Hughes and OneWeb to demonstrate Low Earth Orbit service in Arctic Region for U.S. Air Force Research Lab
(5 May 2021 - Hughes) Hughes Network Systems and OneWeb today announced their selection by the U.S. Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) to demonstrate managed LEO satellite communications (SATCOM) services to connect the Arctic region to sites around the globe.
Under the agreement, Hughes will test and implement these end-to-end services on the OneWeb system between selected U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) locations, a first step in harnessing the power of LEO satellites for high-speed, low-latency broadband access in the Arctic.
The OneWeb gateway in Svalbard, Norway, capable of 10,000 hand-offs per second, is one of the gateways developed by Hughes that will orchestrate handover and tracking of gigabits of data for NORTHCOM. (courtesy: OneWeb/Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT))
"This opportunity reinforces the relationship between Hughes and the U.S. Air Force to ensure resilient, flexible SATCOM networks for tactical, multi-domain operations," said Rick Lober, vice president and general manager of the Defense and Intelligence Systems Division at Hughes. "We look forward to partnering with OneWeb to bring LEO innovation into the military SATCOM enterprise, especially in the strategic Arctic region where connectivity has been limited—until now."
"The OneWeb constellation has been designed to enable low-latency broadband access across the globe, allowing connectivity in previously unreached areas—a capability that is ideal for tactical, multi-domain operations in the Polar region and beyond," said Dylan Browne, Head of Government Services with OneWeb. "Working together with Hughes, we will bridge the gap in connectivity for NORTHCOM with an interoperable and secure solution."
As the prime contractor on the project, Hughes will lead adaptation, integration, testing and ongoing management of this service demonstration with OneWeb and Intellian, who are developing user terminals for use on the OneWeb network. Designed for ease of installation, the new Intellian terminals will utilize next-generation technology to provide a cost-effective system to access the low-latency, high bandwidth connectivity offered by OneWeb.
Under a separate agreement with OneWeb, Hughes is engineering and producing the gateway equipment and user terminal core module, making the company a logical choice for enabling high-speed, low-latency services above the 50th parallel North, an area that has been difficult to connect with other types of satellite services. The DoD contract is part of the U.S. Air Force's Defense Experimentation Using the Commercial Space Internet (DEUCSI) program.
OneWeb's network was designed for global coverage and is uniquely capable in its ability to deliver much-needed connectivity services to the Arctic. With 182 satellites launched to date and regular 2021 launches planned and on-track, OneWeb will be able to deliver coverage to the 50th parallel North and above by the end of 2021, bridging a long-standing connectivity gap and building secure communications capability in an underserved region.
About Hughes Network Systems
Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), an innovator in satellite and multi-transport technologies and networks for 50 years, provides broadband equipment and services; managed services featuring smart, software-defined networking; and end-to-end network operation for millions of consumers, businesses, governments and communities worldwide. The Hughes flagship Internet service, HughesNet, connects more than 1.5 million subscribers across the Americas, and the Hughes JUPITER System powers Internet access for tens of millions more worldwide. Hughes supplies more than half the global satellite terminal market to leading satellite operators, in-flight service providers, mobile network operators and military customers. A managed network services provider, Hughes supports nearly 500,000 enterprise sites with its HughesON portfolio of wired and wireless solutions. Headquartered in Germantown, Maryland, USA, Hughes is owned by EchoStar.
EchoStar Corporation (NASDAQ: SATS) is a premier global provider of satellite communication solutions. Headquartered in Englewood, Colo., and conducting business around the globe, EchoStar is a pioneer in secure communications technologies through its Hughes Network Systems and EchoStar Satellite Services business segments.
OneWeb will enable connectivity for governments, businesses, and communities. It is implementing a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites with a network of global gateway stations and a range of user terminals to provide an affordable, fast, high-bandwidth and low-latency communications service, connected to the IoT future and a pathway to 5G for everyone, everywhere.