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Leveraging the private sector

10th Sep 2020

By: Nighat Mashhadi

Blog #4

“Leveraging the private sector….”

A growing role in evolving defence space architectures

by Neil Fraser, Director Defence and Space Programmes, NSSLGlobal

A US Space Force official, Colonel Russell Teehan, spoke recently at an online event run by SpaceNews about the increasing role of the commercial sector within strategic space architectures, explaining that much of the satellites, ground infrastructure and information systems that the US Space Force use in the future could be developed and provided by the private sector.

Colonel Teehan talked about Space Superiority (in essence space situational awareness), Strategic Effects (needed globally and constantly, such as PNT/GNSS) and Theatre Effects (such as satcom and regional ISR).  In all of these, the private sector has so much to offer not just the military but wider defence and national security, in times when lines are increasingly blurred between “peace” and “war” in an area termed as “the grey zone”.

It is certainly a pivotal time for the space industry, one that both NSSLGlobal and myself are excited to be engaged in.  I joined NSSLGlobal at the start of this year, coming from 6 years with Viasat in the UK and following a military career which included being a deliverer and user of satcom.

My time both in uniform and in the private sector has given me a healthy perspective on this growing role for private companies who are increasingly looking to leverage multiple technologies, to bring the best of breed in the market to give customers choice and resilience. Our award-winning proprietary service FusionIP for example, integrates the best of two communication systems for European sea areas: LTE and satellite broadband, allowing vessels to automatically switch between 3G/4G and satellite networks to achieve unified communications, optimum data speeds and cost efficiencies.

NSSLGlobal are focused on developing the best solutions for our customers. In October 2019, we successfully completed live testing with multiple government customers using Telesat’s Phase 1 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite. By leveraging the ultra-low latency of Telesat’s LEO system we demonstrated superior broadband performance – in terms of speed, latency and jitter – for high demand applications including 4K video conferencing, live video streaming, encrypted services for government use and live calling over mobile devices.  But one solution doesn’t deliver to all customer needs, especially rightfully demanding defence customers who operate in harm’s way.  We see multiple bands, orbits and hybrid terminal solutions as a key approach, and one very much in line with Colonel Teehan’s overview.

We also recently joined UKSpace the trade association of Britain’s growing space industry, forming part of our continued commitment to contribute towards the growth of the UK space sector and where some of these ideas will be developing across the industry.  Interesting times.

Neil Fraser

Director – Defence and Space Programmes

Get in touch: neil.fraser@nsslglobal.com


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