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In today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, maintaining seamless communication is critical for the success of military operations. Low Earth Orbit Satellites can help.
Military welfare, which encompasses the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of soldiers, sailors, and aviators, both on and off the battlefield has emerged as a top priority for modern armed forces.
To achieve this, reliable and efficient communication plays a pivotal role, ensuring that those on the frontline remain connected – not only to operational HQs but also to their families, support systems including finances and vital resources for personal and professional development. In challenging and often hazardous environments, communication with peers becomes crucial in maintaining a strong and motivated fighting force.
This new generation of military personnel have grown up in a connected world with social media and gaming at their fingertips – always on and always connected. This increased level of connectivity directly impacts the well-being of military personnel and their overall morale.
Initiatives encompass a range of aspects, from health and safety to emotional support, but few are as pervasive and impactful as communication connectivity.
A Paradigm Shift with Modern-day Communication Technology from Space
Traditionally, military communications heavily relied on geostationary satellites for effective, long-range communications. Now with the advancements of low-Earth-orbit (LEO) connectivity, this has brought about a paradigm shift in military communications. Orbiting at lower altitudes LEO satellites offer low latency, providing troops with near-instantaneous connectivity.
This advantage is a game-changer for those in the field, at sea or even in the air, allowing them to make video calls, access critical data, and engage in seamless communication with minimal delay. As technology evolves, LEO satellite networks will only become more efficient and cost-effective, further enhancing their role in welfare.
Heightening Operational Effectiveness and Military Welfare through LEO Satellite Connectivity
The ability to provide connectivity to armed forces is a transformative capability– on and off the battlefield.
On the battlefield, which is an ever-changing and dynamic environment, timely and accurate information is crucial for military personnel to make informed decisions that can mean the difference between success and failure. With LEO satellites, such as OneWeb’s global constellation network, deployed forces can strengthen operational preparedness and situational awareness through access to up-to-date intelligence, maps, and mission-critical information in real time – enabling them to respond swiftly to evolving situations.
In addition, seamless communication between various units and HQs allows for better coordination and synchronisation of efforts.
In areas where troops are far from traditional communication infrastructure, or during disaster relief operations where networks have been damaged, LEO satellite connectivity bridges the gap, offering a more reliable, agile and robust communication support system.
Then off the battlefield, reliable internet connection extends to encompass mental health benefits too.
Long deployments and separation from loved ones can take a toll on the mental health of military personnel. Connectivity via LEO satellites can help alleviate the stress of isolation by allowing those in the armed forces to stay connected to their families, friends, and support systems. A simple video call or message can go a long way in boosting morale and fostering mental resilience.
Moreover, LEO satellite connectivity enables access to educational and recreational content, offering troops a much-needed escape from the challenges of their environment. Access to educational resources can contribute to professional development, improving job satisfaction and long-term career prospects. A well-rounded approach to welfare that incorporates mental health support and access to knowledge is fast becoming a superior strategy.
A great example is evident with the British Forces Broadcasting Service, who is championing this approach and seeing real success as a result. Its MiPlayer Edge delivers enhanced media services to the UK Armed Forces even in the most remote and austere locations by connecting to OneWeb’s LEO satellite network.
LEO satellite networks will give militaries access to high-speed, low-latency broadband connectivity when on the move or while stationary. In OneWeb’s case, it enables this through its family of network terminals that can connect to its global satellite constellation anywhere in the world and at any time. OneWeb promises to provide game-changing levels in connectivity with end users benefitting from data throughput as high as 196mbps and latency levels as low as 70ms.
As we look towards the future, the integration of LEO satellite technology into military operations will continue to shape the landscape of troop welfare. By recognising the importance of connectivity in maintaining a strong and motivated fighting force, armed forces can leverage LEO satellites to create a more agile, adaptable, and connected military that is prepared to meet the challenges of a rapidly evolving world.
Charlie Clark is the Director of Government at OneWeb.