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Desert Storm sends voice, data, video via mobile satellite system.

In the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm, a variety of weapons systems were heralded as having changed the face of the war.

Patriot missiles, Apache helicopters, "smart" bombs, Tomahawk cruise missiles, and a gamut of fighter aircraft dominated television and print news coverage of the campaign in the Persian Gulf.

Undoubtedly, new weapons technology has changed the way wars will be fought. Other, less visible, military systems also will profoundly affect the way future warfare will be conducted.

For example, communications systems will always be a vital part of any military operation.

Some of the most successful communications systems used in Desert Storm were based on satellite technology. Trojan-SPIRIT (Special Purpose Integrated Remote Intelligence Terminal) was one of them.

The project also embraced issues that are becoming pervasive in the world today: instantaneous communications and international cooperation.

The Trojan-SPIRIT communications system, (a modular satellite communications package mounted on a trailer), allowed highly mobile front-line personnel to communicate directly and virtually instantaneously with command and control officers in the U.S. Supplied by GTE Spacenet, the system can transmit data, voice, and imagery.

During operations in the Persian Gulf, the Trojan-SPIRIT performed numerous data communications applications, including many that were sensitive.

The impact of satellite-based communications capabilities was immediate in the Persian Gulf. By the end of the conflict, some of the Trojan-SPIRIT units had been towed, alongside armor, into Kuwait, to transmit crucial information directly from front line units.

The 14 units used in Operation Desert Storm were operated by the Army Information Systems Command. They employed 2.4 meter transportable satellite terminals and associated equipment mounted on trailers designed to be pulled by Army "humvees" (High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles) and 2.5 ton trucks. Some of the units were air transported by Chinook helicopters.

The units also included redundant satellite terminal electronic components and back-up air conditioning units. Using commercial off-the-shelf equipment packaged for military applications, the Trojan-SPIRIT system provided a more immediate and less costly response to the military's data communications requirements.

The systems' satellite link was an international undertaking, involving both U.S. and European facilities. Two Intelsat satellites serving the Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions and a mix of terrestrial facilities in Europe were networked in record time to place the communications system on-line.

Germany's Deutsche Bundespost Telekom (DBP) was instrumental in establishing Trojan circuits into and out of the theater of operations. The DBP established the essential links needed between Dec. 20 and Jan. 15, one third-the time normally taken to do so.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Government
Publication:Communications News
Date:Sep 1, 1991
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