Satellite Communications (SATCOM) provides Beyond Line-Of-Sight (BLOS) broadband communications for the exchange of voice, data and video information over large geographical areas. 

As the demand for C-Band satellite resource has increased rapidly over the years, the SAF has moved on to the next phase of SATCOM equipping from C-Band to Ku-Band. DSTA undertook the first spiral implementation of the new Ku-band SATCOM systems for the Army which was in tandem with the implementation of the SAF BLOS architecture to provide a dedicated and robust information backbone for long-range operations. As part of the Army’s upgraded Wide Area Communications system, the new system allows information to flow faster and in larger quantities between forces and the command headquarters, facilitating better situational awareness and more effective decision making. The system is highly mobile and can be set up and deployed quickly. 

The development of the new SATCOM system had introduced greater complexity in order to meet critical requirements of system performance, link availability, network interoperability and information assurance. It called for multi-disciplinary knowledge in areas such as wireless communications, networks, information assurance, systems engineering as well as land platform integration. 

The team went through several months of detailed planning and testing to overcome various teething integration issues including IP address assignment, network routing, equipment configuration, system performance calibration and data encryption. This rigour was also adopted for Excercise Wallaby 2013, leading to a successful deployment that exceeded the expectations of the Army. Today, the Ku-Band SATCOM systems delivered by the team have been deployed to support a number of local and overseas operations.