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Update: Hughes developing S-Band network to support proliferated LEO

Hughes' Jupiter 3 commercial satellite spacecraft is pictured above. The LEO spacecraft being developed for the USSF will likely be similar in size, according to company officials. (Hughes )

Hughes Network Systems is developing a new S-Band satellite communications (satcom) network, to support proliferated-low Earth orbit (P-LEO) requirements outlined by the US Space Force (USSF), a company senior executive told Janes.

“As part of the P-LEO contract, the EchoStar Lyra constellation will provide the S-Band network capability, distributed by Hughes,” said Rick Lober, vice-president of the Government & Defense Division at Hughes. The company will also provide satcom connectivity across the Ku-Band via the OneWeb LEO network as part of the USSF deal, he said during a 7 September interview. “We're branding this thing [as] Hughes LEO, kind of like OneWeb inside, and that'll be one of the standard services” the company will provide the USSF, Lober added.

S-Band connectivity across the Lyra constellation will be a narrowband service, intended for basic voice and text communications. The OneWeb network is designed as a wideband service that will support “more data-intensive applications like video streaming”, company officials said in a 12 September e-mail.

“The S-Band and Ka-Band network connectivity contracted through Hughes is part of a USD900 million indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract was issued by USSF as a way to bolster the service's commercial satcom capabilities. Hughes was one of several commercial satellite companies contracted by USSF as part of the IDIQ deal.”

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