For the first time, The Boeing Company's Global Mobile Service is showing its ability to provide a world-wide data service. This advanced communications capability was demonstrated in the U.S. Air Force's annual Joint Expeditionary Forces Experiment (JEFX '99).
The showcase involved more than 30 aircraft in "live-fly" exercises at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, and Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Aug. 28-Sept. 2. Boeing equipped an E-3 AWACS aircraft and two KC-135 tankers with dual-polarization, switchable phased array antennas.
JEFX '99 demonstrated how emerging command and control capabilities enhances the U.S. Air Force's ability to decisively halt invading forces. Global Mobile Service helped to achieve this by providing encrypted data service to all three aircraft and television service to both KC-135 aircraft. The encrypted data was received at the AWACS Prototype Data Facility at the Global Mobile Service Center in Tukwila, Wash. The data then was routed to a satellite uplink provider, put on a satellite, and broadcast to the aircraft.
The system is compatible with fixed satellite service transponders that can be leased around the world on short notice. This means the military can deploy its forces around the globe while in flight to a designated area.
This is the second year Boeing has outfitted aircraft with phased array antennas to support the Air Force exercise. Last year, the antennas were capable of receiving only satellite signals within the U.S. This year, the antenna systems were upgraded to receive satellite signals from the rest of the world.
The successful demonstration at JEFX '99 proves Global Mobile Service's ability to provide a worldwide data service to military, government, and commercial and business jet customers.