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Satellite communications are used for military applications as well as commercial.

The most common missions of military satellite communications is for intelligence gathering, navigation and military communications.

The first military communications satellites were used for photographic reconnaissance missions. Some attempts were made to develop satellite based weapons but this work was halted in 1967 following the ratification of international treaties banning the deployment of weapons of mass destruction in orbit.

As of December 2018 there were reportedly 320 known military or dual-use satellites in the sky, half of which are owned by the U.S., followed by Russia, China and India.

Military satellite communications (MILSATCOM) systems are critical elements in DoD’s Global Information Grid (GIG).

Modeled after the commercial internet, the GIG provides global connectivity to support a broad range of military user applications. Commercial networking technologies, coupled with military-unique radio communications equipment, enable the GIG to support the demands of the highly mobile warfighter operating in complex radio environments.

More descriptively, the military satellite communications GIG is a worldwide network of information transmission, of associated processes, and of personnel serving to collect, process, safeguard, transmit, and manage this information. 

The GIG makes this immediately available to military personnel, to those responsible for military politics, and for support personnel. It includes all infrastructure, bought or loaned, of communications, electronics, informatics (including software and databases), and security. 

Essentially, the GIG represents the most visible manifestation of network-centric warfare with its combination of technology and human activity that enables warfighters to access information on demand.

The GIG includes owned and leased communications and computing systems and services, software (including applications), data, security services, other associated services, and National Security Systems. Non-GIG Information Technology (IT) includes standalone, self-contained, or embedded IT that is not connected to the enterprise network.

Remote sensing is another satellite communications application in use by the military. Remote sensing is the process of detecting and monitoring the physical characteristics of an area by measuring its reflected and emitted radiation at a distance.

Want to learn more? Tonex offers over a dozen courses in Satellite Communications. You can see our courses here, such as:

Satellite Communications Design and Engineering Training (4 days)

Advanced SATCOM Training (3 days)

Cybersecurity and SATCOM Training (4 days)

Satellite Communications Training for non-engineers (4 days)

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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