October 11, 2023

Head in the Clouds and Boots on the Ground

Defence in Space conference

By Gloria Kinney, Director of Product Marketing

The highly successful inaugural Defence in Space conference took place in London on 3-4 October 2023 and hosted lively discussions around MilSatcom, Space Based ISR & Earth Observation, Space-Based Navigation, Space Domain Awareness, National programmes, and Space Security & Cyber Strategies. The modern venue boasted a bright atmosphere and spacious auditorium for over 55 esteemed speakers within industry, government, and academia and 550 attendees.

Defence in Space conference

Key themes emerged around building a resilient, uncontestable space architecture; the importance of industry collaboration and partnerships; leveraging multi-orbits; Allied by Design to feed missions; space domain awareness; and inspiring the next-generation of space enthusiasts with a moving testimonial from Dr. Emma Egging OBE, CEO of the Jon Egging Trust, and one of their successful STEM-inspired Blue Skies programme students.

ST Engineering iDirect had a strong presence at the event, with our very own Dave Davis, Senior Technical Director of Global Government, as one of the Defence in Space steering committee members.

Koen Willems presented on Head in the Clouds and Boots on the Ground where the first half talks to the move towards digitalization, virtualization, and the cloud to increase agility and responsiveness to the dynamic nature of the emerging connected soldier and connected battlefield. In the second half Willems alludes to ‘Boots on the Ground’ as the satcoms ground system innovations taking place around software-defined networks, virtualized functions, and cloud architectures, or what ST Engineering iDirect calls, New Ground to empower the connected solider and battlefield. (See our whitepaper, New Ground for MilSatCom Networks)

Defence In Space Conference 2023

Defence in Space conference

Davis followed by moderating the panel, Virtualisation within Space and Defence, with Melanie Clift from Satellite Applications Catapult, Ben Fetler from the Luxembourg Directorate of Defence, Ulf Sandberg from Paradigm, Aslan Tricha from All.Space, and Alvaro Sanchez from Integrasys. The panel recognised that virtualization is a key theme for many technology developments and innovations, but there is a balance of rewards and risks, especially in the defence satcom ecosystem. The benefits of an agile, flexible and efficient multi-frequency, multi-orbit approach were clear, but the increased threat surface means that security has to be built in from the outset. Secure and resilient transmission forms the bedrock of mission success and embracing a virtualized approach in satellite systems can provide dynamic capabilities to military operations. Swift reconfiguration and reduced susceptibility to jamming or other threats ensures reliability of communication for military forces across diverse operational scenarios, with PACE planning assured.

The ST Engineering iDirect stand showcased some of our Resilient Integrated Solutions including our robust 9350 rackmount modem featuring a FIPS 140-2 Level 3 TRANSEC module, dual demodulators and an 8-port Gigabit switch; our first multi-platform capable MDM3315 modem suitable for both fixed and COTM solutions; and our cost-effective fixed and dynamic IoT terminals featuring a tightly integrated satellite modem and flat-panel antenna design in Ku- and Ka-band variants. A signal excision solution such as our Communication Signal Interference Removal (CSIR™) technology available on our 9-Series modem and DLC-R line card is key to mitigate interferences and safeguard critical communications.

We were delighted to see so many of our key partners in attendance displaying their market-leading terminal solutions and software tools. Watch the following video to learn what they took away from the event.

We look forward to continuing our conversations with you at the upcoming Global MilSatCom, GovSatCom, and other events!