Updated Aug. 25 at 4:39 p.m. Eastern.
WASHINGTON — SES Government Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of Luxembourg-based SES, signed a five-year task order with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the parent company said this week.
The agreement calls for an additional satellite beam’s worth of capacity to enable access to real-time information for key U.S. government end-users in the field, the company said.
The additional connectivity will be provided via SES’s medium-Earth-orbit (MEO) O3b fleet as part of a high-throughput, low-latency satellite communications system SES GS is providing to the Pentagon, the company said.
There are a dozen O3b satellites in orbit equipped with 12 steerable Ka-band beams with a 700-kilometer-diameter footprint. The constellation can provide constant coverage of a specific geographic area by seamlessly handing off service between satellites as they pass overhead.
With the additional capacity included in the most recent task order, the company said, users will have the capability to transfer large files from remote locations in just minutes instead of hours. Also, cloud-based applications and information can be used anywhere in the service area and end-users will be able to view simultaneous high-definition videos providing situational awareness to commanders.
“Last year we won the first MEO-enabled satellite connectivity contract for the DoD, and we’ve been supporting our U.S. government mission partner every step of the way since,” Pete Hoene, SES Government Solutions president and CEO, said.
“In 2016, we delivered over 2 Gbps of high-throughput capability on O3b to both US and international government customers across seven different countries.” Nicole Robinson, SES vice president of government market solutions, said in a recent interview.
Some of that capability include digital divide work using O3b satellite connectivity for government-led efforts to bring internet access to unconnected areas.
The success of the service provided to the Pentagon thus far led to the government decision to proceed with the task order for the additional beam, Hoene said.
The work includes an additional 432 MHz satellite beam operating at less than 200 milliseconds round trip, a full duplex link, gateway access, transportable 2.4m AvL terminals, terrestrial backhaul, installation services and 24/7/365 operations and maintenance activities.