Boeing tests confirm military-signal capabilities for GX

21 July 2015: Boeing is completing its first tests of military Ka-band service over the Inmarsat-5 F2 (I-5 F2) commercial communications satellite; part of Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network.

The demonstrations to securely transmit high-data-rate information have involved ten major U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) customer groups on fast-moving platforms and with users at multiple locations.

Tests have included successful sending and receiving of real-time high-definition video through rotating blades on military helicopters equipped with SATCOM capabilities, demonstrating Global Xpress can handle data up to 30mbps — higher than previous industry tests on rotorcraft – without signal distortion or loss.

High-speed data

Further tests on mobile terminals showed how high-speed data can be transferred without degradation even in poor weather conditions and on terminals as small as eight-by-eight inches.

In addition, Global Xpress compatibility with the Wideband Global System (WGS), the primary communications architecture for DoD satellite communications, was proven.

“These tests show users how they can seamlessly switch in the field between Inmarsat Global Xpress and WGS signals,” said Jim Mitchell, Vice President of Boeing Commercial Satellite Services (BCSS), a unit within Boeing Defense Space & Security which is authorised to re-sell Global Xpress capacity.

Adverse conditions

“The tests also demonstrate how high-speed data and video can be transferred securely with anti-jam protections in adverse environmental and weather conditions.”

Tests have been taking place along the East Coast since May and will continue until the end of July prior to I-5 F2 reaching commercial service introduction (CSI) over the Atlantic Ocean and Americas region.

The Global Xpress network includes I-5 F1, which has been successfully providing wideband connectivity to U.S. government users across Europe, Middle East, Africa and eastern Asia since July 2014 and I-5 F2, launched on 1 February this year. Following launch of I-5 F3, Inmarsat will progress towards final global CSI of Global Xpress.

Multiple contracts

BCSS and its service providers offer end-to-end commercial satellite communications solutions to the U.S. government and other satellite users through multiple contracts with U.S. government customers.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Defense, Space & Security is one of the world’s largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft.

Headquartered in St. Louis, Defense, Space & Security is a $31 billion business with 53,000 employees worldwide.