Boeing FAB-T Team Completes Prototype Software-Defined Radio for U.S. Air Force
The Boeing Company's [NYSE: BA] Family of Advanced Beyond-line-of-sight Terminals program (FAB-T) has successfully completed the hardware and software integration of a Block 4 Software-Defined Radio (SDR) for the U.S. Air Force B-2 Bomber program. The prototype system, delivered to the Air Force in September, supports B-2-specific Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) integration efforts.
The FAB-T family includes software-defined radios, antennas and associated user interface hardware that will provide the government with a powerful system capable of hosting a multitude of waveforms that accommodate data rates in excess of 300 Megabits per second. Once operational, FAB-T will provide critical, secure beyond line-of-sight communications capability for warfighters via various satellites that support military forces.
"We're building a networked satellite command and control system that will serve the warfighter in the most difficult situations," said Jim Dodd, Boeing's Anaheim-based FAB-T program manager. "Block 4 is a significant step toward delivering that capability."
The system has demonstrated compatibility with the Extremely High Frequency Low Data Rate (EHF LDR) waveform and forms the basis for future AEHF waveforms to be incorporated in additional Block developments. The demonstration of the EHF waveform and its associated protocols is a key milestone in the AEHF program, ensuring the government of a platform capable of hosting new waveforms being developed as part of the Transformational Satellite Communications program, as well as a survivable Command and Control capability for the next generation AEHF satellite constellation.
FAB-T is intended to provide strategic forces with a multi-mission capable family of software-defined radios that use a common open system architecture to link to different satellites and enable information exchange between ground, air and space platforms. FAB-T represents a key building block in Boeing's vision of the integrated battlespace of the future, where networked information and communications' systems provide a competitive edge to decision-makers and military personnel.
The initial development phase involves creating a FAB-T system that will fulfill operational terminal requirements for the Milstar and Advanced EHF Satellite systems. Increment 2 will develop terminals to support Wideband Gapfiller System operations on surveillance aircraft including Global Hawk and Predator, with other platforms to follow.
Waveforms supported by FAB-T will include the Extremely High Frequency (EHF) waveforms, Advanced EHF (AEHF), Global Broadcast System (GBS), Ka-band WGS\TSAT waveforms and Ku/Common Data Link (CDL) waveforms.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $30.8 billion business. It provides network-centric system solutions to its global military, government, and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer; a foremost developer of advanced concepts and technologies; a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in sustainment solutions and launch services.