Hughes Network Systems LLC announced it was awarded a $495,000 contract by the US Department of Defense (DoD) to conduct an architectural study of commercial communications satellite (COCOMSAT) systems capabilities. The report, which will focus on meeting the future tactical communications-on-the-move (COTM) needs of the US military, is expected to be delivered to the US Air Force Space and Missile Command Center’s Military Satellite Communications (MILSATCOM) Systems Directorate by July 2011.

Under the terms of the agreement, Hughes will conduct research on DoD COTM requirements and scenarios using processing satellite architectures such as those employed by the Hughes commercial SPACEWAY® 3 satellite, which today provides service to more than 400,000 Ka-band terminals in North America. Additionally, Hughes will study COTM applications using transponded satellite architectures such as those being employed by the high-capacity Hughes commercial Jupiter™ satellite, a 100+ Gbps Ka-band satellite system, which is under development for launch in 2012.

Ground segment and terminal analysis will include Multi-Frequency, Time Division Multiple Access (MF-TDMA) technologies as employed in the commercially successful Hughes HX satellite modem/router platform, currently available for multi-band COTM operations worldwide. The study also includes analysis of commercial satellite system acquisition processes and how they may be applied to future satellite acquisitions by the military, including various lease or buy options.

“Hughes is extremely pleased to be working with the DoD and US Air Force to study how commercial satellite architectures and acquisition approaches can help the military achieve its tactical communications missions,” said Rick Lober, Vice President and General Manager of Hughes Defense and Intelligence Systems Division. “We have a world-class technology team at Hughes. They will be working with their military partners to deliver a report that will help the DoD determine how industry can better meet the increasing need for satellite communications technologies and, more specifically, the requirements of warfighters at home and in theater.”