New Critical Communications Capabilities for U.S. Air Base

SES Government Solutions will provide C-band satellite services for the U.S. Armed Forces in the Arctic to ensure critical data service and enhanced redundancy and restoral capabilities By DA Reporter / 30 Jul 2021

SES Government Solutions (SES GS) has been awarded a $14.5 million contract to support critical communications capabilities at Thule Air Base in Greenland.

Thule Air Base is the U.S. Space Force’s northernmost base, and the northernmost installation of the U.S. Armed Forces, located 750 miles north of the Arctic Circle and 947 miles from the North Pole. SES GS has been the sole provider of commercial satellite communications to Thule Air Base for over 20 years.

The SES GS solution leverages C-band technology, which is highly resilient to weather effects, and provides a dedicated reachback beam leveraging single hop connectivity directly to the user site. It also provides redundancy at all levels, to include antennas, uplink and downlink telemetry, ground infrastructure, and restoration capabilities. 

“We are proud to provide satellite communications support for this critical mission,” said President and CEO of SES Government Solutions, retired Brigadier General Pete Hoene, U.S. Air Force. 

“Thule Air Base is the Department of Defense’s northernmost installation, and this program continues to serve as a great example of the importance of our capability to deliver the critical intelligence data to military decision makers.”

The company claims it has the required expertize in overcoming the challenging conditions of operating in Arctic locations, including the extreme cold-weather environment, unpredictable weather patterns, near-horizon location, and logistical challenges.

SES operates the world’s only global fleet of both geostationary and Non-Geostationary (NGSO) satellites. The company’s next-generation O3b mPOWER satellite constellation will be launched this year, with the start of service beginning 2022. 

SES combines its operational experience with its Geosynchronous Equatorial Orbit (GEO) and NGSO global capabilities to deliver multi-band, multi-orbit communications to remote locations like Thule, where resilience and reliability are critical.

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