Today, access to connectivity and information is critical. Businesses, governments, and individuals around the world are demanding communications infrastructures with the assurance to provide seamless connectivity all the time, everywhere, in every environment, and in every imaginable situation.
However, even with the current rate of technological innovation, a significant portion of the globe remains unconnected. To bring forward a new era of ubiquitous connectivity, satellite and terrestrial communications infrastructures must evolve.
By blending terrestrial and satellite networks, we have the opportunity to create new hybrid infrastructures that can deliver access to connectivity where it was previously unavailable and bring forward new integrated technologies that have the potential to revolutionize the way we communicate, collaborate, and gather information.
In the space domain, we can see hybrid satellite communications (SATCOM) architectures, which allow users to seamlessly roam across orbital regimes and easily access capabilities from different networks, already being implemented. In a military context, the U.S. Space Force recently introduced its Enterprise SATCOM Vision, and the service is now moving forward with its space-based outernet effort. By blending Department of Defense (DOD) and commercial capabilities, these hybrid SATCOM architectures will not only improve access to connectivity and deliver significant performance enhancements over legacy systems, they will also help ensure our warfighters maintain a strategic advantage for decades to come.
In addition to hybrid SATCOM networks, we are also starting to see terrestrial communications technologies blend with satellite networks to deliver even more benefits. Over the past year, partnerships between wireless carriers and satellite providers have been established to enable phones to directly connect to Low Earth Orbit constellations in case of an emergency. The expansion of 5G is also presenting new hybrid networking opportunities. Comtech, for example, recently completed a demonstration in Greece showcasing our ability to easily blend satellite and terrestrial technologies to deliver life-changing 5G capabilities to remote areas that are either unconnected or underserved by traditional terrestrial and wireless infrastructures.
Taken as a whole, these blended networks represent the foundation needed to accelerate the ability to deliver ubiquitous connectivity and empower individuals with powerful new insights, applications, and services.
In an age when information and insight is paramount, connectivity can no longer only be limited to data transport. By blending networks, hybrid infrastructures can transform traditional communications capabilities to deliver smart-enabled services. These new intelligent networks have the ability to transport data while simultaneously analyzing, interpreting, processing, predicting, and acting on the transported information—all in near real time.
With over 50 years of proven technology leadership across cellular, terrestrial, and space-based technologies, Comtech is uniquely positioned to lead the way in smart networks. Today, Comtech is preparing for a world where there’s not only value in building data transport infrastructures, but also a world where the infrastructure itself is sophisticated and intelligent.
Game Changing Insights
As one example, the convergence of SATCOM and geospatial data is redefining the speed of decision making in virtually every market. As a global innovator of space-based capabilities, ground systems, and terrestrial networks, Comtech is developing new infrastructures capable of integrating SATCOM and geospatial capabilities to usher in a new era of actionable intelligence and insights.
Earlier this year, data analytics leader Descartes Labs Government (DLG) joined Comtech’s Innovation Foundry as an EVOKE technology partner to further advance SATCOM-geospatial convergence capabilities. Through this partnership, Comtech and DLG are creating hybrid, smart network offerings that will enable commercial and government customers to access powerful new insights and real-time actionable intelligence.
The early stages of SATCOM and geospatial convergence can be seen playing out in the Ukraine conflict. During the early days of the conflict, cloud cover and smoke disrupted satellites attempting to provide critical insight. This resulted in a necessary pivot to analytics, which changed the game by opening the door to real time data and reports from the field. This move to insightful intelligence is what Comtech calls Insights at the Edge.
Comtech is currently developing new ground service platforms that will enable the integration of multi-orbit, multi-frequency, and multi-modality capabilities to provide customers with powerful new Insights at the Edge. Our Insights at the Edge solution blends Comtech’s hybrid networking ground systems with satellite services and geospatial data to provide customers with access to industry first insights and information.
Combined Joint All Domain Command and Control
The growing demand for smart networks is also apparent in the DOD’s Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) initiative, which aims connect sensors from all the military services into a single network. The initiative was recently renamed CJADC2 to place a renewed emphasis on “combined” efforts with international partners as well as other military commands.
Achieving the level of connectivity and capabilities outlined in the CJADC2 strategy will require the convergence of a diverse set of networks and technologies, each contributing to the realization of a fully connected, smart-enabled battlefield. By implementing hybrid network architectures and layering in smart technologies, warfighters leveraging CJADC2 capabilities will gain unparalleled situational awareness. Integrating artificial intelligence capabilities, Internet of Things applications, and other services will reduce operator burden, enable predictive insights, and significantly enhance overall mission effectiveness.
As a trusted defense partner, Comtech’s secure, resilient and network agnostic communications systems are used by all branches of the DOD as well as other coalition partners. Today, we are also developing and deploying core smart communications and networking capabilities that are well aligned with CJADC2 guiding principles.
Our next generation Troposcatter Family of Systems (FOS), for example, are proving to be unique beyond-line-of-sight solutions that are well aligned with CJADC2 priorities. In May, our next generation Troposcatter FOS demonstrated the ability to create a layered and integrated communications network and achieved several of the core directives sought in CJADC2 including multi-vendor interoperability, network healing, and assured and resilient communications in the occasion of a denial event.
With the most deployed Troposcatter communications systems in the world, our next generation Troposcatter FOS can be seamlessly integrated with other communications networks to provide all branches of the DOD and coalition forces with resilient and flexible network architectures that can be used to significantly enhance the situational awareness picture in nearly every environment.
While these technologies only represent a small fraction of our integrated, software defined, network agnostic systems and services, our full portfolio of defense solutions is designed to continuously evolve over time to meet emerging CJADC2 use cases and bring forward new smart-enabled network capabilities for DOD and coalition forces operating in all-domain environments.
The hybridization of network infrastructures and move to integrated technologies will transform every military operation imaginable. As the demand for smart networks continues to grow, it is critical for private the private sector to identify synergies that will accelerate the pace of innovation and enable the U.S. and our allies to maintain a strategic advantage.
Driven by our relentless pursuit to solve our customers’ toughest challenges, we are leveraging Comtech’s unique culture of innovation and proven technology leadership to deliver integrated technologies and services, augmented by critical technology partnerships, that will usher in a new era of smart networks. Visit www.comtech.com to learn more.
Ken Peterman is chairman, president, and CEO of Comtech. Comtech is a leading global technology company providing terrestrial and wireless network solutions, next-generation 9-1-1 emergency services, satellite and space communications technologies, and cloud native capabilities to commercial and government customers around the world.