In support of a recent mission, Boeing Commercial Satellite Services (BCSS) delivered hundreds of megabits per second in military Ka-band throughput – uninterrupted – while flight-following an airborne platform halfway around the world with an Inmarsat Global Xpress Mil-Ka High-Capacity Payload (HCP) steerable beam. We accomplished this via a machine-to-machine interface with no humans in the loop. The project required a quick turnaround for us; the customer asked for the service to be contracted, set up, tested and ready for prime time within ten days.
This success story conveys how we enthusiastically and effectively respond to tough customer challenges – with Inmarsat as an essential partner. With more than 50 years of experience in designing, building, fielding and operating satellite communications (SATCOM) systems for the U.S. government, BCSS brings optimal throughput and interoperability to government customers as an Inmarsat value-added reseller (VAR) for Global Xpress, the world’s first global wideband network from a single operator that seamlessly augments military SATCOM Ka-band systems.
As the manufacturer of the satellites that form the baseline Inmarsat-5 Global Xpress constellation, BCSS is uniquely positioned for Inmarsat as both a satellite manufacturer and as a VAR, a unique strategic partnership. We respond to the needs of a wide range of end-user missions in maritime, airborne and ground environments. Our customers are diverse – and that means they require a diverse services portfolio.
Toward this end, BCSS is an Inmarsat distribution partner offering L-band and Ka-band services. With Global Xpress, BCSS delivers worldwide seamless coverage as an exclusive provider of military Ka-band to U.S. National Security users. Because of the nature of their missions, these customers require flawless and immediate portability. To address these needs, BCSS makes available the aforementioned Global Xpress Mil-Ka HCP steerable beams, which are inherently agile and can be rapidly repositioned either to track fast-moving platforms, or to support multiple geographically dispersed missions within a single coverage area, providing additional capacity in critical areas.
Furthermore, to enhance optimal resilience, through diversity, distribution and protection, steerable beams on Global Xpress augment military satellite resources with broader protection and anti-jam capability. Successfully tested, Global Xpress military Ka-bandwidth affords the largest swath of bandwidth (greater than WGS and other commercial satellite systems) channels in which to spread the variety of protected tactical waveforms (PTWs).
BCSS runs operations centers on both coasts of the United States so end users have options with regard to how their services are managed, enhancing the redundancy, diversity and around the clock 24/7 support. Concerning its terrestrial backhaul network, BCSS augments the robust Inmarsat architecture with dedicated fiber connections, tailored to end user requirements, to seamlessly and securely integrate with government systems. Users have the option to field user-defined technology and equipment in Global Xpress secure enclaves built at Inmarsat’s redundant Satellite Access Station (SAS) locations placed in NATO and Five-Eye nations. Global Xpress secure enclaves and network are able to meet National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 800-53 High Impact category controls. To diversify and strengthen our customers’ network through these secure enclaves, BCSS also owns and maintains several Southern Hemisphere military Ka-band gateways.
All of this illustrates our unwavering dedication to customers. We consistently listen to – and learn from – our end users so we can pair operational insights with our in-depth satellite design and service delivery expertise. With this, we tailor services according to these users’ needs. In addition, because Boeing builds, upgrades and maintains a variety of mission-critical assets for the U.S. government, we leverage the resulting relationships to offer complementary SATCOM. This reduces costs and contracting time for the customer while enabling reliable, secure and individualized connectivity.
Our customers expect service continuity – which they get due to the strength of Inmarsat’s offerings. Demand from users for military Ka-band continues to outpace capacity supplied by government-only systems. Inmarsat establishes reliable and government purpose-built networks, helping us deliver ideal hardware compatibility, compelling prices and streamlined contracting processes.
At BCSS, we strive every day to strengthen our invaluable trust bond with customers. We treat them like partners and make their priorities – such as their timelines and mission challenges – our own. Because we are SATCOM engineers at heart with the strong desire to exceed mission requirements, we are prepared for anything that comes our way. And with Global Xpress bringing reliable connectivity, resilience, innovation, security, flexibility, and worldwide mobility, we are fully confident in our ability to maintain this high level of performance standards.
About the author
Eric Jensen is Director of Global Sales, Boeing Commercial Satellite Services.