The U.S. Air Force Space Command Space and Missile Systems Center’s second Advanced Extremely High Frequency military communications satellite successfully completed its on-orbit testing on Sept. 24.
The on-orbit test campaign included a period of single-satellite testing followed by a period of crosslink testing between AEHF-1 and AEHF-2, and culminated with testing in the operational Milstar constellation.
As part of this effort, communications terminals from the Army, Navy and Air Force exercised the command and control features of this system and verified expected performance. Intersegment testing was led by the Space and Missile Systems Center MILSATCOM Systems Directorate with participation from the 14th Air Force, the 50th Space Wing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, The Aerospace Corporation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Lincoln Laboratory and representatives from terminal operations and development communities.
The test campaign successfully demonstrated the performance of an all Advanced-EHF constellation. This ensures that globally assured and protected communication will be available in the future when the Milstar system is eventually retired. Additionally the test has proven that multiple AEHF satellites can operate seamlessly within a Milstar 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 for the U.S. and its international partners. The AEHF System is the follow-on to the Milstar system augmenting, improving and expanding the MILSATCOM architecture.
AEHF is developed by SMC’s MILSATCOM Systems Directorate. 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.