As video communications is integrated into robots, soldiers, and UAVs, and network-centric warfare becomes the organizing principle of American warfighting, front-line demands for bandwidth are rising sharply. The Transformation Communications Satellite (TSAT) System is part of a larger effort by the US military to address this need.
The final price tag on the entire TSAT program has been quoted at anywhere from $14-25 billion through 2016, which includes the satellites, the ground operations system, the satellite operations center and the cost of operations and maintenance. By mid-2007, the U.S. Air Force was scheduled to make a key decision: build the TSAT system on its current schedule and launch in 2013-2016, or postpone TSAT, take stopgap measures and add Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellites 4 & 5 to the three slated for launch from 2009-2012.
Lockheed Martin and Boeing have won a total of $514 million each in risk reduction contracts for the TSAT SS satellite system, in hopes of making that Plan B unnecessary. The bids are in, and both teams await a decision. TSAT’s $2 billion TMOS ground-based network operations contract is already underway.
The TSAT constellation of satellites, receivers, and infrastructure has seen a recent resurgence of news coverage, and its central role in next-generation US military infrastructure makes it worthy of in-depth treatment. Yet its survival is not assured by any means. Outside events and incremental competitors could spell its end just as they spelled the end of Motorola’s infamous Iridium service. This updated DID Special Report looks at the TSAT program, its challenges, and the potential future(s) of U.S. military communications – with new additions highlighted in green for your convenience. The latest item is another $150 million in TSAT-SS development contracts, despite an expected decision date of November 2007. The wording of the accompanying announcements also suggests that some reconsideration of TSAT program options in under way
"Frontier Sentinel 08-2"
Terror drill: 'we are one team, one fight'
Canada Navy LTN Chad Naefken describes how the Dorado UUV which is a semi-autonomous bathymetric and side scan sonar platform, searches for underwater mines along with other subject matter which could be a threat to national and international security.
KITTERY, Maine — Approximately 3,000 Canadian and U.S. military forces, working with federal, state and local agencies, are participating this week in a drill to practice emergency techniques and communications between those who might be involved in handling of a terrorist attack or natural disaster.
"We are one team, one fight," said Capt. James McPherson, sector commander for the New England region of the Coast Guard.
The exercise involved a tanker explosion, a hijacked tugboat and mines in the harbor, all fictitious.
The exercise director, Capt. Chris Haugen of the Second Fleet Naval operations, said Frontier Sentinel 08-2 is the fifth exercise conducted and serves to test plans for maritime homeland defense and security.
"It quickly became evident that we needed to include our Canadian partners," Haugen said. "We can look at the exercise and see where we have improved and where we might need to make corrections. We chose Portsmouth because it is an important port. We also chose it because we can work here without interfering with port operations."
Haugen said the port presents challenges. Divers work in waters where the current regularly exceeds 1.5 knots.
"It's rocky and there are a lot of lobster traps," Haugen said. "The conditions had a lot of appeal."
Haugen said the 3,000 participants are scattered up and down the coasts of Canada and the United States. Six hundred are on the Seacoast. They are headquartered at the N.H. Department of Environmental Services building on the Pease International Tradeport.
Hey readers, still no computer and my occasional loaner is not really helpful - i want to post so others know I still in this fight.....
Thanks as always to Nico Haupt for being the few that understand.....