In 2007, Australia joined the USA's Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) program, funded under JP2008 Phase 4. Australia funds the sixth WGS satellite and in return, has assured access to a proportion of the power and bandwidth across the entire global constellation.
A key consideration in the acquisition of SATCOM terminals is WGS performance certification. WGS performance certification requirements are based on US DoD Military Standards for SATCOM Interoperability and are necessary to ensure that SATCOM terminals operate over the space segment in an efficient manner, without causing interference to other users and adjacent satellites.
The majority of SATCOM terminals that the ADF acquires are produced overseas, designed and built to overseas standards. This poses some engineering challenges in ensuring that these systems meet relevant Australian standards, particularly Australian safety standards and environmental considerations.
About the Speaker
Mr John Lovatt is the Chief Engineer of the Satellite Communication System Program Office (SATCOM SPO), DMO. SATCOM SPO is responsible for the acquisition and and sustainment of the majority of the ADF's satellite communications systems, via the JP2008 series of major projects. John joined the SPO in 2003 during JP2008 Phase 3D, the acquisition of the Defence Payload Segment on board the Optus C1 satellite. From there he worked in the sustainment office, providing satellite engineering support to large fixed SATCOM earth stations, before transitioning to become the Engineering Manager on JP2008 Phase 3F, the acquisition of the Satellite Ground Station - West (SGS-W). In 2010, John became the Chief Engineer of the newly formed Australian SATCOM System Expert (SSE) office, responsible for the performance certification of all Australian SATCOM ground systems intended for use with the WGS system.