TSAT is scheduled to begin U.S. military service by 2014. It is designed to provide conventional communications services and laser communication capabilities to all branches of the military, including space and airborne platforms. The data capacity afforded by the Lasercom service will start at 2.5 gigabytes per second, nearly the equivalent of 150 simultaneous high definition television channels. TSAT will open up new airborne mission possibilities in the areas of command and control, surveillance and reconnaissance.
Theteam, which includes , Ball Aerospace, General Dynamics, IBM, L-3 Communications, Cisco Systems, BBN Technologies, Hughes Network Systems, Lucent Technologies, Harris, EMS Technologies, ICE and Alpha Informatics, is working under a $514 million U.S. Air Force contract for the TSAT Space Segment Risk Reduction and System Definition program.