WGS satellite. Credit: Boeing
WGS satellite. Credit: Boeing

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force is interested in a ground-based technology that can help prevent jamming of its Wideband Global Satcom communications satellites, according to a sources sought notice posted Aug. 26 to the Federal Business Opportunities website.

Specifically, the Air Force is looking for a hardware or software upgrade that would help to locate sources of WGS X-band jamming using telemetry from the satellites, the notice said.

The solution would need to be applied through a software patch and would be applied no later than fiscal year 2017, the notice said.

Air Force leaders have said repeatedly in recent months they are working to develop more anti-jam technologies. They say space operations face threats from jamming because it is easy and inexpensive to do.

The Air Force has invested an estimated $4 billion in the WGS satellites, the backbone of its communications fleet that provides services in the X- and Ka-bands. Six of the satellites are in orbit to date, with the seventh and eighth slated to launch in 2015 and 2017, respectively. WGS-9 is notionally scheduled for launch in 2017, with WGS-10 to follow in 2019.

Mike Gruss covers military space issues, including the U.S. Air Force and Missile Defense Agency, for SpaceNews. He is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.