The U.S. Air Force successfully activated the AEHF-2 communications payload, Aug. 14.
Payload activation was accomplished from the AEHF command and control site located at Schriever AFB, Colo.
During payload activation, the payload wings and antennas were deployed, and the payload processors were initialized and verified in preparation for on-orbit test.
The on-orbit test phase for the satellite will take place over the next two months to verify communications capabilities for AEHF-2 prior to its integration into the combined Milstar/AEHF constellation.
AEHF is a joint service satellite communications system that will provide survivable, global, secure, protected and jam-resistant communications for high-priority military ground, sea and air assets. The AEHF system is the follow-on to the Milstar system, augmenting, improving and expanding the Department of Defense’s Military Satellite Communication systems architecture.
AEHF-2 was procured from Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company by the MILSATCOM Systems Directorate, part of Air Force Space Command’s Space and Missile Systems Center. The MILSATCOM Systems Directorate plans, acquires and sustains space-based global communications in support of the president, secretary of defense and combat forces. The MILSATCOM enterprise consists of satellites, terminals and control stations and provides communications for more than 16,000 air, land and sea platforms.