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The Study was conducted on behalf of ESA and the European Defence Agency (EDA) and looked into tactical satellite communications within the military tactical environment (both UHF TacSat and commercial mobile satellite systems used within this context).
In particular, the study’s objectives were to:
The Study was therefore aimed at supporting the enhancement of tactical satellite communications for European Defence Forces, of all sizes, within the 2020 timeframe.
The key issues addressed by this Study are as follows:
The key benefits of the Study are:
The study developed a number of architectural solutions to address the fundamental problems and capability gaps associated with current tactical satellite systems. The Study solutions range from non-technical solutions, such as sharing of UHF channels between EDA member states, through to technical solutions such as processing of signals at hub earth stations.
The final set of solutions that have been identified include:
An outline architecture was then developed for each solution and the solution was assessed against a developed set of evaluation criteria and user scenarios.
The Study had four Work Series (WS):
The project was completed (February 2016).
The initial phase of the Study incorporated discussions with a range of end users and other interested entities from tactical satellite community, including satellite operators and procurement agencies. This led to a consolidated set of requirements and a number of “key considerations” that repeatedly arose during the discussions. In parallel, a number of typical usage scenarios for tactical satellite were drawn up by the study team’s military experts and then verified with the wider user community. Further analysis has identified the key Capability Gaps in the current system.
Phase 2 developed a list of high-level solution options, with rough order magnitude (ROM) costs, and went through a “down selection” process using agreed evaluation criteria. The surviving solutions were further refined and costed to provide a set of solutions that were evaluated in detail.
The final phase of the Study discussed the proposed solutions, and their associated benefits, with EDA member representatives, refined the options further, and then developed a roadmap for the necessary technology development to support the proposed solutions within the 2020 timeframe