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Optimizing Military Communication & Fleet Tracking with Iridium® Satellite Technology
Maximizing Military Communications
Government and military organizations often appoint operations managers with the crucial task of finding and implementing a secure, military-quality communication system. To achieve the expected level of military communication effectiveness, operations managers must source and leverage only the highest-performing solutions. So, with many options to choose from, it’s important to understand what features and functionalities are required for mission success.
Military communication solutions should come equipped with a foundational level of safety, security, and redundancy, including a powerful service network. This network should stand against the extremes, as any break in connectivity may impact the team’s ability to communicate. In the following paragraphs, discover what to look for in a military communication solution, including:
- Remote Connectivity Considerations
- Communication & Fleet Tracking
- Fleet Management Software
- Compliance & Regulatory Standards
Remote Connectivity Considerations
Some government and military missions are carried out in remote locations or areas where cellular service is spotty or unreliable. Incorporating satellite phone systems and fleet tracking tools for portable and stationary assets can ensure military communications never go offline. There are also dual-mode options for those traveling in and out of cellular range. This least-cost alternative leverages the nearest and strongest available signal, defaulting to cellular, when possible, to help reduce service costs.
When satellite signal is the only option, look for military communication services leveraging LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellite networks. LEO satellites are located closer to Earth than GEO (Geosynchronous Equatorial Orbit) satellites, resulting in a shorter transmission path, stronger signals, lower latency, and quicker registration time.
Iridium® is an LEO satellite network provider with 66 globally positioned satellites. Each of the Iridium® satellites is linked to as many as four others, creating a seamless network connection. This network routes traffic among satellites to ensure continuous global coverage, even in areas where traditional networks are unavailable.
Communication & Fleet Tracking
Using a single service solution for military communication and fleet tracking helps reduce operational strain and downtime needed for installation and training. A low SWAP device offers flexible mounting options for easy access, discrete placement, or multi-use purposes, including portability. Look for devices that have several ports for sensors, phone lines, and a power source.
For fleet tracking, telemetry, diagnostics, and data management, a device with legacy connectors provides you with a broader range of data collection and remote fleet management capabilities. POTS (Plain Ordinary Telephone Service), PTT (Push-to-Talk), and VoIP (Voice over IP) options are available with these types of military communication systems, so look for services that best meet your needs. A separate, DOD-compatible docking station may be required if over-the-air security is a concern. The 9575A Docking Station by Blue Sky Network is the only docking station that supports General Dynamics’ Iridium 9575A satellite phone handset. This docking station also allows for easy integration into existing POTS telephone systems.
Fleet Management Software
With a comprehensive device in place (enabling two-way voice and data traffic), you will need a platform to measure and manage results. Select a service that comes equipped with a secure, cloud-based web portal. The ideal military communication and fleet management ecosystem sends real-time information back and forth, presenting it in an easy-to-read dashboard and customizable user interface.
Compliance and Regulatory Standards
Ensuring your solution meets the compliance, regulatory, and safety standards of your mission is critical. Many government entities require levels of certification or compliance within an industry, including for specific vehicle or asset use, duration of vehicle or asset use, and/or use while in a geographic location.
No matter the size of your mission or military communication needs, having a scalable solution can help improve operational efficiency through automated reporting, alert settings, and easy-to-use messaging tools. For example, when an exception event occurs, automatically notify the team or select members of the group. These notifications can be in the form of SMS messages, emails, and automated voice recordings and can usually be created and modified on your fleet command center software.
The Blue Sky Network Advantage
Blue Sky Network products and software solutions use the Iridium® satellite network to enable real-time military communications and fleet management. Intelligence, reconnaissance, and other mission-critical operations are effectively achieved through Blue Sky Network’s suite of services and are trusted by organizations around the world. Blue Sky Network’s military communication solutions meet several aviation and fleet management standards, including:
- Compliance with U.S. Forestry Service Standards
- Compliance with AS9100/ISO9001 Standards
- Compliance with NASA Standards
- AES 256 Encryption
- DO-160G Standards
- NVIS Compliance — MIL3009
- Lockheed Martin OEM — C-130
- Sikorsky OEM — UH-60
- Compliance with United Nations (UN) Standards
Military Communication Hardware
Blue Sky Network offers a variety of FAA-approved, fixed installation GPS tracking devices for the aviation industry. Portable tracking devices are also available, complete with internal and external antenna options for low-cost flight tracking and military communication for operators who do not require a fixed installation. The HawkEye 7200A satellite tracking device meets and exceeds the proposed International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS) required performance criteria for Transport Aircraft.
For land-based missions, Blue Sky Network’s HawkEye 5500 is a dual-mode, real-time tracking and vehicle management solution. It offers full integration of on-board systems, support for both light and heavy-duty vehicles, two-way messaging, a remote emergency switch, audible alerts, and customizable application integration.
Maritime military communication is supported by products such as the HawkEye 6300 which enables live ship tracking from anywhere in the world. The easy-to-install boat tracking device comes with various mounting options for both covert and non-covert military operations. With the associated app, the HawkEye 6300 also lets you send and receive short emails and SMS messages via Bluetooth from any Android or iOS device.
Scalable Software Solution
SkyRouter® is Blue Sky Network’s comprehensive fleet management solution that can track, monitor, and communicate with all your assets, anywhere in the world, from one interface. This cloud-based platform works with Blue Sky Network hardware to provide a secure web interface that displays positions on various overlay maps. It also handles two-way message traffic, events, alerts, and telematics data.
For more information regarding military communication solutions provided by Blue Sky Network, visit www.blueskynetwork.com.
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