Not all SATCOM is Created Equal: A Field Trip to Tampa MicrowaveThank you to Tampa Microwave, the host organization of our most recent Corporate Partner Field Trip!

Our Field Trips provide Global SOF Foundation Corporate Partners, along with local International LNOs, an opportunity to learn about other capabilities within the network. We strive to have at least six Field Trips per year–more if we can make it work with everyone’s busy schedules.

Tampa Microwave invited us to their facility in St. Petersburg, Florida on December 14th. A fairly unassuming office building from the outside, the TM facility was surprisingly sprawling once you were badged up and past the reception.

Not all SATCOM is Created Equal: A Field Trip to Tampa Microwave

Our generous host, Mr. Harry “X” Xenitelis, quickly kicked off our tour, bringing us around to see some of their cool new prototypes (hint: floating satellite terminals), development areas, factory space, and some cool wall art that showed the history of TM. We were ultimately led to their briefing room, where we were glad to see an array of pastries, coffee, teas, and other goodies awaiting us.

As X began his TM capabilities brief, he let us know that he expected to have an active discussion versus a traditional briefing; fortunately for X, no brief is “inactive” when Stu is in the room.

Not all SATCOM is Created Equal: A Field Trip to Tampa Microwave

The Field Trip went thirty minutes long, but the conversation held in those hours was incredibly informative and truly drove home the key point that TM wanted to share: not all SATCOM is created equal.

This was highlighted in many ways:

  • TM focuses on what is important to SOF. They know that technology needs to work (reliably), be light/small/fast, have a low signature, and be easy to use. These are all key factors that TM keeps in mind while developing their SOF products.
  • TM doesn’t subscribe to an “our products only” mindset. They know that technology and tools need to be interoperable to be successful. They also do what they can to ensure that if new technology arises, an entirely new system doesn’t need to be purchased. “Vertical modularity” was a fun representative term that we coined.
  • TM equipment requires minimal training. And the training is the same for their SATCOM terminals at every size.
  • TM has met European standards for reduced use of hazardous substances. Through a complex process, TM meets all of the specifications for sale in Europe, while maintaining its cutting edge capabilities at competitive pricing.

Not all SATCOM is Created Equal: A Field Trip to Tampa Microwave

We rounded out this Field Trip talking about the future. As technology continues to develop, the SATCOM community is expecting some exciting advancements in the next few years, to include anti-jam “protected” SATCOM, updated modems, and Lower Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites. Fortunately for TM, and our global SOF community, they are actively preparing for those advancements and prepared to take them on.


Want to learn more about Tampa Microwave? Visit their website or contact our GSF representative, X.

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