U.S. Air Force Funding Commercial Comm Studies

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Intelsat General Corp. and three U.S. communications satellite manufacturers were awarded Air Force contracts worth a combined $3.7 million to spend six months studying the feasibility of using minimally modified commercial satellite communication products and capabilities to meet future military requirements.

Bethesda, Md.-based Intelsat General, the U.S. government sales arm of satellite fleet operator Intelsat, received $224,650 to complete a hosted payload study.

Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, Calif., received a nearly $1.6 million contract to study, among other capabilities, increased Ka- and X-band capacity to support future military demand.

Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems of Seal Beach, Calif., received $926,856 for a study that includes an examination of unprotected mobile communications to small Ka-band terminals.

Orbital Sciences Corp of Dulles, Va., received $1 million to study Ka-band support for airborne reconnaissance terminals.

The commercial architecture studies will complement ongoing satellite communications feasibility studies being conducted by the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, according to a Jan. 21 Air Force press release announcing the awards. They will inform a Joint Space Communications Layer Materiel Solutions Analysis phase that will likely begin this year, it said.