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Boeing Selects Expand

ROSELAND, N.J. -- Expand Networks, recently positioned in Gartners Leaders Quadrant for WAN Optimization Controllers 2006, today announced that Boeing Advanced Systems has selected Expand’s Compass Platform for testing and optimization of VoIP and telemetry data for satellite networks to support the Orbital Express demonstration mission.

Orbital Express is a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program to demonstrate fully autonomous on-orbit satellite servicing capabilities. The Orbital Express mission is planned for launch in March 2007 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Orbital Express consists of Boeing’s Autonomous Space Transport Robotic Operations (ASTRO) servicing spacecraft; and Ball Aerospace’s NextSat, a prototypical modular next-generation serviceable client satellite.

Currently, ASTRO’s telemetry data is designed to be downlinked from the spacecraft to either the NASA Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) or the Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN) where it is backhauled onto the Orbital Express Ground Operations Network consisting of three T-1 lines. It is imperative that this data be distributed to all sites in near real-time in order to ensure Mission Operations coordination and accuracy. The combination of large amounts of data and VoIP traffic typically causes major congestion on T-1 lines. Expand’s compression and Quality of Service (QoS) protocols enable real-time delivery of telemetry data, as well as managing priority for VoIP calls.

“The objective is to demonstrate that the Orbital Express Mission Operation Ground Segment can perform from three facilities: Boeing in Huntington Beach, Calif.; Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico; and Boeing’s Tower 2 in Houston, Texas,” said Dennis Watts, project manager, Boeing Advanced Network and Space Systems. “We needed to develop a satellite Ground Segment network capable of handling operations over the three T-1 lines streaming Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and telemetry data. Efficiency is an integral part of our evaluation and it is important to have strong compression functionality along with QoS. Expand’s Compass Platform possesses a robust architecture in addition to their experience in government satellite markets.”

Expand Networks Inc.