(CARLSBAD, Calif., Dec. 18) -- ViaSat Inc. (Nasdaq: VSAT) has received a $4.6 million order from the Defense Communication and Army Transmission Systems (PM DCATS) for MD-1366 Enhanced Bandwidth Efficient Modems (EBEM). The modem is the new Department of Defense standard for high-speed satellite communications at fixed sites, on Navy ships, and for the future Wideband Global System (formerly Wideband Gapfiller). The order for 747 strategic (fixed site) modems brings the total ViaSat orders received to approximately 2,000. Delivery is scheduled to be completed by October 2008.
ViaSat and the U.S. government also have recently completed the First Article Test phase of the MD-1366, verifying performance of the modem through approximately 2,000 different test conditions in the lab, in different operating environments, and onboard a U.S. Navy ship in a one-week sea trial. The tests verified the 64 kbps to 155 Mbps data rate operating range of the modem and its compatibility with a variety of legacy military communications equipment. The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has recognized that the EBEM is Defense Satellite Communications Systems (DSCS) modem certified. The unique features and capabilities of the EBEM will be submitted to the MIL-STD-188-165 Working Group to be incorporated into the 165B release of the military standard.
The primary advantage of the MD-1366 over other military satcom modems is technology that enables users to put more carriers on a single transponder. The modem features tighter carrier spacing to save bandwidth, improved signal-to-noise performance for power efficiency, and includes more advanced modulation and code rate options to optimize bandwidth efficiency regardless of the link conditions, whether it might be heavy weather or other variations in satellite signal strength.
"We have developed a state of the art and bandwidth efficient modem that will benefit both the strategic and tactical users," said Johnny Ng, EBEM program manager at PM DCATS. "The government intends to implement an automatic transmit power control and Ethernet IP into the current baseline."
"We analyzed a wide range of potential scenarios and our tests show that we can save significant dollars annually in leased bandwidth cost per circuit," said Mark Robinson, ViaSat MD-1366 program manager. "These awards are competitive procurements, similar to ViaSat's MIDS awards, and we see this additional award as a great indicator that we're building a strong position in this market through our performance."
The PM DCATS objective for the MD-1366 Enhanced Bandwidth Efficient Modem (EBEM) program is to develop a state-of-the-art modem that can support the communications, command and control requirements of today's highly mobile, joint U.S. forces using military and commercial satellites at C-, X-, Ku- and Ka-band frequencies.