08 August 2019: In July, Inmarsat hosted an onsite visit at our London headquarters from Col. Scott Brodeur, Director of the Combined Space Operations Center (CSpOC). A strategic, mutually beneficial partnership between industry and the U.S. government serves as a foundation of progress towards an integrated satellite communication (SATCOM) architecture.
“I was very impressed by Inmarsat’s facilities; and I appreciated the opportunity to speak with our commercial partners because they play an important role in the integration of new commercial technology and capabilities into the CSpOC,” said Col. Brodeur.
Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch, Senior Vice President, Government, Strategy & Policy, Inmarsat Government, commented: “By providing Col. Brodeur a tour of Inmarsat’s Satellite Control Centre and Network Operations Center (NOC), we were able to highlight our sophisticated automation, visualisation and space situational awareness, as well as the efficiencies with which we manage our fleet and the innovation of the software tools we develop to achieve optimal enterprise management and control.
“We should be proud (although not surprised) that we created such an impression – it validates our role as a trusted satellite owner-operator within a combined space architecture in which commercial SATCOM (COMSATCOM) provides critical, complementary capabilities and business value.”
Described by Air Force Gen. John Hyten, Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, as a “centralized hub for operational planning and tasking,” the CSpOC is designed to improve coordination among the U.S. government, allies, industry and civil partners for defensive efforts to enhance space mission assurance, resilience and mutual security.
It leverages the best capabilities of all participants to maximise mission effectiveness and expand international partnerships in support of common objectives. As a result, CSpOC informs participants so they can rapidly detect, warn, characterise, attribute and defend against threats to systems, increasing the resilience of the combined space enterprise and supporting the delivery of space-based capabilities.
Additionally, the CSpOC operations floor hosts the Commercial Integration Cell (CIC) – the first-ever collaborative government and industry effort to integrate commercial satellite owner-operators into the CSpOC. This mission partnership enhances cooperation and synergies in the space domain to support coordinated responses to critical existing and emerging space activities while strengthening resilience.
“Inmarsat is currently one of eight commercial companies integrated into the CSpOC CIC through Cooperative Research and Development Agreements. The CIC is a method of pursuing greater cooperation and synergy in the space environment by integrating linkages with the commercial space sector within the CSpOC,” said Col. Brodeur. “The CIC is helping to rapidly identify, diagnose and resolve on-orbit requirements while also increasing the overall resilience of our satellite operations and capabilities.”
Inmarsat was one of the original six companies selected for a pilot program of the CIC in June 2015 to collaborate with the U.S. government in the Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) via Cooperative Research and Development Agreements. With commercial personnel working on the JSpOC floor every day, the partnership enabled industry and the government to share technology and information, expanding integration and space situational awareness while increasing the command and control capacity of the Joint Force Space Component Commander under U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM). It has focused on the improvement of processes and commercial/government integration in conducting conjunction assessments and addressing electromagnetic interference and resolution.
During his visit, we showcased to Col. Brodeur Inmarsat’s continuous investment in L-band and Ka-band delivering seamless mobility and greater capacity worldwide. Inmarsat’s sixth-generation (Inmarsat-6) fleet with a unique dual band payload represents a continuation of our award-winning L-band services. It will also support a new generation of capabilities for the 5G era.
The evolution of Global Xpress that includes the upcoming next-generation satellites( GX7, 8 & 9) will deliver dynamically-formed beams to enable agile and precise allocation of ultra-high-power capacity over high-demand areas and allow for superior interference resistance. And, the newly announced satellite payloads GX10A & 10B will extend Global Xpress service to the Arctic region.
“We displayed to Col. Brodeur Inmarsat’s ability to innovate well ahead of government needs, as well as our dedication, vision, initiative and passion,” said Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch.
“It was highly encouraging and rewarding to spend this time with Col. Brodeur. It reconfirmed the importance of the strategic partnership with the U.S. government. We will continue to contribute through our full participation in the CIC, along with our unwavering commitment to SATCOM innovation. We look forward to more of these visits – they are markers along a trail of engagement on the path to an integrated architecture.”
Pictured from left to right: Inmarsat CTO Peter Hadinger, Col. Scott Brodeur, CEO Rupert Pearce and Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch at Inmarsat HQ