Year In Review 2012: Part II
Hughes Network Systems, LLC iDirect Government Technologies (iGT) Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company PIXIA
Hughes Network Systems, LLC
by Rick Lober, V.P + G.M., Defense + Intelligence Systems and Tony Bardo, Assist V.P., Government Solutions Group
For government and military satellite users, 2012 has been a year marked by transition and growth. Whether its the migration to IPv6 Internet protocol, or the expansion into next generation technologiessuch as high-throughput, Ka-band satellite systems such as JUPITER2012 was the beginning of a new era in communications rather than a refinement or continuation of whats come before.
As the worlds leading provider of satellite broadband technology and services, Hughes has played a major role in this positive growth.
Writing in this department one year ago, our assessment of 2011 was headlined by budget constraints and reductions. While the threat of sequestration looms large for all government and military contractors, the speed of technological advancement continues forward. This year, weve seen major milestones in our military and government divisions, including another interesting trend: The coming together of these markets in the form of shared needs and missions, and, in the case of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), a shared contract vehicle.
Defense and Intelligence
Coalition Growth: Much of the dialogue in the technology community focuses on helping organizations to better communicate with internal stakeholders. However, in an increasingly global world, internal communication simply isnt enough. We are pleased that the U.S. and its Coalition partners are starting to implement interoperable network and satellite infrastructures. Weve made strides, providing airborne and tactical communications for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) initiatives to Allies to continue to provide communications vital to the warfighter and national security.
New Technologies: Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are an integral tool to obtain the ISR data to ensure our troops overseas and citizens at home are safethey depend on robust, uninterrupted connectivity. Hughes has developed new improvements and waveforms to increase satellite bandwidth efficiency and robustness in challenging environments, such as for UAVs and rotary wing applications.
Simultaneously, it becomes increasingly important to maintain communications that are secure against disruption. This year, Hughes worked with the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) to develop concepts for protected tactical satellite communications. We also worked with the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) on the next generation of SATCOM architectures, focusing on cost-effective approaches today and for future satellite waveforms that will extend communications capabilities in all environments.
New Standards: 2012 saw the introduction of IPv6, the next generation protocol for Internet-based communications. Hughes introduced an innovative feature to our global HX System that enables simultaneous support of IPv4 and IPv6 protocols in a novel dual-stack architecture. Also packaged into the HX System 4.0 release were other major enhancements that are currently being validated for use on the U.S. Strategic Commands Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) constellation.
A Shared Mission: The Department of Defense (DoD) is taking an increased interest in commercial satellite capabilities, which helped accelerate multiple U.S. Army Global Tactical Advanced Communications Systems (GTACS) contract wins by Hughes this year. Additionally, the military and intelligence community aligned certain areas with those of the broader federal mission. This resulted in a landmark GSA and DISA satellite partnership in the form of the Future COMSATCOM Services Acquisition (FCSA) Custom SATCOM Solutions (CS2) program.
The Broadband Revolution: In 2012, federal agencies continued their move toward comprehensive satellite broadband. We were awarded a contract to support the Environmental Protection Agencys (EPA) RadNet program, which is responsible for monitoring radiation levels throughout the United States. Via our high-speed satellite broadband service, Hughes will connect 50 sites with capabilities that will improve network manageability as well as enable the EPA to upgrade the sites from 3G to 4G wireless technology.
Healthcare Applications: One of the most innovative uses for SATCOM is the emerging government healthcare market. In 2012, Hughes was awarded a contract by the New England Telehealth Consortium (NETC) to provide mobile satellite broadband services for a regional healthcare network, which serves more than 450 health care sites and will enable video conferencing, prescription dispensing and transfer of electronic health records.
Even as the economy slowly rebounds, defense and civilian agencies will continue to face budget shortfalls. During these times Hughes is especially well-positioned to serve our government and defense constituenciesby leveraging our many commercial innovations to deliver the most advanced and cost-effective satellite networking solutions available. This is our core strength globally and has always set us apart from the competition. In 2013 and beyond, count on Hughes to lead the drive toward a new era of high-throughput, robust and efficient satellite communications: Faster, smarter and better equipped to serve an increasingly mobile mission.
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iDirect Government Technologies (iGT)
by Karl Fuchs, Vice President of Technology
2012 has been a dynamic and exciting year for iGT and the satellite industry in general. iGT has experienced great successes from both business and technological perspectives. On the business side, iGT was honored by the U.S. Armys Combat Service Support (CSS) Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) program as the Army continues to show its confidence by awarding us our third technological refresh of the CSS VSAT network. This iteration of refresh of more than 3,800 new satellite remote routers provides CSS VSAT with the latest generation of hardware, allowing CSS VSAT to take advantage of new, highly efficient waveforms and maintain the highest levels of information assurance.
Particularly impressive this year was the explosive airborne market growth. Over the past few years, iGT has worked diligently to help enable the airborne Communications-On-The-Move (COTM) market with the introduction of the Global Network Management System, which enables remotes to roam seamlessly around the world, and the development of the OpenAMIP standard, which enables automatic beam switching as an aircraft transitions among satellite coverage areas. This groundwork led to strong sales of the newly introduced e8000 AR satellite router. The e8000 AR 19-inch rack-mountable router is designed for roll-on/roll-off airborne COTM applications. The e8000 AR leverages commercial off-the-shelf technology and has been mated with a high-powered PC 104 central processing unit (CPU) for antenna integration applications all in an aircraft EMI and environmental certified enclosure.
Another growth area during 2012 was the Department of Defense (DoD) networks, which have grown dramatically over the past few years. As a result, network operators have seen an increasing need for powerful, intuitive network management tools. iGT introduced SatManage 5.2, which is a sophisticated suite of Web-based software tools for the automation, monitoring and integration of hybrid networks and network operation center (NOC)-based applications. A powerful extension to iDirects iVantage NMS, SatManage takes a NOC operation to an even higher standard of network performance and scalability. SatManage integrates and automates nearly every aspect of a NOC, and through a rich set of monitoring features, provides an in-depth view into the networks quality performance. To meet the high customer demand for SatManage systems, iGT has dramatically increased the customization development team. This team of developers can take specific customer needs and transform them into customized software to further enhance the functionality of SatManage.
One of the greatest challenges iGT faced in 2012 was staying ahead of the power curve and helping our end-user community fight their growing cyber-attack threats. It is not surprising to anyone that the number of cyber attacks against U.S. government institutions is growing every year and that the adversary is becoming more and more sophisticated.
iGT continues to work closely with Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and other government agencies to ensure we are kept up to date on the most recent threats and then we work to mitigate those threats as quickly as possible. In addition, iGT regularly commissions consultants to perform independent security assessments on all our product lines. Much work still needs to be done to ensure government and industry can work together efficiently to combat these cyber threats, however, great strides have been made in 2012.
The satellite industry will face a number of challenges in the next few quarters. Many of those challenges will also bring opportunities. One challenge all of us serving the DoD and government market will face is possible sequestration and shrinking budgets. While shrinking budgets are never attractive, they can increase reliance on communications. For example, fewer boots on the ground can increase the reliance on airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.
Constrained government budgets can postpone big ticket items such as satellite launches and could certainly increase use of commercial satellites. The emerging fleet of High Throughput Satellites (HTS) is generating a great deal of interest within the DoD community. iGT and our parent company, VT iDirect, are doing a great deal of work to enable the HTS architecture. VT iDirect is providing the hub infrastructure and remote routers for the new Inmarsat GX network. iGT is developing the next-generation military satellite router, which will be capable of seamlessly moving from a government-owned, Wideband Global Satellite-based network to Inmarsat GX coverage, based on availability and mission needs. This next-generation satellite router will provide unparalleled security and maximum flexibility for maritime, terrestrial and airborne missions.
iGTs main focus over the next two or three quarters will be on the airborne satcom. iGT plans on introducing the second airborne router in the e8000 familythe e8000 AEin the spring of 2013. The e8000 AE will fit in an ARINC rack and meet all of the DO 160 certification requirements. The e8000 AE is designed to meet the needs of the blue and white fleet as well as being applicable to the commercial markets.
In addition, iGT will introduce the Airborne Inflight Management Software (AIMS). The software will be resident on the PC 104 CPU of the airborne routers and will be accessible via web interface. AIMS will provide an operator with situational awareness of an aircraft as it relates to the operation of a satellite system. This will include a moving map with Effective Isotropic Radiated Power (EIRP) contours, time to beam switch, signal-to-noise ratio and antenna system health.
2012 has certainly been a dynamic and successful yearall indications point to an exciting and successful 2013.
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Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company
by Mark Valerio, Vice President + General Manager, Military Space
What successes did Lockheed Martin Space Systems enjoy over the past year?
Working closely with our customers, we achieved several key milestones and gained positive momentum across our space portfolio. In the military satellite communications mission area, we launched the U.S. Air Forces second Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite and the U.S. Navys first Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) spacecraft. Each satellite has now completed its on-orbit testing and is ready for operations. Together, the AEHF and MUOS constellations represent a quantum leap in U.S. space-based communications technology and will serve as the communications backbone for our nations military and national security forces for decades to come.
Additionally, the first Lockheed Martin-built Space Based Infrared Satellite (SBIRS) satellite made tremendous strides on orbit. In September, the satellite achieved Program Executive Office (PEO) certification and entered its dedicated operational utility evaluation in preparation for use by the warfighter. The Air Forces SBIRS program delivers resilient and improved missile warning capabilities for the nation while simultaneously providing significant contributions to the militarys missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness mission areas.
We also made outstanding progress on the Air Forces next-generation GPS III satellites. In 2012, we opened our brand new GPS Processing Facility (GPF), an advanced manufacturing center specifically designed to reduce the cost of building each GPS III satellite. We continued to meet milestones in the buildup of our GPS III prototype, and we remain on schedule to deliver the first satellite for launch availability in 2014. As our world becomes increasingly dependent on GPS technology, the new GPS III satellites will be a critical element of both our national and economic security, and we are committed to achieving mission success for the billions of military, commercial and civilian users worldwide.
Lastly, in July, we formed our Military Space line of business by combining two formerly separate organizations responsible for delivering various DoD satellites. Such will allow us to deliver a more focused voice to our customers, gain greater efficiencies among similar programs, enhance collaboration between our functional teams, strengthen our competitive posture and deliver greater value to our customers. Our Military Space LOB is responsible for delivering on several critical national security space programs such as AEHF, DMSP, GPS III, MUOS, and SBIRS, as well as sustaining operations for legacy satellite programs including the Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS), Milstar satellites and others.
What challenges did Lockheed Martin Space Systems need to overcome over the past year, and what challenges will the satellite industry face over the next few months?
The word of the year is affordabilityand we dont expect that to change anytime soon. Our customers are being asked to do more with less, and we are key partners in that endeavor. We understand the current fiscal environment and are laser focused on executing military space programs with a constant eye on affordability. While we target affordability, our commitment to mission success will not waiver.
Going forward, Lockheed Martin, and the industry as a whole, faces several challenges. As programs across the space portfolio transition from development to production, how can we still affordably add capability to meet new demands? How can we make our systems more resilient? How can we retain our engineering talent?
First, as we shift to production across our portfolio, we can significantly reduce our per-unit satellite costs by leveraging block buys, reducing program oversight, reducing testing, eliminating reviews, streamlining activities, sharing resources and standardizing our parts and processes. The savings realized from an efficient production program can then be reinvested back into programs to fund incremental technology insertion. With this technology innovation, we can target specific technologies to further improve affordability, to enhance capability or to build enhanced resiliency into our systems.
In an era of few new design and development efforts, stability in funding and a commitment to incremental capability insertion on production programs will also ensure our world-class engineering talent stays engaged in the vanguard technology development. These skills are a national asset, and we must maintain our technical leadership in space.
What upcoming projects are in the works and what may we expect to see from Lockheed Martin Space Systems over the next three to four quarters?
2013 promises to be a big year for our Military Space line of business. We are planning for the launch of the second SBIRS geosynchronous (GEO-2) satellite in March, the second MUOS spacecraft in July and the third AEHF satellite in September. We will also begin the final assembly, integration and test process for the nations first GPS III satellite next year, well before our scheduled launch availability date in 2014.
Additionally, we expect to receive contracts for the fifth and sixth AEHF, GPS III and SBIRS satellites this year and next, all under fixed-price contracting terms. We will focus on our program performance, affordability initiatives and technology innovations across the portfolio to ensure we deliver the highest possible value to our customers, at the lowest possible cost, to the tax payer.
In 2012, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company also stood up a new commercial ventures organization that will focus on commercial satellite, wind and energy markets. We will also work closely with our new Commercial Ventures organization to share resources and find ways to deliver new and innovative solutions to meet expanding customer needs.
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by Rudi Ernst, Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer + Chief Technology Officer
What successes did PIXIA® enjoy over the past year?
In 2012, PIXIA has enjoyed enormous growth in customers, revenue, and talented professionals while adding several new patented technologies to our portfolio. We opened a new headquarters in Reston Town Center, Virginia, to service our DoD/IC customers as well as a new regional office in Denver, Colorado, to service the Pacific Rim.
PIXIA develops high-performance scalable data access solutions for what we term BIG data. These are datasets that become so large they become increasingly difficult to access and work with using the standard database management tools. Some of the difficulties in working with BIG data include the capture, storage, search, sharing, analytics, and visualization of the information. Working with large datasets allows analysts to more effectively spot trends, identify problems and help to formulate solutions. Although the amounts of data being stored is on a perpetual upward swing, datasets are on the order of petabytes, exabytes and zettabytes of data. The worlds per capita capacity to store this information has roughly doubled every 40 months since the 1980s (about every three years) and every day 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created.
The fundamental problem with BIG data is that data are constantly being aggregated. Some datasets grow in size because they are increasingly being gathered by ubiquitous information gathering devices, aerial sensory technologies (remote sensing), software logs, cameras, radio-frequency identification (RFID) readers, and wireless sensor networks.
During 2012, the Company presented an integrated offering to the marketCommercially Operated Persistent Surveillance Solution (COPSS). This was accomplished in a partnership with PV Labs, Inc., and offers customers a commercial turnkey solution to Wide Area Motion Imagery (WAMI) collection, processing and dissemination. Thanks to a low-cost pricing model, this technology provides rapid access within an end-to-end commercial solution for both the public and private sectors (i.e., border patrol, law enforcement, federal emergency management offices, and private companies.)
PIXIA also upgraded their Open Geospatial Consortium membership to that of Principal Member and will increase participation in such areas as geospatial imagery, WAMI and full motion video (FMV). The Principal Members of this organization assists in the development, release and adoption of OGC® standards through their voting rights in the OGC Planning Committee.
What challenges did PIXIA need to overcome over the past year, and what challenges will the satellite industry face over the next few months?
The demand for instant access to BIG data from ISR platforms [by users, algorithms, and applications] is growing exponentially and as these datasets grow, they become increasingly difficult to store, access, and share. PIXIA® delivers data-as-a-service (DaaS) capabilities providing data to any clients via a standards-based SOA architecture.
Of concern to PIXIA are the needs of the MAG (Military, Aerospace + Government) sectors. Throughout military history, technological developments have substantially disrupted the methods of conventional warfare. In general terms, the evolution of weapons and weapon delivery systems, small arms, tanks, and aircraft, for example, have forced changes in the warfare tactics.
Speed and efficiency with which military forces can be deployed is a significant factor in determining military advantage over adversaries. Perhaps the most significant trend in the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) market over the past few years has been the spectacular growth in data volumes. Innovative sensor platforms with improving optics have increased the complexity in which analysts can effectively manage Wide Area Surveillance (WAS) datameeting growing demands for highly intelligent analytical products in a timely manner requires a disruptive approach.
A PIXIA product designed to offset this challenge is HiPER STARE®, which catalogs, organizes and shares large volumes of WAS within a cloud-based architecture. This provides SaaS apps and data consumers access to WAS data via RESTful Web services.
To enable BIG data access in a complimentary manner, PIXIA implemented an end-to-end solution that is sensor and data agnostic, delivering WAMI quickly and efficiently, no matter where it is located; on the aircraft, in a ground station, in a local data center, or in archives.
What upcoming projects are in the works and what may we expect to see from PIXIA over the next three to four quarters?
PIXIA continues to push the traditional boundaries of BIG data access and will, in the next several quarters, be providing solutions for LIDAR and HSI sensor platforms, on-board airborne solutions, and Exabyte-scale data-as-a-service (DaaS) implementations in Cloud architectures.
Additionally, as PIXIA is the author of the WAMI Web Services Specification, expect further provisions for a variety of features and functionalities in handling BIG data derived from Wide Area Surveillance (WAS) sensors and platforms.
Products currently manipulating BIG data that will forge forward during 2013 include HiPER LOOK®, HiPER STARE and HiPER WATCH®. The latter offering enables a cloud-based architecture to catalog, organize and share large volumes of FMV.
For PIXIA, 2013 will be a year filled with promise and the realization of customer expectations.