Advanced Satellite Network Technologies


SPACEWAY 3 is the world’s first satellite with
onboard traffic switching and routing capability.

A Giant Leap in Satellite Communications

Employing multi-spot beam technology and numerous other technology advances, the Ka-band, SPACEWAY® 3 satellite is the world’s first with onboard switching and routing, enabling communications directly between terminals in a single hop without requiring a central hub.

Enabling full mesh communications via compact terminals, SPACEWAY 3 meets a key requirement for deployed tactical forces, while providing ideal continuity of operations (COOP) services in the continental United States (CONUS).

Superior Technology

SPACEWAY 3 employs high-performance, onboard digital processing, packet switching, and spot beam technology to offer broadband speeds, bandwidth on demand, and mesh connectivity.

  • Point-to-Point Communications: SPACEWAY 3’s revolutionary onboard switching capability means it can receive, process, and route traffic directly to and from customer locations in a single hop, without using a hub. Onboard switching reduces delay, increases overall transmission efficiency, and enables point-to-point, or mesh, communications directly between customer sites.
  • Spot Beams: SPACEWAY 3’s unique phased array antenna creates 24 hopping spot beams at 440 Mbps, directly where the traffic needs to go.
  • Frequency Reuse: Similar to a cellular system that reuses frequencies throughout a coverage area, SPACEWAY 3 reuses frequencies across North America, yielding higher effective capacity at a lower cost.
Hughes is also currently engaged in a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), researching network-centric enterprise architecture validation of IP networking with the Regenerative Satellite Mesh (RSM-A) standard. The CRADA will determine how SPACEWAY 3 can support overall IP convergence to seamlessly integrate DoD SATCOM networking with the Global Information Grid (GIG).

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