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DISA-managed network supports surveillance satellite communications

Air Force Space Command (AFSC) and the Diego Garcia tracking station (DGS) are using the Defense Information Systems Network (DISN) Converged Access (DCA) Lite Network to communicate with the Operationally Responsive Space-5 (ORS-5), a space surveillance satellite that launched on Aug. 26.

ORS-5 is a single-satellite constellation with a primary mission to provide surveillance of activity in the geosynchronous orbit belt – where communications satellites are typically found - for the 45th Space Wing.

While in orbit, the satellite is using the DCA Lite Network to transmit collected data to AFSC and its mission partners.

The network relies on a telemetry downlink upgraded with greater bandwidth to communicate between the tracking station and the satellite. The upgraded downlink, currently running at the highest rate of all satellites supported by the Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN), allows data to be transmitted faster.

“Without the circuit rate increase, AFSCN could not have supported ORS-5 at the Diego Garcia tracking station,” said Lester Vanbuskirk Jr., an AFSCN technical advisor.

DISA first deployed network equipment at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean; Okinawa, Japan; and Singapore to begin the process of sunsetting its DISN Asynchronous Transfer Mode System - a legacy transport network designed to exchange information between facilities, bases, and land masses.

The DCA Lite Network was officially commissioned by the DISA Pacific Field Command on April 18.

Posted Sept. 26, 2017