Global MilSatCom 2018
Building and launching spacecraft sometimes gets so much attention that the ground segment — user terminals, command and control systems and network operations —isn’t always ready even after a satellite is in space.
Ryals suggested a Space Development Agency could be helpful in providing a single voice for military space requirements.
The Canadian military, already a partner on two U.S. military satellite communications systems, is in discussions to use a third constellation that was until recently a U.S.-only system.
Grason: “We’re seeing a different type of support to get after the transformation, to elevate commercial satcom to where it needs to be, as vital infrastructure."
Air Force satcom buyer Tom Becht: "We see a lot of independent commercial offerings. They are all good. But it would be nice if we could figure out how to do this from an enterprise perceptive.”
Commercial satellite technology is developing so fast, Britain’s Ministry of Defense isn’t certain its next-generation program will keep pace with what the future holds.
Julian Knight, head of the MoD’s networks delivery team, said Skynet 6 is at a “crossroads."
The Italian Ministry of Defense may use two satellites to replace a single existing satellite so that it can use the Italian-led Vega C or Vega E rocket, according to a defense official.
Col. Laurent Jannin, the head of French satcom programs at the French arms-procurement agency, DGA, said Nov. 6 that connectivity demands from drones and military aircraft drove the need for an additional satellite that will be launched by 2030 if not sooner.
U.K. military official: “Here we have a sector in which we excel, which is daily growing more central to everyone’s lives, but is vulnerable to attack."
“Clearing all the debris out of LEO is expensive,” said DARPA's Fred Kennedy. “That’s what I fear. That this takes us to a place where I don’t know if it’s affordable.”
The Pentagon wants to stand up a Space Development Agency that presumably would take over space projects like Blackjack.