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Boeing Develops Common Software To Reduce Risk For TSAT

Interoperability was accomplished through the creation of an Application Program Interface (API), a common interface that enables separate and sometimes incompatible elements to coordinate effectively by making these different hardware and system elements invisible to the application software.
by Staff Writers
El Segundo CA (SPX) Nov 18, 2008
Boeing has announced the successful demonstration of a common software application that can support the space and ground segments of the Transformational Satellite Communications System (TSAT).

The demonstration is one of three being conducted by Boeing and partner Raytheon as part of TSAT risk-reduction efforts funded by the U.S. Air Force.

"Boeing has built a single software program that will allow all of TSAT's space and ground systems to work together, eliminating the need for multiple software programs to run different operations," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems.

"Boeing's approach saves our customer the cost of developing multiple software programs for ground and space operations, while removing the risk inherent with having two or more different software programs performing similar functions."

Boeing leveraged its expertise in developing software for satellite communications and onboard satellite operations into a collaborative effort with Raytheon, an industry leader in developing ground control software.

During the demonstration conducted at the Boeing Transformational Communications Laboratory in El Segundo, Calif., the software application ran in simulated space and actual ground computing environments without the need for modifications. Typically, these types of applications require separate suites of software, increasing operational risk and potentially escalating costs.

Interoperability was accomplished through the creation of an Application Program Interface (API), a common interface that enables separate and sometimes incompatible elements to coordinate effectively by making these different hardware and system elements invisible to the application software.

This ensures that programs used on the satellites and in the ground station computers execute required missions without errors that commonly occur when incompatible technologies are combined.

TSAT is a major element for the U.S. Department of Defense's secure, global communications network, providing survivable, protected, high-capacity, Internet-like connections for communication on the move; airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; and secure, assured communications for control of strategic assets.

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