Family of Advanced Beyond Line-of-Sight-Terminal
To reduce the number of military satellite communications development programs, the Family of Advanced Beyond Line-of-Sight-Terminal (FAB-T) Program is an evolutionary acquisition program providing a family of Beyond Line-of-Sight (BLOS) military satellite communications (MILSATCOM) terminals. FAB-T covers ground- and aircraft-based equipment with an open architecture and a variety of missions, under the direction of the Air Force MILSATCOM Terminal Programs Office (MTPO) of the U.S. Air Force acting as agent for the U.S. Department of Defense. The architecture is shared with the Joint Tactical Radio System.
Increment 1 established the architecture, which include:
- wideband, with global communications at high data rates
- narrowband, up to 56 Kbps but with an extremely high probability of connectivity under stress. Existing capability here is in the Navy UHF Follow-On (UFO) satellites, and will grow into the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS)
It includes EHF connectivity and backward compatibility for legacy payloads for the B-2 Spirit, B-52 and RC-135 family aircraft. The program also develops the replacements to the existing ground-fixed, ground transportable and airborne (E-4B/E-6B) Command Post Terminals.
They work with the Space Advanced EHF (AEHF) satellite and the Wideband Global Satellite (WGS), and were to have operated with the Transformational Satellite System (TSAT). Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has announced plans to cancel TSAT, which is still in design. Wideband satellites were planned for rates of 200 and 274 Mbps, over radio, in the near term, while TSAT, using laser communications, would initially operate at 1 Gbps and then 10 Gbps.
Ground Multi-Band Terminal
The first wideband device is the Ground Multi-band Terminal (GMT), a tactical station operating in four C, X, Ku and Ka. Dedicated military frequencies are in Ka and X bands, while shared military-civilian frequencies are in C, Ku, and X bands
FAB-T Increment 2 extends the Increment 1 architecture for high data rate operation to support high altitude endurance Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platforms with imagery and video.
The High Data Rate-Radio Frequency (HDR-RF) Ground Terminal program is an evolutionary upgrade to the GMT. The program will provide the high data rate SATCOM needed to support the ISR community with High Bandwidth High Throughput (HBHT) capability. HDR-RF Ground Terminals will be interoperable with FAB-T Increment 2.
Narrowband terminals use Demand Assigned Multiple Access (DAMA) techology, directed by the Joint Staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for sharing parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. The Air Force is currently fielding the new Airborne Integrated Terminal Group (AITG), which provides communications for bombers, ISR aircraft and other missions.
- Factsheet: Air Force MILSATCOM Terminal Programs Office (MTPO), Los Angeles Air Force Base
- COL Don Robbins, Commander, Wideband SATCOM Group MILSATCOM Systems Wing (October 2008), MILSATCOM Wideband Product Line: Enabling Net-Centric Warfighters, p. 8
- Family of Advanced Beyond Line-of-Sight Terminals (FAB-T), Boeing Integrated Defense Systems