Today, the satellite industry is seeing growing opportunity in the broadband IP services, defense and military applications. Additionally, large satellite system operators and teleport operators are merging, and broadcasters and large users are now leading satellite capacity rather than opting to deploy their own dedicated systems. This is especially true for industries that need to utilize satellite communications, like the military, that need small, lightweight equipment to move around easily.

Military tactics now focus heavily on gathering lots of data and acting with speed and precision. One of the most important tools to help with this strategy is the very-small-aperture terminal. Troops are often deployed in remote or harsh locations where transmission paths can be blocked or diminished by mountains, sandstorms or other natural causes. The lightweight terminals used in military VSAT communications, contain transmitters that use antennas and other components which let aircraft communicate via satellite where line-of-sight communication to troops isn’t possible. As with all portable products, size and weight are key issues that make this type of deployment possible when troops are on the move.

As troops and military leaders are asking for lighter, more compacts systems that allow for them to see real-time video, it’s to be expect that the industry will see a shift in focus of technologies and products used in military VSAT communications. Reducing power consumption, size and portable of the transmitters were harder before. When increasing bandwidth to accommodate these requests becomes an additional goal, the challenge becomes far more difficult.

Though VSATS are small and portable, terminal size alone isn’t the only factor that affects their deployment. Battery consumption is an important factor to consider -especially for the troops on ground that must carry batteries, terminals and other supplies they need on their backs. Usage in the field is both driven by how compact the product is and the amount of power it takes to function.

The strength of VSAT transmitters are that they can be set up relatively quickly. Although the traditional acquisition process used to take up to a five year period, from identifying a need to fielding a solution, with VSAT systems operational needs are fulfilled much more quickly, and the military is working to make sure they can get through the procurement process quickly with lengthy deployment cycles.

Satellite communications have become the standard for many military operations, and the capacity of satellite technology has expanded to include hardware, software and capabilities that didn’t previously exist. Not only has this growth expanded the ability to connect to virtually to almost every region, it has also improved operational efficiencies, safety, and troop morale and welfare.

Harris Caprock is leading provider of Militray VSAT Communcations for the Department of Defense. For more information on services offered be sure to visit their website.