As the components of the celestial network that ties commanders to troops enter into middle age and in many cases retirement, the U.S. Defense Department must take quick action to protect warfighters’ safety and homeland security. The challenge military leaders and procurement officers face is the urgency of the need. After all, communications satellites aren’t cellphones or drones and can’t be bought at the local tech store. Instead, meeting U.S. military communications capabilities needs by 2025 will require changing the location of a satellite already in orbit.
Silvus Technologies Inc., Los Angeles, Calif. has been awarded a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency contract for the 100 Gigabits per second (Gb/s) Radio Frequency (RF) Backbone (100G) program. The total dollar value of this 20 month Phase I contract is approximately $3.7 million. As a final deliverable of this phase, Silvus is to demonstrate a multiple input, multiple output system capable of multiplexing eight independent streams, each carrying one Gb/s data over a line-of-sight wireless range above 50 kilometers.