critical enabler for military forces around the globe, providing strategic communications and situational awareness for mission assurance.

For more insights, check out our recent webinar with NSR: Staying Ahead of the Changing Security Threat Landscape.