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BAE's Pilot Broadcast System Passes Tests (Mar. 20)

The Pilot Direct Broadcast System (DBS), designed and supplied by BAE Systems to support the information needs of British forces during expeditionary deployments, has now demonstrated its ability to operate in extreme environmental conditions during successful trials in the northern Canadian winter, which closely followed extensive operational use in the deserts of the Middle East.

The Canadian trials were undertaken at Goose Bay where temperatures down to -37_C were recorded. Accurate satellite tracking and data were received via the UK Satellite Communications Systems hub at Oakhanger, Hampshire, over a Skynet 4 satellite.

The system delivers military information to multiple, geographically dispersed, military client communities, tailored to their specific requirements, on a world-wide basis over a one-way, secure, satellite broadcast system. Typical examples of uses include the broadcast of video briefings, dissemination of knowledge from defence information systems, and transmission of data from civil and military geographical applications. Pilot DBS customers can interact with the broadcast system using normal military reachback processes. These enable users to instigate information transmission when operationally appropriate to do so.

Reflecting the UK Ministry of Defence's Smart Procurement Initiative, the Pilot DBS is being developed incrementally through Mid Operational Capability and Full Operational Capability stages, using lessons learned from preceding increments to develop successive stages.

BAE Systems response to the Pilot DBS requirement was based upon its comprehensive understanding of communications requirements. It reflects the company's experience of programmes within the digitised battlespace, such as the Generic Communication and information services Management System.

A modular, phased approach to system design allowed best-of-breed product selection from both existing military and commercial product suppliers. The company's knowledge of broadcast system management and interfaces, and in overall systems integration and project management, was also exploited.

The BAE Systems Communications & Defence Infrastructure team - based at its Portsmouth site - includes partners Kencast, Computacenter, Vertex, QinetiQ and General Dynamics Information Systems. This expertise in the Pilot DBS is mirrored in its pivotal role in the ground segment of the current British Forces Skynet 4 system and in the supply of a wide range of fixed, mobile and transportable terminals.

BAE Systems C4ISR is a global centre of excellence supplying innovative, network enhanced, capability provision solutions. The Group integrates advanced civil and military technologies into robust, single-service and purple defence information management environments, radically optimising the operational effectiveness of command & control and platforms within the digitised battlespace, providing architectures to dominate the decision-making cycle.

The Communications & Defence Infrastructure (CDI) division of BAE Systems C4ISR supplies tactical and strategic communications systems for all three domains, together with innovative information infrastructure and Identification Friend or Foe systems, to support battlespace digitisation. The division develops defence applications based on commercial off-the-shelf sub-systems and accepts development risk from customer organisations. CDI's approach features the creation of Integrated Project Teams with procurement specialists and user representatives, and the development of alliances with other major industry centres of specialist expertise.


BAE Systems Pilot Direct Broadcast System Proven In Environmental Extremes