The Way Forward
The Way Forward
The MILSATCOM community is already on a path to develop Digital IF into the best possible proposition for the community and the warfighter. This is the present status and the plan to move forward.
Study and Prototyping
CERDEC S&TDC is presently managing a digital terminal architecture study and a preliminary prototyping effort. The results of these efforts will be a positive proof-of concept. The lessons learned will feed and guide a subsequent open commercial standardization effort.
Government Stakeholder Endorsement
The Digital IF initiative is presently seeking the explicit endorsement of key Government MILSATCOM stakeholders who recognize the value of an appropriate Digital IF standard.
Industry Stakeholder Endorsement
With Government endorsements in place, the Digital IF initiative will seek the endorsement of industry MILSATCOM stakeholders who recognize the value of collaborating with the Government on an appropriate open commercial Digital IF interface standard.
Open Commercial Standardization
With Government and industry endorsements in place, Government and industry stakeholders will be invited to participate in an open commercial standardization process. This process will begin with brainstorming, continue with architecture, CONOPS and feature definitions, and proceed with waveform definition. Open standardization must include provisions for testing, in terms of standards compliance as well as performance. Certification, network planning, terminal configuration, BIT and all aspects of operation must be addressed. The objective will be a Digital IF interface standard capable of delivering maximum comprehensive value to the community and to the warfighter.
Digital IF procurement involves more than just “citing the standard.” Procurement must address standards compliance testing and performance testing. Certification and network planning will change, as will terminal equipment configuration, CMA, BIT and all aspects of operation. These will all be changes for the better, and we must all be prepared to support these changes.
Growth and Revision
As Digital IF terminal subsystems and systems are deployed, lessons will be learned and feedback will be gathered. As user requirements continue to grow and change over time, the standard will be revised and updated.
Digital IF is a clear, bounded, manageable standardization effort. It is reasonably achieaveable, with a high expectation of success. It is hoped that success in Digital IF standardization serves as a model and impetus for further government-industry collaboration on more challenging projects.
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