August 31, 2006 The U.S. Air Force Space Command Space & Missile Systems Center's Development and Test Wing has announced a significant investment in Space Data Corporation’s near space communications system. Offering an important improvement in battlefield communications, the system has been extensively tested by the Air Force Space Battlelab over the past two years. The Space Data system utilizes a balloon-borne platform that takes advantage of the very predictable winds in near space to position communications equipment 20 miles above the earth. The Battlelab tests included using the same tactical radios carried by troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The results showed that ground-to-ground voice and data communications could be extended from 10 miles to over 400 miles.