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IET Milsatcoms 2018 Satellite Communications Technology

Viasat to upgrade NATO UHF satellite communications control stations to next-generation Integrated Waveform

(3 January 2018 - ViaSat) Viasat announced today it was awarded a contract to upgrade the NATO UHF satellite communications (SATCOM) control stations to comply with the Integrated Waveform (IW) baseline.

The upgrade gives NATO greater communications interoperability, scalability and flexibility across legacy and next-generation platforms to enhance situational awareness as the battlespace dynamically expands.

As part of this award, NATO will upgrade its legacy UHF communications network to Viasat's Visual Integrated SATCOM Information, Operation and Networking (VISION) planning and network management platform, the first commercially-available software package to simultaneously support all 25-kHz legacy Demand-Assigned Multiple-Access (DAMA) and next-generation IW networks and services.

The Viasat VISION platform gives network operators real-time capabilities to reconfigure UHF satellite networks to meet new mission profiles on-the-fly. By enabling interoperability between DAMA and IW platforms, NATO can double its channel efficiency without additional investment in the UHF space segment. This optimization doubles the number of users, giving more warfighters access to reliable, high-quality, resilient voice and data communications.

"Networked forces need to be able to receive and execute orders dynamically in the fog of war. With the Viasat VISION platform, we can use our UHF space segment more efficiently as it more than doubles our existing UHF user access," said Giovanni Battista Durando, NATO Communications and Information Agency, Network Services and IT Infrastructure, Satcom Service Area Owner. "We believe the Viasat VISION platform will give NATO network operators more control over communications stations from a single terminal, simplifying operations and offering multi-site flexibility to ultimately increase the network readiness of the warfighter."

The Viasat VISION platform provides a single user-friendly network management interface for legacy DAMA and IW services, inclusive of the ability to locally or remotely manage and control ground station networks, monitor status and system performance, track event/alarm management situations and add/remove services when missions change.

"Frontline warfighters need assured, reliable real-time communications in order to safely execute their missions, especially at the tactical edge," said Ken Peterman, president, Government Systems, Viasat. "Viasat is a global leader in UHF channel control capabilities. Our innovative VISION platform leverages Viasat's decades of UHF SATCOM expertise to enable cost-effective, scalable, interoperable UHF bandwidth from multiple NATO partner nations to support dynamic mission requirements - all without the need for a costly user radio replacement."

About Viasat

Viasat is a global communications company that believes everyone and everything in the world can be connected. For more than 30 years, Viasat has helped shape how consumers, businesses, governments and militaries around the world communicate. Today, the Company is developing the ultimate global communications network to power high-quality, secure, affordable, fast connections to impact people's lives anywhere they are—on the ground, in the air or at sea.