Boeing 787 2011
A Boeing 787 Dreamliner Reuters

The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) announced on Monday that it has developed a special type of signal that will allow the military to transmit over civilian satellites, expanding the military’s potential to access secure communications affordably.

In a test conducted Dec. 15, Boeing sent a government-protected signal through the sixth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS-6) satellite, and military and Boeing engineers confirmed that the experiment succeeded and met all the targets for accuracy and strength. As such, the technology could revolutionize the way different parts of the U.S. military communicate with each other in the future.

The test follows a similar demonstration transmission conducted in July through the ViaSat-1 commercial satellite, showing that the technology offers an affordable option for enhancing anti-jam communications using existing commercial and U.S. government satellites and terminals. "This technology boosts the ability of warfighters to send protected information without enemy data interference by using currently available satellites that do not have anti-jamming technology of their own," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems. "The two demonstrations show the technology is flexible and able to be quickly deployed at a much lower cost than building a new satellite."

Both signals were sent using a commercial modem that Viasat-1 modified with anti-jamming features. Boeing plans to continue developing the technology to work on all platforms.