ViaSat was awarded a $1.65 million follow-up contract by the U.S. Marine Corps System Command to modify off-the-shelf Android phones with security enhancements.
ViaSat, based in Carlsbad, CA (News - Alert), will first develop a prototype of a trusted smartphone. By spring 2013, this technology is expected to go into production and be available in the summer. The security enhancements allow personnel to use regular phones and other mobile devices over regular mobile networks, but with added protection against cyber-attacks.
Although this production run is for military applications, ViaSat (News - Alert) has designed the system to provide secure communications for other government agencies and commercial customers.
ViaSat develops a number of communications solutions for government and commercial customers including: antenna systems, satellite networks, microwave and VoIP. They developed two communications solutions for government and military use that are noteworthy: Comm-on-the-Move and Comm-on-the-Pause.
Comm-on-the-Move provides communication to airborne military operations with HD streaming video. Global satellite coverage is available on several types of military aircrafts, manned or unmanned. This technology is useful in so many ways, providing quality video to search and rescue operations and to authorities who can observe battlefield action to make informed decisions.
Comm-on-the-Pause provides portable satellite communications systems for battlefield operations. Encrypted communication is possible using the AN/PSC-14 terminal. Accessing maps and other important data can also be done quickly.
In many ways, it is not surprising that ViaSat received the award to continue work on the mobile phone security modifications. Their product line and background in communications technologies with government and military applications is extensive. The location of their headquarters in San Diego County near several military installations also has to be a huge advantage in bidding.
Edited by Brooke Neuman