Omnispace, which is seamlessly uniting mobile and satellite to create the world’s only truly global 5G mobile network, and Vulcan Wireless Inc. announced successful voice and data communication between its NGSO on-orbit satellite and a widely fielded model of mobile tactical military communications radios (PRC-117G).
As part of Omnispace’s Phase II Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) contract, the demonstration was in cooperation with U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command. The contract was awarded as part of the U.S. Airforce’s “Space Pitch Day,” enabling Omnispace to bring next-generation narrowband capabilities to the warfighter.
The Omnispace next-generation global 5G network is being architected to support “dual-use,” mission-critical enterprise and secure government applications. Unlike legacy commercial and government networks, Omnispace’s global system is being designed in line with 3GPP 5G NTN standards, which will enable interoperability for any compatible 5G commercial or government device.
Omnispace’s 5G NTN platform will be helpful to government customers’ reliability, and real-time decision-making by enabling advanced tactical handheld communications, military internet-of-things, and battlefield edge processing.
Together with Vulcan, the test successfully demonstrates the ability to connect the global Omnispace satellite network directly to existing mobile devices — addressing warfighter needs “at the edge” within the joint all-domain command and control (JADC2) architecture.
“One of the biggest challenges for the evolution of military enterprise communications is the cost and adaptation of legacy end-user equipment,” said Campbell Marshall, Omnispace’s Vice President for Government and International Markets. “This demo proves that software-defined mobile, tactical user equipment can leverage our dual-use commercial infrastructure. Imagine the possibilities that 5G technology will enable for government — from COTM handheld devices to IoT platforms.”
The demonstrations with Vulcan Wireless were focused on connecting existing military hardware to satellites in commercial frequency bands and orbits, not traditionally used by government, to increase the resiliency of battlefield communications.
“The Vulcan Wireless and Omnispace teams worked closely to successfully conduct a live demonstration, integrating existing tactical communication systems with the Omnispace satellite network,” said Kevin Lynaugh, CEO, Vulcan Wireless Inc. “We’re pleased with the results, which demonstrate how global, borderless beyond line of site (BLOS) connectivity is possible for real world military applications.”
These communications capabilities are the cornerstone for next-generation warfighting concepts such as multi-domain operations (MDO) and expeditionary advanced based operations (EABO) which are focused on minimizing physical and RF signatures.