My daughter works as a civilian employee at the Navy Surface Warfare center in the Dam Neck Navy Base in Virginia Beach. She works in their rapid prototyping lab and provides programming support for embedded processors for a variety of communications equipment. She gave us a tour of her workspace and some less-classified areas.
A wonderful benefit of working at Dam Neck is that the navy base is built on the beach. Hillary’s office is less than 100 yards from warm sand and the sparkling blue waters of the Atlantic. The beach is as nice as the public resort nearby but without the crowds. We went for a walk.
Remember Iridium, the LEO satellite network once competing to become your satellite phone network? They spent billions to launch a network of communications satellites but ultimately struggled in the marketplace. Iridium was essentially acquired by the armed forces and now provides special communications. Their big advantage is complete global coverage and low earth orbit; although someone might be isolated in a valley without view to a geostationary satellite, they can always count on a low-flying Iridium satellite to come into range within fifteen minutes. Also, Iridium satellites have the convenient attribute of using a frequency range compatible with GPS equipment.