Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center will demonstrate ways to make future protected military satellite communications capabilities more affordable with three awards received Sept. 28 under the Protected Military Satellite Communication Design for Affordability Risk Reduction initiative. Under the 10-month, firm fixed-price contracts, the company will develop an unclassified, government-owned waveform specification and demonstrate its feasibility through component-level demonstrations. Design and demonstrate a space/ground modem at the component level through analyses, software simulations, waveform implementation and a hardware demonstration. Demonstrate gateway affordability by using commercial-off-the-shelf components combined with software emulation. The demonstration also will show the ability to interface with a mission management system, integration into an information assurance architecture, as well as other key gateway functions and capabilities. "Only today's protected satellite communications ensure connectivity that's highly resistant to interference and detection in a growing threat environment that includes many different types of physical, electronic and cyber threats," said Stuart Linsky, vice president, communication systems, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "By leveraging the government's investment in these protected communication technologies, tomorrow's tactical, protected satellite communications will be able to provide these capabilities at no more cost than unprotected military satellite communications. This will revolutionize our national networks, connecting platforms to warfighters and decision makers during diplomacy through enforcement".