Space Force Aims to Double Anti-Jamming Capability
On August 26, the U.S. Space Force announced that its Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) had successfully completed a key test of an anti-jamming capability designed for its Wideband Global Satellite (WGS) Communication platform.
The new solution, known as MAJE, or Mitigation and Anti-Jam Enhancement, includes both software and hardware upgrades for the Global SATCOM Configuration Control Element (GSCCE) ground system, which is operated by the U.S. Army.
“MAJE will double the anti-jam SATCOM capabilities for six Geographic Combatant Commands,” added Col. John Dukes, USAF, SMC’s Geosynchronous Polar Orbit Division senior materiel leader.
The SMC conducted the First Article Test (FAT) Increment 3 of the MAJE capability for WGS back on June 18. The test demonstrated the new system’s ability to suppress interference when contested, while optimizing performance. During the detection testing, SMC leaders were able to measure how well the MAJE could detect simulated interferers based on power level and frequency, the center indicated.
“This significant achievement marks the first increment of FAT testing performed for the WGS program under Space Force,” said a SMC spokesperson. “These capabilities will further the mission to bring full-time operations dedicated to defending our vital national interests in space.”
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the testing, which lasted for 10 days, was held virtually. The Boeing Company, which has the equipment at their Mission Operations Support Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, hosted the event, with Army and Space Force operators, leaders and other officials—including Connor Macmillan, WGS Test & Integration lead from SMC’s Geosynchronous/Polar Orbit Division and Nasir Muhammad, the MAJE Lead from the Aerospace Corporation—overseeing the test procedure through virtual means, SMC reported.
“Upon the MAJE fielding to warfighter operations, WGS 1-10 will have an inherent geolocation and interference mitigation capability allowing for quick isolation of unwanted signals and faster restoral times of affected authorized user communications,” the SMC spokesperson noted.
SMC is planning to conduct FAT-4 testing this fall, which will examine the system’s geolocation abilities. After that, the final increment of FAT series—FAT-5—will evaluate all of the MAJE’s multi-capabilities through end-to-end testing.
“Successful completion of all FAT increments will establish that the GSCCE-MAJE system is ready to move forward into the interface verification with the Army’s subsystems,” the spokesperson stated.
The GSCCE performs detection, identification, geolocation and mitigation of unwanted radio frequency energy on the first 10 WGS satellites. The WGS satellites serve as the space-based backbone of the U.S. military’s global satellite communications, enabling flexible, high-data rate and long-haul communications for all of the services, the White House Communication Agency, the U.S. State Department, allies and international partners, and other special users.