Low Cost Airborne Terminal Concepts for UHF Satellite Communications
AffiliationThe MITRE Corporation
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AbstractCost is an important aspect to most new communications systems. However, in military systems, performance concerns generally dominate initial development. Economic refinements to second and third generation equipments result from competitive pressures after functional requirements have stabilized. Satellite communications terminal requirements have not been stable primarily because economically attractive solutions to satellite jamming and physical attack vulnerabilities have not been collectively identified. Recognizing the incomplete resolution of the threat issue, this paper makes a forecast of what second and third generation ultra high frequency (UHF) satellite terminals could be like. An improved terminal concept is described which suggests near term modifications to present UHF satellite terminals as well. Satellite terminal line replaceable units (LRUs), which possess unique system functions in present UHF satellite systems, are reconsidered using ground rules which exclude restrictions imposed by present satellite designs. Terminal segment costs are assumed to dominate system acquisition costs, justifying increased space segment complexity. Considerations guiding the low cost UHF airborne terminal concepts in this paper are shown in the table below. Terminal concepts are constrained by the MAC, SAC, and TAC airborne environments as it affects personnel and equipment but not by current space segment designs.
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