Engineers from Boeing demonstrated their Protected Tactical Enterprise Service (PTES) by testing it over an operational satellite in orbit, thereby validating the design for the US Space Force’s anti-jamming SATCOM capability on the ground.
According to Boeing, this marked the first instance where the PTES program has integrated all its end-to-end capabilities and conducted over-the-air testing using a commercial satellite at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.
The Joint Satellite Engineering Center hosted the demonstration, which replicated situations where users accessed field-deployed equipment using a protected tactical waveform (PTW) user terminal interface.
This showcased the successful integration of software and hardware with the current SATCOM architecture of the US Department of Defense and tested the PTW’s anti-jam capability.
Boeing said the initial deployment of this capability for operational use would take place over the government’s wideband global SATCOM (WGS) fleet, which offers good military features for high levels of jamming resistance and connectivity assurance.
“This is a significant step forward in demonstrating the initial capabilities and nearing delivery of these critical communication tools to our service members,” said Charlotte Gerhart, SATCOM Acquisition Delta Chief. “The ability to augment the current wideband constellation combined with the potential to introduce resilience will greatly enhance our ability to stay connected in contested environments.”
The company says its PTES ground systems would offer PTW processing over WGS satellites built by Boeing, as well as other commercial satellites with transponders, without requiring any further modifications to the spacecraft.
The initial operational capability for this is scheduled to be implemented by 2024.
Apart from PTES, Boeing serves as the primary contractor for the WGS system, as well as for the mitigation and anti-jam enhancement geolocation and adaptive nulling upgrade to the WGS fleet. The company added it is also working on a space-based PTW hub, known as the protected tactical SATCOM prototype.