Global MilSatCom 2018 Highlights Need for Resilient SatCom on the Battlespace

Space satellite

This year’s Global MilSatCom 2018 Conference brought together over 580 delegates, increasing significantly over the past year, and demonstrating the growing need for resilient satellite solutions in an increasingly contested and congested final frontier. Exhibitors filled the floor and panelists discussed the increasing need for combined commercial and military satcom solution in today’s complex battlespace.

For those of our readers that were unable to attend the event, we have compiled some of the highlights, news, and thoughts from the show floor.

Threats Continuing to Grow

According to Thomas Schamberger, Manager of Airborne Tactical Communications at Collins Aerospace, the challenges of keeping up with the complexities of today’s threats require more investment in technology. “The growing threat from our adversaries continues as countries such as Russia, China, and Iran are outpacing the rest of the world in investment and speed of technology to market,” he told us. 

Governments today need to invest and keep up, to compete on the battlespace. “Immediate action is needed,” Schamberger explained.  “Military-commercial SATCOM providers need to collaborate and take risks to move updated technology into market faster. We are at the point where it’s okay to “fail fast” and build upon that.”

Growth and Investment on the Rise

Governments are realizing the investment in needed in resilient satcom solutions. According to Northern Sky Research (NSR), after several roller coaster years, the satcom market is now showing steadily growing forecast.

Dr. Joseph Blank, Programs Manager for Tactical Airborne Communications at Collins Aerospace, attended the show and shared that many of the panelists and conversations were focused on LEO, MEO, and GEO systems increasing, and the continued growth of infrastructure and available bandwidth. “For the DoD, the next step may be to seek hosted payloads on these systems, with continued development of dedicated systems,” Blank shared with us.

Industry and Government Collaboration is Key

As the need for commercial and military satcom solutions grow, it requires more collaboration between government and industry.


Resiliency Required

This year showed an increased focus on resiliency for satcom, Blank shared. “Whether through prevention of disruption, mitigation of a disruptive, or the use of alternate capability, ensuring access to satcom has been identified as key for support of warfighters.”

Currently there is little resiliency built into today’s systems, according to Schamberg, but nearly every presenter talked about the importance of developing technologies and solutions to protect satellites from attack and make them resilient.

Continue to follow the conversation on Twitter by following #MilSatCom and @SMi_Group for future events.