The US Army has awarded a research and development (R&D) contract to Hughes Network Systems to improve military satellite communications.
The $11.8m contract will meet the army’s requirement for greater resiliency and interoperability among SATCOM systems for military communications.
Under the contract, Hughes will demonstrate a new, end-to-end narrowband SATCOM architecture (NBSA) to improve three critical areas for the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC), C5ISR Center, Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate.
NBSA will have machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) features. The three areas to be covered by the project include network management, automated control, and system interoperability.
Hughes Network Systems advanced programmes vice-president and project principal investigator Dr Rajeev Gopal said: “This project exemplifies the shared commitment by the US Army and Hughes to modernise and enhance network interoperability cost-effectively by using every available tool, including leading-edge software-based AI and ML technologies.
“We are proud to support the army and help improve network interoperability and availability for narrowband SATCOM operations.”
Hughes offers satellite communications products designed to address various types of radio frequency jamming threats.
In December, the company demonstrated a hardware prototype that allows for interoperability between different SATCOM systems and services to the US Department of Defense officials.
The solution is equipped with a software agent with an autonomous selection of modem, satellite and service provider.
Hughes developed the solution as part of a pilot study programme to evaluate the feasibility of new interoperable SATCOM capabilities for future military systems.
The company received a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) to support the US Army’s Blue Force Tracking (BFT) programme.