Boeing recently demonstrated successful integration of its Protected Tactical Enterprise Service (PTES) software elements with an industry partner’s user terminal, proving technical maturity on the U.S. Space Force’s pathfinder program.
PTES provides ground-based Protected Tactical Waveform (PTW) processing, enabling secure operations and protected tactical communications coverage over Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellites – and eventually on commercial satellites – without spacecraft modification. PTW, the U.S. military’s jam resistant waveform, provides security features for data protection.
Making use of WGS military-unique features in conjunction with its wide bandwidth for PTW spread spectrum hopping, PTES-over-WGS provides the U.S. Department of Defense with crucial fleetwide protected communications anywhere on the globe. It mitigates interference and adversarial jamming for high-data-rate satellite communications in contested environments, creating greater resiliency and enabling missions in otherwise denied areas.
At the integration event, the latest in a series of incremental capability demonstrations, Boeing showcased PTES’ encryption capabilities in a virtual environment.
The successful demonstration validated the Boeing-developed key management system’s ability to interface with a PTW ground terminal. It also validated the network management software and virtualized mission planning components. These software elements combine to provide the mechanism for secure communication with the ground terminal.
In August 2021, Boeing and the Space Force successfully completed the PTES program’s first over-the-air forward-link demonstration using a PTW modem. The next over-the-air demonstration, which includes forward and return-links, is planned for later this year. Initial operational capability is slated for 2023.