Hughes' Rick Lober Talks Potential Ways to Improve Interoperability in DoD Satcom Systems

Rick Lober
Rick Lober

Rick Lober, vice president and general manager of Hughes Network Systems' defense and intelligence systems segment, has said that software-defined radios can help address the Department of Defense's interoperability issues, Avionics International reported Friday.

Lober told the publication that the DoD could use SDRs to switch between networks and waveforms supporting the department's satellite communications infrastructure, which encompasses modems and ground terminals developed in-house.

Standardizing the size of terminals and modems while driving open-architecture development could also address compatibility challenges between commercial and DoD satcom systems, he added.

“We have a lot of systems done by one manufacturer. You have these closed interfaces,“ he said. “Modem technology advances every two or three years so you’re stuck going back to that one vendor for those improvements.“

Lober's comments come after the U.S. Space Force selected Raytheon, now Raytheon Technologies, and L3Harris Technologies to develop tactical waveform modems for secure satcom operations.

Space Force's Space and Missile Systems Center also awarded over $8M in other transaction authority agreements to support the development of flexible satcom terminal prototypes.

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