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Space Systems


As the Navy’s preeminent laboratory for integrated command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) solutions, NIWC Pacific provides innovative capabilities for U.S. Navy operations in space, both by maximizing existing systems and by developing emerging technologies.

Space systems provide crucial capabilities in the areas of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), missile warning, environmental monitoring, satellite communications, and position, navigation, and timing (PNT). Together, these capabilities underpin the United States’ key military advantage—the ability to create a picture of the operating environment, then use that picture to dominate the battlespace in all domains.​

NIWC Pacific provides unique capabilities in the following areas:​

- Satellite communications
- Global position, navigation and timing systems
- Ground support system engineering
- Space command and control

In addition to supporting major space programs of record, NIWC Pacific is focused on developing space systems that assure their relevance in the future battlefield by incorporating dynamic constellations of heterogeneous, adaptive and reconfigurable platforms of various sizes and capabilities, all able to operate in denied or degraded environments.


Global positioning and navigation systems (GPNS): GPNS tasking primarily involves the NAVSTAR global positioning system, a space-based radio navigation system that provides position, velocity, and time, both globally and continually. NIWC Pacific engineers and scientists provide system engineering, and in-service engineering support, primarily to the Navigation Systems Program at PEO C4I (PMW/A170) and the GPS Directorate in Los Angeles, as well as conduct basic and applied research supporting development and/or test of new and/or future capabilities.

Mobile user objective system (MUOS): MUOS is a Military Satellite Communications (MILSATCOM) system that supports a worldwide, multiservice population of users in the ultra-high frequency (UHF) band. The MUOS system provides increased communications capabilities to newer generations of tactical radios through Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) cellular technology, while still providing interoperability with legacy UHF terminals.

Integrated Communications Extension Capability (ICE-Cap): ICE-Cap launched a low-earth orbiting nanosatellite (CubeSat) with a communications “crosslink” to the MUOS satellites in geosynchronous orbit.

Protected tactical enterprise service (PTES): NIW​C Pacific provides continuous engineering oversight and supporting of PTES program to identify, assess, and mitigate engineering risk; focus on defining technical requirements; and help ensure program success. PTES provides protected tactical waveform (PTW)-based communications to warfighters over wideband global SATCOM (WGS) X- and Ka-bands with robust planning and management systems. PTW provides cost-effective, protected communications over both military and commercial satellites in multiple frequency bands as well as broader protection, more resiliency, more throughput and more efficient utilization of satellite bandwidth.

Joint MILSATCOM network integrated (JMINI) control system: An acquisition category IV test program of record, JMINI provides centralized control and access for all Department of Defense ultra high frequency demand multiple access and demand assigned single access satellite channels worldwide, as well as remote communications planning and management of UHF satellite channels. This removes the “air gap” between the communications planner and the control sites.

Enterprise space battle management command and control (ESBMC2): A program in early development, ESBMC2 builds on the space situational awareness capabilities of joint mission systems and incorporates support to the mission of the National Space Defense Center. ESBMC2 capabilities will provide deliberate and crisis action planning products and decision support tools to enable timely and accurate execution of authorities from the operational echelon of command, bridging the gap from strategic to tactical. Our engineers are currently engaged in leading key technology maturation through interface with the related joint emergent operational needs efforts as well as ESBMC2 prototyping.


NOTE: We are leading program planning as well as enterprise space governance development aimed at aligning three major Air Force efforts, related National Reconnaissance Office efforts, and other supportive programmatic activities in the DoD and intelligence community that share common objectives. These objectives will be enabled by systems engineering including enterprise requirements management, agile and continuous integration, standards and open architecture, and cyber resilience.​

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