Daniel Fraley, senior vice president engineering, chief technical officer at Hughes Network Systems, said ensuring that the antenna placed on a vehicle is inconspicuous is crucial.
"The guy in the field who has got the antenna, he
doesn't want to be noticed â€¦[That] is very important for the Defense Department."
An antenna capable of two-way communications with a spacecraft in geo-synchronous orbit 22,000 miles above Earth can only get so small, Fraley
And such communication systems will be reserved for officers.
said, "The trick with mobility is to have very good signal processing capability â€¦ so you can realize the smallest antenna size possible."
Some vendors are offering flat-panel antennas, but there can be problems with connectivity when the truck dips below the line of sight, Fraley
Hughes has a global system of satellites it either owns or can use in partnerships with other companies to provide the service, said Fraley
Hughes, after selling its satellite manufacturing business to Boeing
in 2000, concentrated on providing commercial services such as satellite television and Internet connections to consumers.
It is now marketing similar services to the Defense Department.
"We really didn't have to do much to our commercial product to make it fully capable to support that particular mode of operation," Fraley
Hughes has undergone a series of operational tests to show the Defense Department it can provide satcom on the move today, he
It is also pursuing business in the domestic market for first responders and the Coast Guard.
With a top-of-the-line antenna, and using Ka-band transponders, a terminal could receive 6 to 7 megabytes per second of data, and transmit back to the satellite 1 megabyte, he
"What's important about that is how fast you regain coverage once you get unblocked," said Fraley
"It's important that you ride through that and maintain your connection to the satellite and the IP
"The user experience can be very disappointing if you don't recover from those kinds of things quickly," he