Viasat’s Government Systems division provides U.S. and coalition military forces with a range of advanced communications technology. Here’s a quick description of one of them: MIDS
Critical to supporting Link 16 tactical data link networks is Viasat’s Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS). First introduced in the late 1990s, MIDS comprises a family of terminals providing warfighters across land, air and sea simultaneous access to Link 16, Tactical Air Navigation (TACAN) and other advanced waveform communications.
Today, MIDS remains a Program of Record with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The family of systems includes the MIDS Low Volume Terminal 1 (LVT(1) class; LVT(2) class; and MIDS Joint Tactical Radio System).
Viasat, which has played a leading role in the development of Link 16 MIDS terminals, is under contract with the U.S. Navy MIDS International Program Office to deliver NSA and EMC-Certified Link 16 MIDS terminals to U.S. and international partners.
Viasat’s MIDS-LVT(1) is a Link 16 Airborne Terminal which includes COMSEC and TACAN modules to provide aircraft with flexible and reliable communications for theater-level air-to-air fighter exchanges.
Featuring a modular VME architecture, the reprogrammable terminal provides access to all operational modes of the Link 16 network to support the mission requirements of DoD and coalition forces.
The terminal has been designed to support enhanced throughput — a new capability that increases data rate capacity from 115.2 Kbps up to and above 800 Kbps.
Providing the same capabilities as the LVT(1), the MIDS-LVT(2) Link 16 Ground Terminal also enables warfighters to communicate in secure data. The LVT(2) includes an integrated cooling and power supply unit. Both models have a selection of Bus Interfaces appropriate for the platform environments.
Finally, the four-channel MIDS JTRS also provides access to Link 16 (with all of the recent advancements), TACAN and advanced waveform communications that satisfy the Joint Aerial Network – Tactical Edge (JAN-TE) requirements.
The software defined radio comprises a plug-and-play design, which ensures interoperability with legacy MIDS-LVT terminals to allow for the exchange of data in real-time at the tactical edge.