Boeing has successfully demonstrated anti-jam capabilities on the Space Force's Protected Tactical Satellite Communications Prototype (PTS-P) at its facility in El Segundo, CA, the company announced today.
PTS-P is designed to facilitate transmission of the U.S. military’s Protected Tactical Waveform for secure satellite communications, with the tests demonstrating the system’s ability to autonomously mitigate a range of jamming attempts and preserve connectivity using “software-defined” technology, a Boeing spokesman told Inside Defense.
“On-board, autonomous, real-time nulling of jammers greatly enhances our resiliency, ensuring the United States and our allies can provide our warfighters with secure, reliable communications in a contested environment,” PTS-P Program Manager Justin Bruner said in the release.
“Boeing has made significant strides in the development and execution of a nulling algorithm with flight-like firmware, demonstrating agile anti-jam capability. PTS-P and all of our Protected Anti-Jam Tactical SATCOM (PATS) programs are critical to this effort,” Bruner added.
Boeing was awarded the prototype agreement in 2020 along with Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman through the Space Enterprise Consortium, a venture formed by the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center in 2017 that solicits bids from a wider range of companies using Other Transaction Authority contracting mechanisms.
The three primes all pledged to employ non-traditional subcontractors in keeping with SpEC’s goal of bringing new vendors into the fold. Millennium Space Systems is Boeing’s non-traditional partner for the effort, the Boeing spokesman said.
Last year, officials bumped Lockheed from the program to proceed with the Boeing and Northrop prototypes, which have since passed respective critical design reviews.
Boeing and Northrop are now moving toward on-orbit demonstrations planned for 2024. Boeing is planning additional hardware and software demonstrations to refine the prototype, according to the release, with vehicle integration slated to begin in early 2023.