Via Satellite recently spoke to Winston Beauchamp, a member of the Senior Executive Service, the deputy under secretary of the Air Force for space, and the director, principal DOD space advisor staff, the Pentagon, and Congressman Jim Bridenstine, who was elected in 2012 to represent Oklahoma’s First Congressional District. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee, where he was selected to serve as Chairman of the House Environment Subcommittee.
Bridenstine believes the U.S. government is “moving in the right direction” in terms of taking advantage of commercial communications satellites, and commercial communications satellite providers. However, he thinks more can and should be done.
“There is a broad agreement inside the DOD that we need to take advantage of commercial communications. Some of the areas where we need improvement is including commercial communications satellite providers in the Analysis of Alternatives (AOA), and including them in the development of solutions for the next generation satellite architecture. We need frequency hopping or spread spectrum. We need encryption capabilities. These are all things that when we think about the next generation of commercial satellite architecture that can be utilized by the DOD, I think it would be appropriate for commercial satellite providers to be involved in that process on the front end, so it is not an afterthought where the U.S. government is coming in and saying we need capacity,” he says.
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