Defense Satellite Communications System
Definition/Scope: (JP 1-02) (DOD) The Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) is a system of geosynchronous military communications satellites that provide high data rate communications for military forces, diplomatic corps, and the White House. The DSCS provides long-haul super-high frequency 7/8 gigahertz voice and high data rate communications for fixed and transportable terminals, and extends mobile service to a limited number of ships and aircraft. As the backbone of the U.S. military's global satellite communications capabilities, the DSCS constellation provides nuclear-hardened, anti-jam, high data rate, long haul communications to users worldwide. DSCS supports the defense communications system; the Army's ground mobile forces; the Air Force's airborne terminals; Navy ships at sea; the White House Communications Agency; the State Department; and special users. Overall DSCS responsibility resides in the United States Strategic Command. The first DSCS III satellite was launched in October 1982. The primary on-orbit DSCS constellation is comprised of five DSCS III satellites in geosynchronous orbit. The final DSCS III satellite, B6, was launched in August 2003. In all, DSCS III successfully launched 14 satellites, the majority of which are still operational. The final 4 of 14 satellites received Service Life Enhancement Program (SLEP) modifications. These changes provide substantial capacity improvements through higher power amplifiers, more sensitive receivers, and additional antenna connectivity options. The DSCS communications payload includes six independent Super High Frequency (SHF) transponder channels that cover a 500 MHz bandwidth. Three receive and five transmit antennas provide selectable options for Earth coverage, area coverage and/or spot beam coverage. A special purpose single-channel transponder is also on board. The DSCS III system provides the capabilities needed for effective implementation of worldwide military communications. It can adapt rapidly to dynamic operating conditions and perform under stressed environments.
Used For:Defense Satellite Communications
Broader Terms:Defense Communications System
Narrower Terms:Advanced Narrowband System
Related Terms:Air Force Materiel Command