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This report assesses military use of commercial wideband satellites by evaluating their effectiveness across several characteristics defined by the United States Space Command. The cost of buying or leasing commercial systems is then found and compared with the cost of buying military systems with commercial characteristics.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    DoD Communications Demand Projections

  • Chapter Three

    Meeting Military Demand with Commercial Satellites: Contact and Evaluation

  • Chapter Four

    Can Commercial Systems Meet Military Criteria? Capacity and Coverage

  • Chapter Five

    Military Theater Use of Commercial Satellites and Implications for Flexibility, Interoperability, and Access and Control

  • Chapter Six

    Do Commercial Systems Meet the Military Criteria of Quality of Service and Protection?

  • Chapter Seven

    Prices of Commercial and Military Capacity

  • Chapter Eight

    Variance in Military Communications Demand

  • Chapter Nine

    Investment Strategy Alternatives

  • Chapter Ten


  • Appendix A

    Standard Frequency Designations

  • Appendix B

    Current DoD Communications Satellites

  • Appendix C

    Graphical Method for Communications Planning Under Uncertainty

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The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND's Project AIR FORCE unit.

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