Global broadcast service

Global broadcast service

Lynn Epperson

Global Broadcast Service is a high-speed, one-way information flow of high-volume data to units deployed, or in garrison, and is a component of the military-satellite communications architecture. The GBS system is not intended to replace existing MILSATCOM systems. Instead, it supports existing requirements by providing the capability to distribute large-information products to user platforms thereby relieving that burden from critical two-way SATCOM systems.

Information products are developed and distributed using a “Smart Push” and/or “User Pull” philosophy to avoid saturating deployed forces with “information overload.” This capability allows existing and planned satellite-communications systems to support the two-way communications needs of force elements while providing a means for GBS users to request information. Information products such as imagery, weather, mapping, logistics, national intelligence and theater intelligence are assembled and broadcast to the user. The information may be in the form of video (classified or unclassified) or data (classified or unclassified). The information sources are identified and contacted as part of the overall GBS responsibilities.

GBS operations are currently supported using Limited Rate Initial Production components operating within an Asynchronous Transfer Mode-based architecture, which has become obsolete and difficult to maintain. A product improvement effort is being implemented to upgrade GBS LRIPs to an Internet Protocol-based architecture. The critical aspects of the GBS IP upgrade are the fixed Satellite Broadcast Managers, Receive Broadcast Managers, Theater Injection Points and improved software. A baseline-hardware design was selected for the Army IP Transportable Ground Receive Suites consisting of three

transit cases–two for the antenna assemblage, called the Next Generation Receive Terminal, and one for the RBM components (88XR). The 88XR case weighs less than 88 pounds while each of the NGRT cases weigh less than 74 pounds. This transition to IP will provide modularity, expandability, enhanced capability, dynamic-bandwidth allocation and the application of Industry standards, all significant improvements over the current capabilities. Equipment Training teams will replace the ATM components with the IP TGRS and provide associated training beginning in mid fiscal year 2005.

Ongoing efforts related to the development and implementation of the IP version upgrade are being conducted by Raytheon Corporation, Reston, Va. These include:

–Upgrade of the fixed Satellite Broadcast Managers at Norfolk, Va.; and Wahiawa, Hawaii, during FY04/05.

–Development and production of the IP 88XR RBMs.

–Development and production of the antenna assembly, known as the Next Generation Receive Terminal, in cooperation with Atlantic Microwave Corporation, Bolton, Mass.

–Development of software required at the SBMs and RBM suites. Spiral 2 software is the baseline for this effort and it builds on Spiral I capabilities. Spiral 1 includes the following SBM functions: manual beam planning, dynamic beam allocation within enclaves, independent broadcast streams (scalable), and mission satisfaction reports; it also includes the following RBM functions: auto-FTP push, electronic program guide, and disk space management. Spiral 2 functions add the following: queued/meta-queued-file transfer service, mirrored-file transfer and Web services, IP-based video service and streaming-packet service.

–Development and upgrade of the two currently fielded Army TIPs to an IP configuration, and the production of a third IP TIP (FY04-FY06).

–Initial Developmental Testing and Operational Testing sessions were conducted in December 2003, March and July 2004 and have all demonstrated significant successes with IP broadcast and the new IP TGRS components. Follow on DT/ OT and Multiservice Operational Test & Evaluation are scheduled for FY05.

For more information on the GBS program contact Lynn Epperson, DSN 780-2352, commercial (706) 791-2352 or email:


AMC–Atlantic Microwave Corporation

ATM–Asynchronous Transfer Mode


FY–fiscal year

GBS–Global Broadcast Service

DT–Developmental Testing

EPG–electronic program guide

IP–Internet Protocol

LRIP–Limited Rate Initial Production

MILSATCOM–military satellite communications

MOT&E–Multi-service Operational Test & Evaluation

NET–New Equipment Training

NGRT–Next Generation Receive Terminal

OT–Operational Testing

RBM–Receive Broadcast Managers

SBM–Satellite Broadcast Managers

TGRS–Transportable Ground Receive Suites

TIP–Theater Injection Points

COPYRIGHT 2004 U.S. Army Signal Center

COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group