The French defence procurement agency (DGA) has awarded Airbus Defence and Space a contract to carry out preparatory studies and definition work for the future ground segment of the Syracuse IV satellite-based military telecommunications system. The results will help prepare for the Syracuse IV ground segment construction phase, scheduled to begin in 2018.
Syracuse IV is being developed by a consortium comprising Airbus DS (35%) and Thales Alenia Space (65%).
The one-year study will examine possible architectures for the Syracuse IV terrestrial network, as well as the new capacity required by the future system. It will scrutinise the pervasiveness of IP (Internet Protocol) technology and the exponential increase in the transmission-speed requirements of the armed forces, while at the same time maintaining security and a very high level of availability.
The study will include the sizing of the network, flow management and prioritisation, using the most advanced network management technologies. Backed by its unique experience of very high-speed satellite networks (in Ka band), Airbus Defence and Space will also examine the capacity optimisation of the future Syracuse IV satellites notably through the use of the latest generation of modems.
This study should also make it possible to define the safeguards and resilience mechanisms needed to deal effectively with cyber threats.
Apart from the user ground segment, the Syracuse IV satellite communication programme includes the construction of two satellites to replace the Syracuse 3A and Syracuse 3B satellites currently in orbit by 2021-2023. It also comprises the construction of the ground control segment and the configuration of these new satellites, the construction of new Ka-band communication anchor stations and support for these resources for a period of 17 years as of the commissioning of the first satellite.
The satellites, working in X and Ka bands, will offer increased performance in terms of communication capacity, flexibility and jamming resistance in order to meet the future needs of the armed forces.