Partnership to build satellite net

Space and Missile Defense Command

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Under a recently announced partnership, Tachyon Inc. and the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command's Space Directorate are developing mobile products for two-way, broadband data networking communications.

The new products will be based on Tachyon's Internet Protocol-over-satellite technology, which the Space and Missile Defense Battle Lab will re-package for rapid and mobile deployment, said Kirby Brown, director of the Space Directorate.

Brown said that space-based products would be "key enablers" of 21st-century warfare, and the Tachyon partnership would help "the Battle Lab's ability to quickly provide the war fighter with the benefits of space-based technology."

The development partnership is designed to encourage the early introduction of commercially available technology to the Defense Department. That means the resulting products must comply with DOD and other federal agencies' communications requirements, including network security and geographical reach, said Mark Gercenstein, Tachyon's president and chief executive officer.

Gercenstein said the agreement marked the entry of San Diego-based Tachyon's commercial applications into the military broadband data networking market, and "sets the stage for us to adapt the resulting new products for our commercial customers."

The first products resulting from the alliance will be unveiled at this summer's Millennium Challenge 2002, a major tactical exercise that assesses how effectively the armed forces can deploy a rapid, decisive operation this decade.

The U.S. Joint Forces Command runs the challenge, which will take place in July and August at the military's western U.S. training ranges.

Tachyon and the Space Directorate are independently funding their own efforts under the partnership, which was announced Jan. 15.

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