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Boeing Unveils Anti-Jam Payload For Next Space Force Wideband Global SATCOM Satellite

By Calvin Biesecker | April 14, 2023

      An artist rendering of the eleventh and up Boeing Wideband Global SATCOM satellites (Boeing)

      Boeing on Thursday introduced its design for an anti-jam payload that has been integrated into a U.S. Space Force satellite communications spacecraft scheduled to be launched in 2024.

      The Protected Tactical Satcom Prototype (PTS-P) payload provides jammer geolocation, real-time adaptive nulling, frequency hopping and other techniques to automatically counter jamming efforts to keep warfighters connected in contested battlespace.

      The PTS-P will fly aboard the Space Force’s Wideband Global Satcom (WGS)-11 satellite. Boeing calls the anti-jam capability integrated on the WGS its Protected Wideband Satellite design.

      On-board testing of the PTS-P is planned for 2025 and afterward will be available to transition to operational use. The “PWS works seamlessly with all the existing WGS user terminals, while allowing gradual fielding of PTW (protected tactical waveform) modems in a theater of operation,” Boeing said. PTW is a military waveform that does frequency hopping to avoid jamming.

      Northrop Grumman is also under contract for a PTS-P payload.

      Separately on Thursday, Boeing’s Millennium Space Systems company said its TETRA-1 microsatellite launched last fall has successfully completed system checkout, leading to full operational control by Space Systems Command (SSC).

      The satellite will be used for prototype missions in and around geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO).

      “TETRA-1 has helped us learn about small satellites’ potential to operate in super GEO,” Capt. JeanCarlo Vasquez, deputy program manager for TETRA-1 at SSC, said in a statement. “Due to TETRA-1’s maneuverability, it has enabled us to experiment and train with various tactics, techniques, and procedures. Thus, allowing our program office and operators to identify what roles small satellites can potentially plan in future USSF missions. Furthermore, TETRA-1’s robustness permitted SSC to work with Space Delta 11 in Space Training and Readiness Command and perform maneuvers dedicated solely to a live on-orbit training campaign knowns as ‘Scarlet Star.’”

      This article was first published by Defense Daily.