U.S. Army Information Systems Engineering Command
Fort Huachuca, Arizona 85613-5300

Automated Information Systems
Design Guidance

Military Satellite Transmission

Working (August 1998)

Table of Contents


        1.1 Purpose
        1.2 Background
        1.3 Goal
        1.4 Scope


        2.1 Department of Defense Standards

        2.1.1 Technical Architecture Framework for Information Management (TAFIM)
        2.1.2 Joint Technical Architecture (JTA)
        2.1.3 Defense Information Infrastructure (DII) Master Plan
        2.1.4 Defense Information Infrastructure (DII) Common Operating Environment (COE)
        2.1.5 Department of Defense Directives (DoDD) and DoD Instructions (DoDI)
        2.1.6 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instructions (CJCSI)
        2.1.7 Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA)

        2.2 Industry Architecture Standards Applicable to MILSATCOM


        3.1 Office of the Director of Information Systems for Command, Control, Communications, and Computers (ODISC4)
        3.2 Joint Technical Architecture-Army (JTA-A)
        3.3 U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (USACECOM)

                 3.3.1 Executive Agent for Information Management (EA-IM)
                 3.3.2 U.S. Army Information Systems Engineering Command (USAISEC)


        4.1 Military Satellite Communications (MILSATCOM)

        4.1.1 Minimum Essential Requirements
        4.1.2 Architecture
        4.1.3 Migration Strategy
        4.1.4 System Design Guidance

        4.2 Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS)

        4.2.1 Minimum Essential Requirements
        4.2.2 Architecture
        4.2.3 Migration Strategy
        4.2.4 System Design Guidance
        4.2.5 DSCS ET Implementation Engineering and Test

        4.3 UHF SATCOM

        4.3.1 Minimum Essential Requirements
        4.3.2 Architecture
        4.3.3 Migration Strategy

        4.4 MILSTAR

        4.4.1 Minimum Essential Requirements
        4.4.2 Architecture

        4.5 Future MILSATCOM

        4.5.1 Architecture
        4.5.2 Milstar Implementation Engineering
        4.5.3 Low Data Rate/Medium Data Rate (LDR/MDR) Capability

        4.6 Commercial Satellite Communications Initiative (CSCI)

        4.7 Global Broadcast Systems (GBS)



1.1 Purpose

The purpose of this Military Satellite Transmission Design Guide is to provide technical guidance for the integration of military satellite transmission systems in support of the overall integration of United States (U.S.) Army Automated Information Systems (AIS). The technical guidance provided in this document is intended to furnish the basis for development of more detailed System Design Plans (SDP), Engineering Installation Plans (EIP), Test Plans (TP), and Test Reports (TR), for specific Army implementation applications. This design guide is intended to be a living document and will be reviewed for applicability on a periodic basis to keep it current with changes to established architectures and significant advances in the state of the art for military satellite transmission systems.

1.2 Background

To address the need for joint combat operations within budget limitations, the Assistant Secretary of Defense (ASD) Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) issued a memorandum on 14 November 1995 to Service and Agency principals involved in the development of Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) systems. This directive tasked them to "reach a consensus of a working set of standards" and "establish a single, unifying Department of Defense (DoD) technical architecture (see figure 1) that will become binding on all future DoD C4I acquisitions" so that "new systems can be born joint and interoperable, and existing systems will have a baseline to move toward to ensure interoperability." The USAISEC point of contact for Army military satellite transmission programs is Mr. Jim Hinkle, email: [email protected].

Figure 1. Architecture

1.3 Goal

The goal of this document is to provide current information for the design of communitations electronics systems and architectures that make use of military satellites.   The designer should be able to gather enough information here to 1) further the design and then if necessary, 2) contact the indicated organizations to bring the design, architecture or implementation to completion.  

1.4 Scope

This document contains a series of references to the DoD and Army C4I architectural and technical standards, including those from the Joint Technical Architecture (JTA), version 1.0, 22 August 1996, Technical Architecture Framework for Information Management (TAFIM) and the Joint Technical Architecture-Army (JTA-Army). These standards provide the design guidance for systems and military satellite transmission engineers. Also, transmission architects must understand the total system requirements to ensure proper performance and interoperability. The Installation Information Transfer System (IITS) Design Guidance (May 1995) and IITS Policy and Technical Application documents provide detailed lists and appropriate applicability of those standards that apply to new installations and to major upgrades. An evolving list of standards and references, including brief abstracts of many of the standards, is available from the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Joint Interoperability Engineering Organization (JIEO) Center for Standards-Information Technology Standards Document library.


The telecommunications network is undergoing unprecedented transformation. To meet the demands of the current technology insertion, brought on by users' demands for faster services and greater bandwidth, design standards and policies are being promulgated to meet the communication challenges of the future. The following subparagraphs provide the listed standards and policy documents and the responsible organizations at the DoD level to present their impact on Military Satellite Communications. The paragraphs will also provide the purpose of each document and discuss actions required by the documents to attain the target architecture.

2.1 Department of Defense Standards

The DoD Standards Reform was begun in June 1994 when the Secretary of Defense issued his memorandum entitled "Specifications and Standards - A New Way of Doing Business." This memorandum directs that performance-based specifications and standards or nationally-recognized private sector standards be used in future acquisitions. The intent of this initiative is to eliminate non-value added requirements, and thus reduce the cost of weapon systems and materiel, remove impediments to getting commercial state-of-the-art technology into our weapon systems, and integrate the commercial and military industrial bases to the greatest extent possible. The JTA implements standards reform by selecting the minimum standards necessary to achieve joint interoperability. The JTA mandates commercial standards and practices to the maximum extent possible.

2.1.1 Technical Architecture Framework for Information Management (TAFIM)

The DoD JTA draws on the TAFIM which provides general guidance and documents the processes and framework for defining the JTA and other technical architectures. The TAFIM applies to many DoD mission/domain areas and lists all adopted information technology standards that promote interoperability, portability, and scalability.  Specific Programatic Guidance is available in Volume 3 Architecture Concepts and Design Guidance, Section 3.4 Communications Design Guidance.   More specific Project Design Guidance is contained in this document.

2.1.2 Joint Technical Architecture (JTA)

The JTA, Version 1.0, 22 August 1996, is the baseline for DoD systems design guidance. It identifies a common set of mandatory information technology standards and guidelines to be used in all new and upgraded systems across DoD. The scope of the JTA is focused on Command, Control, and Intelligence (C2I) systems (to include sustaining base systems, combat support information systems, and office automation systems), the communications computers that directly support the C4I, and the interfaces of those systems with other key assets (e.g. weapon systems, sensors, models, and simulations) to support critical joint warfighter interoperability.

The JTA specifically addresses Military Satellite Communications (MILSATCOM) in Section, and identifies applicable MIL-STD-188 and MIL-STD-1582 Standards, which are also covered by this document in Section 4 Design Guidance and Engineering Examples.

2.1.3 Defense Information Infrastructure (DII) Master Plan

The DII Master Plan is a tool to manage the evolution of the DII. The descriptive and analytical data for the DII is available at several levels of detail. The implementation and integration of all military satellite communications (MILSATCOM ) systems, either new or reengineered, will meet the DII evolution plan. Specific Programatic guidance is discussed in Section Communications.  Specific project level guidance is provided by this document.

2.1.4 Defense Information Infrastructure (DII) Common Operating Environment (COE)

The DII COE details the technical and functional requirements needed to provide information and support to the warfighter. The implementation and integration of all MILSATCOM systems will be designed to interoperate with the DII COE.

The development of the DII COE stems from the Global Command and Control System (GCCS) COE effort and is perhaps the most significant and useful technical by-product of the GCCS development effort. As an outgrowth of this effort the Services have agreed to migrate their Command and Control (C2) systems to the DII COE.

Specific project level guidance is provided in this document

2.1.5 Department of Defense Directives (DoDD) and Department of Defense Instructions (DoDI)

The following DoDD promulgates policy for compatibility and interoperability of C3I systems used in the DoD.

DoDD 4630.5 "Compatibility, Interoperability, and Integration of Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Systems."

The following DoDI implements the policy in DoDD 4630.5, assigns responsibilities and prescribes procedures to achieve compatibility and interoperability of a consolidated, DoD-wide, global C3I infrastructure.

DoDI 4630.8 "Procedures for Compatibility, Interoperability, and Integration of Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Systems."

2.1.6 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instructions (CJCSI)

The following CJCSI implements the policy established in DoDD 4630.5 and DoDI 4630.8, supports Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence For the Warrior (C4IFTW) initiative, and makes the Military Communications-Electronics Board (MCEB) the focal point for enforcement of the policy.

CJCSI 6212.01A, "Compatibility, Interoperability, and Integration of Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence Systems."

2.1.7 Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA)

The DISA core mission includes the Defense Information System Network (DISN), GCCS, and Defense Message System (DMS). The mission is "to plan, engineer, develop, test, manage programs, acquire, implement, operate, and maintain information systems for C4I and mission support under all conditions of peace and war". DISA is the DoD agency responsible for information technology. The area of concern for this guide is the DISN portion of DISA's mission.

The DISN is the DoD's consolidated worldwide enterprise-level telecommunications infrastructure that provides the end-to-end information transfer network for supporting military operations, national defense C3I requirements, and corporate defense requirements. DISN is the communication transport piece of the DII, which is a widely distributed, user-driven infrastructure into which the warfighter can gain access from any location for all required information. The DISN is structured to satisfy requirements that are evolving in response to changing military strategy, changing threat conditions, and advances in information and communications technology.

The DISN, as described in CJCSI 6211.02(3), dated 23 June 1993, Defense Information System Network and Connected Systems, includes point-to-point transmission, switched data services, video teleconferencing, etc.

The CJCSI directs all Services/Agencies (S/A) to submit all long-haul communication requirements to DISA for provisioning.

The integration of all MILSATCOM systems will conform with the DISA core mission and be in compliance with the DISN architecture. The integration of the Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) will also be in compliance with the DSCS Program plan, as well as the DISN. Tactical systems such as the Military Strategic, Tactical, and Relay (MILSTAR) and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Follow on (UFO) systems will be designed and integrated within the DISN architecture.

The integrated worldwide telecommunications capability (see figure 2) will support transmission of voice, data, imagery, and video at all security classification levels. The network will support flexible and rapid provisioning, be easily extended, and capable of easily accepting future technology insertions. It will also provide seamless interfaces to commercial networks as required to support increased traffic during surge and contingency conditions. The network will support the requirement for the exponential increase in bandwidth, especially in support of modeling, imagery, and video teleconferencing requirements. The network will integrate satellite, airborne, and terrestrial-based (wire and wireless) transmission and switching systems (strategic and tactical) and provide for end-to-end visibility to support integrated management of the network and connected systems.  See the Network and Systems Management Design Guide for specific information on the subject.

Figure 2. Network Capabilities

2.2 Industry Architecture Standards Applicable to MILSATCOM.

A detailed listing of information transfer mandated standards and Internet links to these standards is identified in Appendix B of the JTA. These standards are required for interoperability between and among systems, supporting access for data, facsimile, video, imagery, and multimedia systems. Also identified are the standards for internetworking between different subnetworks and transmission media standards for Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) and radio links. These standards promote seamless communications and information transfer interoperability for DoD systems. The applicable MILSATCOM standards will be applied to the radio frequency (RF), and intermediate frequency (IF) Baseband portions.


This section provides a general reference for applicable DoD and industry standards, architectures, and systems that define the context for AIS Military Satellite Transmission Systems. A short summary paragraph is provided for each with the appropriate hot link uniform resource locator (URL) provided for additional detail if available. This section is primarily provided for reference and definition purposes.

3.1 Office of the Director of Information Systems for Command, Control, Communications, and Computers (ODISC4)

The Office of the Director of Information Systems for Command, Control, Communications, and Computers (ODISC4) is the Army's Chief Information Officer, has Army responsibility for the Information Mission Area that supports total Army management and command and control requirements, and is responsible for the information management policy of the Army. The ODISC4 was directed to develop and implement the JTA-Army as detailed in AR25-1 Army Information Management.

3.2 Joint Technical Architecture-Army (JTA-Army)

A full list of JTA-Army mandated standards for MILSATCOM systems can be found in Appendix B of the JTA-Army.

The JTA-Army is the baseline for Army systems design guidance. It simplifies the DoD TAFIM in some ways by condensing the guidance, which is stated within the TAFIM in broad terms to encompass the entire DoD as an enterprise system, to Army-specific requirements. The JTA-Army defines a technical architecture as a minimal set of rules governing the arrangement, interaction, and interdependence of the parts or elements that together may be used to form an information system. Its purpose is to ensure that Army system development (and the migration of existing information systems) satisfies a specified set of requirements that lead to interoperability. The JTA-Army is compared with a building code. That is, it does not tell the engineer what to build or how to build; instead it delineates the standards that will have to be met to pass inspection before the system that is built can be used. Also, like building codes, the JTA-Army is a constantly evolving set of guidelines. As technologies and standards change, so will the JTA-Army.

Based on a policy memorandum dated 29 June 1994, wherein the Secretary of Defense stated his commitment to "a new way of doing business" in DoD to include the use of open systems, the JTA-Army is heavily oriented toward the use of open systems standards. The JTA-Army takes advantage of commercial investment in information technologies. It will not remain static but will evolve through participation with DoD, industry, and international standards organizations in order to identify trends and standards. The sections of the JTA-Army that most apply to long-haul transmission systems are primarily the communication transport standards and architecture.

3.3 U. S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (USACECOM)

USACECOM provides the architectural framework and systems engineering to insure joint interoperability and horizontal technology integration across the battlespace. USACECOM executes its mission throughout the life cycle of warfighting systems and platforms through an integrated process of technology generation and application, acquisition excellence and logistics power projection. For Army sites affected by these projects, the USACECOM, United States Army Information Systems Engineering Command (USAISEC), and the United States Army Signal Command (USASC) have different responsibilities in operating, engineering, designing, and implementation of these systems.

3.3.1 Executive Agent for Information Management (EA-IM)

The Army Materiel Command (AMC) has assigned the USACECOM to act as the AMC Executive Agent for Information Management (EA-IM). The vision of the AMC EA-IM for corporate information is to provide an information systems architecture that will allow AMC to achieve seamless, interoperable Information Management (IM) solutions that comply with established Army and DoD standards, policies, and programs. The EA-IM mission is to provide a global information systems architecture which will allow AMC to develop and deploy integrated and seamless information systems which maximize new technologies and support economies of scale to better support the soldier. The AMC EA-IM mission also includes providing AMC with corporate information systems policy advice and technical guidance. The EA-IM will assess systems interoperability, integration, and technologies. It will provide technical consultation to major subordinate commands (MSC), separate reporting activities (SRA), Deputy Chiefs of Staff, Information Management (DCSIM), Directors for Information Management (DOIM), and their subordinate elements to assure interoperability between information systems deployed throughout the AMC and assist in the synchronization of the major programs fielded at AMC facilities. The EA-IM will posture the AMC to accurately and rapidly manage its corporate information systems to equip and project the nation's power worldwide and sustain soldiers when deployed.

3.3.2 U.S. Army Information Systems Engineering Command (USAISEC)

USAISEC has been assigned to act as the lead operational element within USACECOM for implementing the procedures for and ensuring that all AMC engineered products adhere to architectural standards and are synchronized, integrated, and interoperable. This responsibility includes the development and maintenance of USAISEC Technical Guides and associated checklists that serve as architectural standards. These guides are based, in part, upon the policies, standards, and guidance promulgated by the various levels of DoD organizations discussed above. USAISEC will provide overall project and system engineering for the entire project. USAISEC will also conduct formal quality assurance (QA) and testing on a site, link, or system basis. The USAISEC Design Guides include the Long Haul Transmission Design Guide, Commercial Satellite Communications Design Guide, Terrestrial Systems Design Guide and the Technical Control Systems / Bandwidth Management Design Guide. All of these Design Guides can be found on the USAISEC web page.


The following section identifies the available engineering implementation, testing tools, programs, handbooks, government or industrial technical documentation typically used in the engineering process for applicable USAISEC responsibilities in MILSATCOM projects and systems. Points of Contact (POC) are identified where possible, with their Defense Switched Network (DSN) telephone numbers and e-mail addresses, along with World Wide Web (WWW) addresses and the appropriate hot link URL. This section contains engineering design processes and typical engineering integration requirements contained in the MILSATCOM, Defense Satellite Communications System Operations Center (DSCSOC), MILSTAR, and UHF Follow On (UFO) Programs.

Figure 3. Earth Terminal Antenna

4.1  Military Satellite Communications (MILSATCOM) Programs

MILSATCOM systems are joint program/project efforts for which each service, Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), National Security Agency (NSA), and Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), is assigned specific responsibilities as specified in JCS Memorandum of Policy (MOP) 178. There are three worldwide MILSATCOM systems; the UHF Fleet Satellite/Air Force Satellite system; the SHF DSCS; and the extremely high frequency (EHF) MILSTAR system. MOP 178 designates the Army as the Executive Agent for MILSATCOM Ground Subsystems. As Executive Agent for MILSATCOM Ground Subsystems, the Army is responsible for developing, procuring, and supporting life-cycle logistics for satellite terminals, satellite control subsystems, communications subsystems, and all related equipment required to achieve end-to-end connectivity to satisfy JCS C3I. A typical Earth Terminal Complex (ETC) antenna is shown in figure 3 above.

There are four major space segments of the MILSATCOM architecture.

  1. SHF DSCS satellites. These satellites support the long-distance communication requirements of the military forces that cannot be met by ground-based communication systems. The DSCS system satisfies the majority of the DoD medium and high data rate communications requirements.
  2. UHF Follow-On (UFO) satellites. The UFO is a new generation of UHF satellites intended for use with, or to replace the current Fleet Satellite (FLTSAT) and Leased Satellite (LEASAT) constellations. In addition to supporting the military UHF mission, UFO will support the Global Broadcast System (GBS) on three of its satellites. Each of the supporting satellites will have four 24 megabits per second (Mbps) transponders operating in the Ka Band.  (Latest UFO Launch Information.)
  3. MILSTAR Satellite System. This system provides a worldwide, secure, jam-resistant communications capability for command and control of military forces.
  4. Commercial Satellite Communications. These satellites are used to support DoD's MILSATCOM capabilities where jamming protection is not required. The Commercial Satellite Transmission Design Guide provides additional guidance, engineering, and specialized requirements for the design and use of commercial satellites.

4.1.1 Minimum Essential Requirements

MILSATCOM systems include those systems owned or leased and operated by the DoD and those commercial SATCOM services used by the DoD. The three basic elements of satellite communications are the space segment, terminal segment and control segment. Implementation of a typical satellite link requires the use of satellite terminals, user communications extension, and the use of military or commercial satellites. The following applicable military standards (MIL-STD) will be used for MILSATCOM systems:

MIL-STD-188-181A, Interoperability Standards for Single Access 5-kHz and 25-kHz UHF Satellite Communications Channels, March 31, 1997.

MIL-STD-188-182A, Interoperability Standard for 5 kHz UHF DAMA Terminal Waveform, March 31, 1997.

MIL-STD-188-183, Interoperability Standard for 25 kHz UHF/TDMA/DAMA Terminal Waveform, 18 September 1992; with Notice of Change 1, dated December 2, 1996.

MIL-STD188-184, Interoperability and Performance Standard for the Data Control Waveform, 20 August 1993.

MIL-STD-188-185, DoD Interface Standard, Interoperability of UHF MILSATCOM DAMA Control System, May 29, 1996.

MIL-STD-188-164, Interoperability and Performance Standards for C-Band, X-Band, and Ku-Band SHF Satellite Communications Earth Terminals, 13 January 1995.

MIL-STD-188-165, Interoperability and Performance Standards for SHF Satellite Communications PSK Modems (Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA) Operations), January 13, 1995.

MIL-STD-1582D, EHF LDR Uplinks and Downlinks, September 30, 1996; with Notice of Change 1, dated February 14, 1997.

MIL-STD-188-136, EHF MDR Uplinks and Downlinks, August 26, 1995; with Notice of Change 1, dated August 15, 1996, and Notice of Change 2, dated February 14, 1997.

Transmission Security.  The design and engineering of SATCOM systems must be completed with transmission system and network security paramount in the planning. As a general rule, all Army systems must demonstrate that they meet the applicable profile described in both:  AR 380-19 and the DoD Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria Standard, DoD 5200.28-STD.

Security requirements and engineering should be determined in the initial phases of design. The determination of security services to be used and the strength of the mechanisms providing the services are primary aspects of developing the specific security architectures to support specific domains. Section 6 of the JTA-Army is used after operational architectural decisions are made regarding the security services needed and the required strengths of protection of the mechanisms providing those services. Section 6 of the JTA-Army can also be used to assess the relevance of standards that can be met with evaluated commercial and government-provided components and protocols. The JTA-Army can be used as a tool to evaluate elements of the system architecture regarding operational security requirements, standards compliance, and interoperability with other systems. The AIS Design Guidance, Information Systems Security provides additional guidance.

4.1.2 Architecture

The DISA DISN Architecture prescribes a global network integrating Defense Communications Systems assets, MILSATCOM, Commercial SATCOM initiatives, leased telecommunications services, dedicated DoD Service and Defense Agency networks, and mobile/deployed networks. The MILSATCOM system architecture includes UHF, VHF, SHF, and EHF  frequency ranges -- space, earth, and control segments. The space segment consists of the actual satellite and transponder systems; the earth segment consists of up/down converters, modulators and multiplex equipment as well as interconnect facilities; and the control segment maintains the Tracking, Telemetry and Control (TT&C) of the satellite.

4.1.3 Migration Strategy

As MILSATCOM systems continue to develop and evolve the primary emphasis will be on interoperability and compatibility within the DISA architecture. The satellite communications architecture goal is to support the extension of Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) switched networks to deployed forces, and to provide for the integration of satellite communications control into the overall DISN Integrated Network Management System (INMS). Satellite communication is a major element of the transmission and switching segment of the DISN architecture. SATCOM will support global wide area networks (WAN) of fixed and mobile terminals. The DISN architecture utilizes the Broadband Integrated Services Digital Network (B-ISDN) as the predominant technology for the fixed environment and ATM in the deployed environment. This encompasses the ATM protocol and the use of fixed cell sizes in both environments. The telecommunications network will consist of switching nodes interconnected with high speed trunks. These trunks will be primarily fiber optic, operating in the SONET mode at line rates of 155.52 Mbps or higher.   Planned chronological space segment and terminal segment migration/transition is shown on the Space Segment Roadmap and Terminal Segment Roadmap.

4.1.4 System Design Guidance

As equipment such as terminals and modems become old and outdated they will be replaced with new equipment and systems such as the Heavy Terminal/Medium Terminal (HT/MT) Modernization Kit.  System design guidance must take into account near-term, midterm and far-term architectures. Procedural and technical interoperability requirements as listed above must be met in any design and reengineering that affects the MILSATCOM system. Many common engineering and design tools are available through the ISEC Transmission Systems Directorate for system engineers, integration, and installation personnel.  They include the following:

As an example, the ISEC TSD engineers often use the above listed tools to design, engineer, install and test satellite earth terminals including RF, baseband, and ICF equipment. A smaller project - installation of an AN/TSC-86A and DCSS equipment van (AN/MSC-74 van) - from initial survey through sign-over to the local Operations and Maintenance Command generally takes four months depending on the extent of required site preparations.  A larger project - installation of two or three AN/GSC-39B(V)1's - may span three years, again depending on the amount of construction required.  In all cases, programatic changes (installation, removal) is approved through the OJCS, coordinated by DISA and the program is managed by the PM DSCS-I.  The primary point-of-contact for programatic changes is DISA.

4.2 Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS)

DSCS III is a tri-service program for which the Army is the Primary Inventory Control Agency (PICA) and the Air Force is the Secondary Inventory Control Agency (SICA). DSCS III satellites provide secure strategic and tactical voice and data transmission and national security command and control. The satellites are equipped with six transponders in the SHF band which provides the flexibility to interface with various users through numerous terminal types. The DSCS satellite constellation is used by the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, the National Command Authority (NCA), the World Wide Military Command and Control System (WWMCCS), the Ground Mobile Forces (GMF), the White House Communications Agency (WHCA), and the Diplomatic Telecommunications Service (DTS). Although the entire DSCS program is managed by the DISA, the satellite program is acquired and managed by the Air Force at the Space and Missile System Center (SMC) at the Los Angeles Air Force Base in California. Most ground terminals are acquired and refurbished under Army contract. The GMF terminals, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Air Base Terminals (NABS), and all the Satellite Communication Terminals listed in the MILSATCOM Program Manger Directive (PMD), utilize the DSCS satellites. These are managed by the MILSATCOM Development System Manager (DSM) for SATCOM terminals.  The Navy SATCOM point of contact is the Joint Maritime Communications Strategy Program (JMCOMS), PMW176.

4.2.1 Minimum Essential Requirements

The following standard is mandated for minimum mandatory RF and IF requirements to ensure interoperability of SATCOM Earth Terminals (ET) operating over C, X, and KU Band channels:

In addition to the above standard, work is continuing on standards for MILSATCOM. The draft standards are:

4.2.2 Architecture

The DSCS system architecture operates in the SHF frequency range and includes the space, earth, and control segments. The space segment consists of the actual satellite and transponder systems; the earth segment consists of up/down converters, modulators, and multiplex equipment as well as interconnect facilities; and the control segment maintains the satellite's TT&C. The DSCS is a major element of the transmission and switching segment of the DISN architecture and will support global WANs of fixed and mobile terminals.

The DSCS III constellation consists of six satellites in geostationary orbit. Each satellite is a three-axis stabilized vehicle using the same SHF band as the DSCS II. Six channels and six transponders (one channel per transponder) are provided for both protected and unprotected communications signals. Antenna coverage is provided through four earth coverage horns (two receive, two transmit), one gimbaled dish transmit antenna, two 19-element multibeam transmit antennas, and one 61-element multibeam receive antenna, which can be adjusted in both phase and amplitude.


wpe1.jpg (28968 bytes)

Figure 4.  Earth Terminal Baseband and RF System Earth Terminal Complex (ETC).  The ETC consists of an ET, DCSS, ICF, and baseband equipment. The USAISEC Web site contains a table of characteristics and listings for each item of the ETC equipment.

        a.  Earth Terminal.   The ET consists of the antenna, transmitting, receiving, and signal processing equipment necessary to establish the uplinks and downlinks with a satellite.  The following are some of the several earth terminals in the MILSATCOM system.  These terminals operate as part of the DSCS under the operational control of DISA.  The  AN/GSC-52, AN/GSC-49, AN/FSC-78B/79B, and AN/GSC-39B terminals are usually considered fixed assets though the AN/GSC-52, AN/GSC-39B AND AN/GSC-49 have both fixed and vanized versions.  Tactical DSCS terminals include: AN/TSC-85B/93B (see figure 4), AN/TSC-94A/100A,  AN/TSC-143 Prototype Tactical Tri-Band Terminal (PT3), Super High Frequency (SHF) Tri-band Advanced Range Extension Terminal (STAR-T), and Flyaway Tri-Band Satellite Terminal (FTSAT) AN/USC-60.  Also, the Navy uses the AN/WSC-6 (V) which according to Raytheon "permits worldwide shipboard radio communications with the geostationary Defense Satellite Communications System." There is a modified version for the Royal Netherlands Navy which "has an extended capabilities terminal with 7-foot antenna capable of operating with DSCS, NATO IV, and SKYNET satellites."


Figure 5. Tactical Terminals

       b.  Digital Communications Satellite Subsystem (DCSS).  The DCSS encompasses the modulation, multiplexing, coding, and processing equipment necessary for the transformation of various types of voice and data into a digital form suitable for transmission over a satellite communications link.  The following components are usually found in the DCSS as part of the communications earth terminal:  Phase Shift Keying (PSK) Modems, Spread Spectrum Modems (AN/USC-28(V), and Universal Modem System (UMS)). DCSS design and manufacture is accomplished through the CECOM Research, Development and Engineering Center (RDEC) Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate.  Installation and test is the responsibility of the USAISEC TSD.

       c.  Interconnect Facility (ICF).  The ICF provides connectivity between the technical control facility (TCF) and the ET. Typically, the medium is either baseband cable, optical fiber, or a line of sight (LOS) microwave link.  Design, installation and test is the responsibility of the USAISEC TSD ICF Engineering Team.

       d.  Technical Control Facility (TCF).  The TCF provides the interface between the satellite system and the users or other transmission services. The TCF also provides some technical control and management functions. Designers of TCF's should reference the TCF Design Guide. Control Segment

The DSCSOCs, collocated with selected dual-antenna ETs, are typically the facilities used to monitor satellite communications and to control and maintain the satellite. The DSCSOC conducts the daily operations and control of the DSCS under the authority of the DISA Area Communications Operation Center (ACOC). The DSCSOC typically provides direct operational control of the DSCS ETs and the satellite payload by using DSCS equipment to maintain the correct network parameters. USARSPACE commands and controls the DSCSOCs. parameters.

4.2.3 Migration Strategy

The satellite communications architecture will be oriented toward wideband transmission rates (up to and including OC-1) via transponding satellites with the integration of satellite control and service provisioning into the DISN INMS. SATCOM terminals will require bandwidth efficient modulation/coding techniques to achieve virtually error-free performance and will support direct interfaces to terrestrial transmission and switching systems to provide bandwidth on demand. In the far-term, SATCOM capabilities will expand to support trunks operating at data rates up to OC-3. SATCOM trunking requirements must be defined to permit implementation of the required resources. To support the trunking requirements in the far-term, the initial SATCOM gateway configuration deployed in the midterm will be expanded to accommodate the interface between DISN and users of the personal communications service/universal personal telecommunications (PCS/UPT) system.

4.2.4 System Design Guidance

The SE is responsible to ensure all architectural standards are met and to determine what documentation is required, such as System Design Plans, tradeoff analysis, costing, scheduling, and compliance. The SE must ensure that all new equipment programs or existing system upgrades fall within the USAISEC engineering guidelines, which include the following:

  1. Ensure that any product implementation for Military Satellite Communications ICF programs adheres to established USAISEC architectural standards and is fully synchronized and integrated with systems currently fielded as well as those undergoing implementation.
  2. Contact the Synchronization and Integration Group (S&IG) to arrange a schedule for projects and products to be considered in the critical skill reviews.
  3. Provide project and product documentation and details to the S&IG for USAISEC architectural standards compliance review.
  4. Based upon technical review reports received from the S&IG, prepare a strategy which shows how the engineering project/product will conform to guidance, standards, and architectures.
  5. Include statements in Statement of Work (SOW), provided by the USAISEC, regarding compliance to guidance, architectures, and standards.
  6. Arrange for a system demonstration or apply for waiver from the USAISEC Technical Director.
  7. Develop a demonstration plan and coordinate scheduling with the Technology Integration Center (TIC). Provide resources for the demonstration.
  8. Submit engineering solutions to the USAISEC Technical Director for concurrence that C4I standards are met.

The DSCS satellite channel requirements are provided by the DSCS telecommunications and implementation plan. This plan defines the ETC, satellite modem, baseband, and multiplex requirements for each DSCS site. There is also a three volume set of DSCS satellite handbooks maintained at the USAISEC technical library. These handbooks provide additional information specifically for DSCS SATCOM.

4.2.5 DSCS Earth Terminal Complex Implementation Engineering and Test (IE&T)

The DSCS ETC IE&T manager is responsible for DSCS standard drawings, USADERMS, standard test plans, DSCS Satellite Look Angle Programs, and Satellite Link Budget Programs.  The following are elements of the ETC and are responsibilities of the USAISEC Transmission Systems Directorate.

4.3 Ultra High Frequency (UHF) SATCOM

The UFO satellite program provides communications for airborne, ship, submarine, and ground forces. The constellation will replace the current fleet satellite communications (FLTSATCOM) systems and will consist of eight satellites and one on-orbit spare. The UHF satellites will primarily serve tactical users. UFO provides almost twice as many channels as FLTSATCOM and has about 10 percent more power per channel. The EHF package on satellites four through nine have an Earth coverage beam and a steerable five-degree spot beam that enhances its tactical use. The EHF capability also allows the UFO network to connect to the strategic MILSTAR system.

The UHF Satellite Communications Set.  The DAMA/TDMA UHF SATCOM set uses multiple Navy protocols for ship, shore, submarine and airborne platforms.  The Mini-DAMA (Miniaturized-DAMA) terminal consolidates multiple elements and capabilities of the Naval Communications Architecture into a system of significantly reduced size. It replaces the external AN/WSC-3 UHF transceiver and will operate over eight, full-duplex input/output ports. Mini-DAMA is capable of simultaneous transmission of voice and data over a single UHF channel.

Also, see Global Broadcast System below.

4.3.1 Minimum Essential Requirements

The transmitted power from an earth station to the satellite to another earth station is a critical link which must be carefully designed in order for the link to work. Appendix 4 of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) radio regulations detail advance publication information to be furnished for a satellite network. This information reflects the actual spacecraft and the energy patterns of the individual transponders. Much of the information in the data fields is highly technical and will be supplied by an applications program though which the analyst establishes desired coverage area, orbital locations, etc. This program must generate coverage areas which reflect both the power source and the antenna sidelobe for each beam generated by the spacecraft.

For radio subsystem requirements operating in the UHF frequency bands, the following standard is mandated:

UHF Satellite Terminal Standards.  The CJCSI 6251.01 "Ultrahigh Frequency Satellite Communications Demand Assigned Multiple Access Requirements", 31 July 1996, mandates that all users of nonprocessed UHF MILSATCOM are required to have DAMA terminals that are interoperable in accordance with the following standards no later than 30 September 1996:

DAMA. These networks allow for the dynamic allocation and re-allocation of satellite power and bandwidth based upon the communication needs of the network users. If a network has multiple sites with voice and data requirements, but doesn't have a 24 hour-a-day need for all sites to be in communication with other sites, a smaller amount of satellite power and bandwidth can be shared by all users. The following standards are mandated for kHz DAMA service, supporting the transmission of data at 75-2400 bps and digitized voice at 2400 bps..

Data Control Waveform.  The following standard is mandated for data controllers operating over single access kHz and 25 kHz UHF SATCOM channels, an interoperable robust link protocol that can transfer error-free data efficiently and effectively over channels that have high error rate.

Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA)/DAMA.  The DAMA terminal uses the TDMA portion of the network to request a clear channel to and from the other site. The single channel per carrier (SCPC) is one of the most common high speed connectivity systems in use. For most applications where high speed connectivity is required, but is not required all of the time, it may be more cost efficient to employ a demand assigned network topology rather than a full-time SCPC system. A typical DAMA system uses a combination of TDMA and SCPC technology to achieve the greatest efficiency. MIL-STD-188-183 is mandated for 25 kHz TDMA/DAMA service, supporting the transmission of voice at 2400, 4800, or 16000 bps and data at rates of 75 bps-16 kbps.

4.3.2 Architecture

The system architecture consists of the high power amplifier (HPA) and the Communications Equipment Group (CEG). Each of the UFO satellites will have 11 solid-state UHF amplifiers and 39 UHF channels in a variety of bandwidths that span a total of 555 kHz. The satellites are second in a series to incorporate an EHF communications payload, with 11 additional channels distributed between an earth coverage beam and a steerable 5 degree spot beam. The EHF package provides enhanced antijam telemetry as well as command, broadcast, and fleet interconnectivity communications.

4.3.3 Migration Strategy

The UFO Satellite Program provides communications for airborne, ship, submarine, and ground forces. The UFO migration consists of expanding the utilization of low earth orbit (LEO) and Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite constellations.  See the Commercial Satellite Communications Design Guide for additional information on LEO's and MEO's.

4.4 Military Strategic, Tactical, and Relay (MILSTAR)

The joint military services program called MILSTAR was conceived to develop a survivable, worldwide satellite communications network for strategic and tactical users. MILSTAR will support emergency action message (EAM) dissemination; the command, control, coordination, and status reporting requirements of the unified and specified commands; and tactical forces communication.

The MILSTAR program includes four different areas:

The SMART-T was previously designated the EHF MDR terminal. Additionally, requirements were refined to dissolve the need for a single low data rate terminal (previously identified as the (EHF LDR) terminal) and create a single LDR/MDR terminal (i.e., the SMART-T). Also, the recent requirement to assess the potential material enhancement of the SMART-T to include a DAMA capability has been identified.

4.4.1 Minimum Essential Requirements

LDR for waveform, signaling processing, and protocol requirements for acquisition, access control, and communications for LDR (75 - 2400 bps) EHF satellite data links, mandate the following standards.

MDR for waveform, signal processing, and protocol requirements for acquisition, access control, and communications for MDR (4.8 kbps - 1.544 Mbps) EHF satellite data links, mandate the following standard.

4.4.2 Architecture

Each MILSTAR satellite serves as a smart switchboard in space by directing traffic from terminal to terminal anywhere on Earth. Since the satellite actually processes the communications signal and can link with other satellites through crosslinks, the requirement for ground controlled switching is significantly reduced. The satellite establishes, maintains, reconfigures, and disassembles required communication circuits as directed by the users. A key goal of MILSTAR is to provide interoperable communications among the users of Army, Navy, and Air Force MILSTAR terminals. Geographically dispersed mobile and fixed control stations provide survivable and enduring operational command and control for the MILSTAR constellation.

The MILSTAR communications payload consists of LDR communications (voice, data, teletype, and facsimile) at 75 bps to 2400 bps (all satellites). MDR communications (voice, data, teletype, and facsimile) at 4.8 kbps to 1.544 Mbps (satellites 3 through 6 only). The MILSTAR LDR EHF payload has 192 channels with rates between 75 and 2400 bps. Block 2 spacecraft will carry the LDR in addition to a MDR payload. The MDR will provide rates of 4800 bps to 1.544 Mbps per channel. The MDR payload also includes two nulling spot antennas that can identify and pinpoint the location of a jammer and electronically isolate its signal, allowing MILSTAR users to operate normally and at full capacity with no loss in signal quality or speed.

4.5 Future MILSATCOM

The currently deployed SATCOM systems with bandwidths capable of supporting data rates in the tens of Mbps range include the DSCS III and commercial systems operating at X-band, C-band, and KU Band. Plans are to maintain/replenish these capabilities with minor changes and upgrades as economically feasible. The MIDAS Program represents an application of COTS technology that addresses the congestion problems at the DSCS ETC. MIDAS also has potential applications well beyond DSCS, including support for the multiple military commercial satellite systems to be served by future DISN teleports. During the last few years, the number of deployed DSCS users have increased dramatically and with that, new communication services demanding more bandwidth. This has necessitated a continual evolution and expansion of baseband equipment which forms the DCSS portion of the DSCS ETCs. The SATCOM transition plan is shown in table 5.

Table 5. SATCOM Transition.

Near Term



Trunking at tens of Mbps
DSCS & commercial.
Trunking at tens of Mbps
DSCS & commercial.
Improve trunking to support
up to OC3 rates.
Initiate Advanced
Improve terminal segment
to support DS3.
At moderate-high risk,
deploy space-based ATM
At lower risk, deploy
wideband low error rate.
Continue existing
Services to deployed
mobile users per
Initially deploy SATCOM
service gateways for ATM
switched networks.
Expand gateway capability
to accommodate OC-3 rates
and users of commercial
based personal
communication system (PCS).
SHF SATCOM specifically
Implement SHF DAMA
Initial deployment to support
wideband transmission rates.
Deployment to support
wideband transmission rates.
Database modifications
associated with SATCOM.
Development of coding/
modulation techniques for
improved bit error rates.
Onboard processing.
Signal processing
capabilities developed.
Initial deployment of DISN
SHF SATCOM gateway
ATM switch services aboard
DSCS integrated
management system
(DIMS) developed.
none Upgrade DISN-SHF
gateway for PCS users.

The future of MILSATCOM is comprised of military and commercial systems providing communication services to DoD users needing mobility, high capacity, protection (antijam) of service, and survivability (antiscintillation) of service. As a minimum, the systems comprising the future MILSATCOM should comply with the objectives listed below:

  1. Provide the right communications, information services driven, to the right user at the right time.
  2. Be fully integrated with the DISN.
  3. Reduce the satellite communications "footprint" of terminals, radios, antennas, RF signature, people, etc.

Because today's warfighting operations are dependent upon the systems of the existing space communication architecture, the future MILSATCOM must also consider how communication services transition from the current architecture to the future. Future systems of the MILSATCOM should comply with the transition goals stated below:

  1. Ensure continuity of service through satellite replenishment, operations management, or risk trade-offs.
  2. Within limits of low or medium acquisition risk and acceptable funding, take significant steps towards the MILSATCOM objectives.
  3. Enable evolution to new warfighting visions (e.g.: Joint Vision 2010) by facilitating demonstrations and operational use.
  4. Accelerate on-going changes in terminal developments toward flexibility and systems efficiency.
  5. Fully integrate space communication systems into the overall communications architecture.
  6. Core DoD capabilities are provided by the military systems of the future space communications architecture; an EHF system, an X/Ka system, a UHF system, and a Polar system.

The architectural requirements for the satellite, terminal, and network management components of these systems (EHF, X/Ka, UHF, Polar) are described below.

4.5.1 EHF Satellite System

The capability to provide protected (antijam) and survivable (antiscintillation) communication service is unique to a military system. There is no commercially available equivalent. The transition strategy from today's MILSTAR systems to the future EHF systems is to continue to field a processed and cross-linked EHF system, improving capability incrementally.

The initial capability increment in the future EHF systems should be to increase the single-channel protected data rate to 6-8 Mbps using the existing MILSTAR MDR waveform. This capability should be designed to allow backward compatibility with MILSTAR II, while making an incremental step toward a single-channel protected service capacity of 10s of Mbps using a waveform that is interoperable with the space communications capability provided by the other systems of the architecture, especially those systems operating in the Ka spectrum.

4.5.2 X/Ka Satellite System

The future architecture will provide high capacity communication service using military and commercial systems. The architecture supports providing core DoD high capacity service, with assured control and access, using a military owned system operating in the military Ka- and X-band. The architectural goal of the X/Ka system is to provide adequate high capacity communication service to all echelons required to support precision engagement. The transition strategy from today's DSCS and the GBS capability on UFO to the future X/Ka system is to field a transponded "commercial-like" system to meet significant demand for high capacity communications and global broadcast. "Commercial-like" indicates that the system can be built from commercially available products, using commercial practices.

An acceptable approach to achieving this architectural goal and transition strategy is to "fly-out" the DSCS system incorporating the Service Life Enhancement Program (SLEP) currently planned. Then an interim "commercial-like" X/Ka system is deployed to replenish DSCS or deployed earlier to expand the DoD's high capacity and global broadcast capability.

4.5.3 Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Satellite System

The capability to provide mobile netted communication service may be unique to a military system. There is currently no commercial equivalent; however, the planned commercial systems that are designed to provide global cellular telephone systems may, in the future, provide service equivalent to mobile netted MILSATCOM. The healthy status of the current UHF space communication systems and the anticipated near-term introduction of commercial satellite cellular hand-held telephone service creates an environment for the DoD to experiment with differing approaches to providing mobile communications service.

The goal of the UHF system is to provide adequate communication service to enable dominant maneuver and information superiority. The transition strategy from today's UHF system to the future is to sustain the current UHF capability through a transition period, nominally until 2010, and decide in the 2003 to 2005 time frame on the preferred approach to provide netted mobile and hand-held voice, paging, and LDR broadcast service.

4.5.4 Polar Satellite System

In order to fulfill the military need for protected communication service, especially low probability of intercept/detection (LPI/LPD), to units operating north of 65 degree northern latitude, the space communications architecture includes the polar satellite system capability. An acceptable approach to achieving this goal is to fly a low capacity EHF system in a highly elliptical orbit, either as a hosted payload or as a "free-flyer," to provide service during a transition period, nominally 1997-2010. A single, hosted EHF payload is already planned. Providing this service 24 hours-a-day requires a two satellite constellation at high earth orbit (HEO). Beyond 2010, the LPI/LPD polar service could continue to be provided by a high elliptical orbit HEO EHF payload, or by the future UHF systems.

4.5.5 Network Management and Satellite Control Systems

The systems of the space communications architecture providing management of the satellite communication payloads and the dynamic control of the services provided by the space communications "network," are key to making the satellite and terminal systems interoperable and responsive to the warfighter, and making the space communications architecture integral to the overall communications architecture.

The architectural goal for these systems is to significantly reduce the communications "footprint." The transition strategy is to design the network management and satellite control systems to enable integration of the satellite and terminal systems with the DISN.

An acceptable approach to achieving this architectural goal and transition strategy is to consider the network management and satellite control systems as the integrating component of the architecture, designing it from an architectural perspective rather than as a component unique to each system. Near-term steps should be taken to integrate the DISN, SATCOM, and GBS nodes of the communications infrastructure. Integration of the SATCOM ground nodes would also enable better connectivity across the satellite systems (cross-banding). As the GBS design evolves, the department should implement standardized broadcast channelization so that broadcast data could be distributed on a variety of media such as protected EHF at 6 Mbps, or Ka at greater than 24 Mbps, or fiber at even higher data rates, etc. The design of the network management and satellite control system must also support assessment of communication architecture, warfighting visions, and weapons system communications needs by providing the interfaces and structure to support rapid prototyping and advanced technology demonstrations.  See the Network and Systems Management Design Guide for specific information on the subject.

4.5.6 Laser Communications

This advanced technology development program integrates and demonstrates ground, air, and space-based C3 technologies required to maintain Air Force capabilities in a fast-paced, sophisticated, high threat, and intense jamming environment. Better surveillance/communications technology must be developed to counteract an enemy's jamming of U.S. surveillance capabilities and to restore critical surveillance and communications capabilities to maintain combat advantage. The technologies developed in this program include: detection and identification of low-observable/stealth aircraft at long ranges under combat conditions; reliable, secure, jam resistant communications, including satellite cross-linking techniques; and battle management technology that assimilates this crucial C3 information into a form that facilitates and supports the military leader's combat decisions in response to the dynamics of the battlefield.

Laser communications provide for the development of a long-range, very high data rate satellite communication link. Current technology cannot meet projected Air Force requirements. This project is developing flight-qualified hardware and a brassboard heterodyne laser communications system using frequency modulation that is more efficient than current pulsed-type systems. The system will ground demonstrate an intersatellite data networking capability that can improve real-time global connectivity, reduce dependence on ground relay sites, increase coverage time for low-orbit satellites, and enhance survivability by shared redundancy.

4.5.7 Satellite Communications Systems Research

Satellite communication systems research focuses on the long term planning of new systems and services and the research and development required to meet long term needs. Many new satellite communication systems and services are being planned and introduced, including mobile satellite communication services and private business networks, and development and exploitation of the new 30/20 gigahertz (GHz) frequency bands. Satellite communications need to be integrated into the emerging electronic highway. The four major areas of research and development are presented in the following paragraphs. New Frequency Bands

As part of the long term space plan, this program will exploit the 30/20 Ghz bands for the provision of advanced services, such as personal communications and advanced business communications. Research and Development (R&D) activity is underway in system studies and ET development.  NASA Research through ACTS has helped to improve the required technologies. Satellite Onboard Signal Processing

Onboard processing increases the versatility of satellites by implementing the switchboard-in-the-sky concept. It also improves the utilization of scarce satellite transmit power by using time-division-multiplexed downlinks. Development of this type of technology is long-term R&D. Research & Development (R&D) Support for Mobile Satellite Communications

In addition to the Mobile Satellite (MSAT) Program, there is a great deal of interest in the low or medium orbit satellite systems to provide communications to hand-held terminals. R&D is being conducted in international mobile satellite communications, personal communications by satellite, in the areas of satellite terminal subsystems, such as antennas and RF conversion techniques and special terminals for applications such as aeronautical, maritime, and secure voice. Modulation, Coding, and Multiple Access Techniques

R&D priorities are:

  1. Modulation and coding techniques which are robust in the mobile environment, yet spectrally efficient.
  2. The digital implementation of large portions of radios.
  3. Multiple access methods.

This area is longer term with application to both space and terrestrial communications and will result in highly flexible, spectrum efficient communication methods with good potential for technology transfer.

4.6 Commercial Satellite Communications Initiative (CSCI)

The CSCI studies demonstrated the applicability of commercial satellite to a variety of command, control, communications, and intelligence missions. The new policy guidance establishes the framework to integrate the Defense Department's efforts for implementing commercial capabilities and will guide the resulting commercial service investment strategy to ensure a cost-effective augmentation of military satellite capabilities by the DoD.

4.7 Global Broadcast Systems (GBS)

The GBS Commercial Satellite system is being acquired by the GBS Joint Program Office (JPO) to augment MILSATCOM systems and provide a continuous, high-speed, broadcast of high-volume data to units in garrison, deployed, or on the move. The GBS system transmit connectivity will be available as part of the interim (Phase II) capability as described in the Joint Operational Requirements Document (JORD) for the GBS system.

To provide an interim GBS capability, the U.S. Navy contracted with Hughes Space and Communications Company to add GBS capabilities to the UHF Follow-On (UHF F/O) satellites, numbers 8, 9, and 10. On these three satellites, the X Band transponders are/will be replaced with four 130-watt, 24 Mbps Ka-band (30/20 GHz) transponders. The stated capacity is 96 Mbps per satellite. Data types "broadcast" to the ground segment will include video, image files, and other data files.

According to Hughes Space and Communications Company (, in discussing their UHF F/O satellite GBS capabilities, "Data is received by the satellite via a fixed receive antenna from a broadcast management center (strategic injection point) and a steerable receive antenna from theater injection point(s). Each of the four transponders can be accessed through either of the receive paths, configured by ground command. Data is transmitted on three steerable spot beam antennas per spacecraft into 22-inch receive antennas. Each of two spot beams covers an area of 500 nautical miles in diameter at the sub-satellite point and supports data rates of up to 24 Mbps per transponder, with two transponders assigned to each of the spot beams. The third downlink spot beam covers an area of 2,000 nmi in diameter at the sub-satellite point, supporting a data rate of 1.5 Mbps. One of the transponders is switchable by ground command from the 500 to the 2000 nmi spot beam."

List of Acronyms

ACOC Area Communications Operation Center
AFSATCOM Air Force Satellite Communications
AIS Automated Information Systems
AJ antijam
AJCM antijam control modem
AMC Army Materiel Command
AS antiscintillation
ASD Assistant Secretary of Defense
ATD Advanced Technology Demonstrations
ATM Asynchronous Transfer Mode
B-ISDN Broadband Integrated Services Digital Network
BIM Baseband Improvement Modification
BITE built in test equipment
BOM Bill of Materials
bps bits per second
C2 Command and Control
C2I Command, Control, and Intelligence
C3I Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence
C4I Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence
C4IFTW C4I for the Warrior
CEG Communications Equipment Group
CJCSI Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instructions
COE Common Operating Environment
COMSEC Communications Security
CONUS Continental United States
COTS commercial off-the-shelf
CSCI Commercial Satellite Communications Initiative
DACMS demand assigned control and monitoring system
DAMA demand assigned multiple access
DCSIM Deputy Chief of Staff Information Management
DCSS Digital Communications Satellite Subsystems
DEP display entry panel
DII Defense Information Infrastructure
DII COE DII Common Operating Environment
DIMS DSCS Integrated Management System
DISA Defense Information Systems Agency
DISN Defense Information Systems Network
DMS Defense Message System
DoD Department of Defense
DoDD DoD Directives
DoDI DoD Instructions
DOIM Director of Information Management
DSCS Defense Satellite Communications System
DSCS III Defense Satellite Communications System Phase III
DSCSOC Defense Satellite Communications System Operation Center
DSM Development System Manager
DSN Defense Switched Network
DTG digital trunk group
DTS Diplomatic Telecommunications Service
EA-IM Executive Agent Information Management
EAM emergency action message
EHF extremely high frequency
EIP Engineering Installation Plan
EMI Electromagnetic Interference
EMC Electromagnetic Compatibility
ET earth terminal
ETC Earth Terminal Complex
FDDI Fiber Distributed Data Interface
FDMA frequency division multiple access
FLTSAT Fleet satellite
FLTSATCOM Fleet satellite communications
GBS Global Broadcast System
GCCS Global Command and Control System
GHz gigahertz
GMF Ground Mobile Forces
GNDCP Ground Command Post
HEMP high altitude electromagnetic pulse
HEO High Earth Orbit
HMMWV high mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicle
HPA high power amplifier
HT heavy terminal
HT/MT heavy terminal/medium terminal
I&A identification and authentication
I/O Input/output
ICF Interconnect Facility
IDNX Integrated Digital Network Exchange
IE&T Implementation Engineering and Test
IF intermediate frequency
IITS Installation Information Transfer System
IM Information Management
INE In-Line Network Encryptor
INMS Integrated Network Management System
INTELSAT International Satellite
IP Internet Protocol
ISPC Interim System Planning Computer
ITU International Telecommunications Union
JCS Joint Chiefs of Staff
JIEO Joint Interoperability Engineering Organization
JORD Joint Operational Requirements Document
JPO Joint Program Office
JRSC Jam Resistant Secure Communications
JTA Joint Technical Architecture
JTA-Army Joint Technical Architecture-Army
JTF Joint Task Force
kbps kilobits per second
kHz kilohertz
LAN local area network
LDR low data rate
LEASAT leased satellite
LEO low earth orbit
LNA low noise amplifier
LOS line of sight
LPE low probability of exploitation
LPI/LPD low probability of intercept/detection
Mbps megabits per second
MCEB Military Communications-Electronics Board
MCPC multi-channel per carrier
MDR medium data rate
MEO Medium Earth Orbit
Mhz megahertz
MIDAS Multiplexer Integration and DCSS Automation System
MILSATCOM Military Satellite Communications
MILSTAR Military Strategic, Tactical, and Relay
MIL-STD Military Standard
Mini-DAMA Miniaturized DAMA
MISSI Multilevel Information System Security Initiative
MODEM modulator/demodulator
MOP Memorandum of Policy
MSC major subordinate commands
MSAT Mobile Satellite
MSE mobile subscriber equipment
MT medium terminal
NABS NATO Air Base Terminals
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NCA National Command Authority
NDI non-development item
NES Network Encryption System
NII National Information Infrastructure
NSA National Security Agency
OC optical character
OD outside diameter
ODISC4 Office of the Director for Information System C4
OEM original equipment manufacturer
OSD Office of the Secretary of Defense
OSI Office of Scientific Information
PC personal computer
PCS personal communications system
PCS/UPT personal communications system/universal personal telecommunications
PDU power distribution unit
PICA Primary Inventory Control Agency
PMD Program Manager Directive
POC point of contact
PSK phase shift keying
PT3 Prototype Tri-Band Tactical Terminal
QA quality assurance
QRSA quick reaction satellite antenna
R&D Research and Development
RF radio frequency
R/T receiver/transmitter
S/A Services/Agencies
SABN Standard Automated Bill of Materials
SAMT State-of-the-Art Medium Terminal
SATCOM satellite communication
SBU sensitive but unclassified
SCAMP single-channel antijam man-portable
SCOTT single-channel objective tactical terminal
SCPC single channel per carrier
SDP System Design Plan
SDNS Secure Data Network System
SE System Engineer
SHF Super High Frequency
S&IG Synchronization and Integration Group
SICA Secondary Inventory Control Agency
SLEP Service Life Enhancement Program
SMART-T Secure Mobile Antijam Tactical Terminal
SMC Space and Missile System Center
SMI Security Management Infrastructure
SMU Switched Multiplex Unit
SONET Synchronous Optical Network
SOW Statement of Work
SP3 Security Protocol 3
SRA separate reporting activity
STAR-T SHF Tri-band Advanced Range Extension Terminal
TACSAT tactical satellite
TAFIM Technical Architecture Framework for Information Management
TCF Technical Control Facility
TCP/IP Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol
TCU terminal control unit
TDMA Time Division Multiple Access
TIC Technology Integration Center
TP Test Plans
TR Test Reports
TSD Transmission Systems Directorate (USAISEC)
TT&C Tracking, Telemetry and Control
TWT traveling wave tube
U.S. United States
UFO UHF Follow On
UHF Ultra High Frequency
UMS Universal Modem System
URL uniform resource locator
USACECOM United States Army Communications Electronics Command
USADERMS U.S. Army DCS Engineering Resource Management System
USAISEC United States Army Information Systems Engineering Command
USASC United States Army Signal Command
VSAT very small aperture terminal
VHF very high frequency
VME virtual memory expansion
WAN wide area network
WHCA White House Communications Agency
WWMCCS World Wide Military Command and Control System
WWW World Wide Web

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