Space

November 14, 2012

Lockheed Martin completes on orbit testing of second AEHF satellite

The U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin have completed on-orbit testing of the second Advanced Extremely High Frequency military communications satellite.

Following successful spacecraft testing, Satellite Control Authority was turned over to the 14th Air Force at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., for operations.

The AEHF system provides vastly improved global, survivable, highly secure, protected communications for strategic command and tactical warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms. The system also serves international partners including Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

A single AEHF satellite provides greater total capacity than the entire legacy five-satellite Milstar constellation. Individual user data rates will be increased five-fold, permitting transmission of tactical military communications, such as real-time video, battlefield maps and targeting data. In addition to its tactical mission, AEHF also provides the critical survivable, protected, and endurable communications links to national leaders including presidential conferencing in all levels of conflict.

“Completion of on-orbit testing and handover of AEHF-2 is a critical milestone for the Air Force and our nation,” said Dave Madden, Director of the Military Satellite Communications Systems Directorate at the U.S. Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center. “The AEHF satellites on orbit and those planned for launch will play a pivotal role in our national security for years to come.”

AEHF-2 launched May 4, 2012, aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. After successful spacecraft deployments and payload activation, the satellite has now completed all on-orbit testing. The on-orbit testing demonstrated both interoperability with the existing Milstar constellation and established communications networks between combinations of EHF communications terminals with legacy Milstar data rates, as well as at the new AEHF extended data rates.

“The U.S. Air Force, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman AEHF team performed a thorough and efficient on orbit test campaign for this critical satellite, and AEHF-2 is performing exceptionally well,” said Mark Calassa, Lockheed Martin’s vice president and AEHF program manager. “With the first two AEHF satellites now on orbit, the Department of Defense is well on its way to augmenting, improving and expanding its critical military satellite communications architecture to meet increasing demand from users worldwide.”

Lockheed Martin is currently under contract to deliver four AEHF satellites and the Mission Control Segment. The program has begun advanced procurement of long-lead components for the fifth and sixth AEHF satellites.

AEHF-1 and AEHF-2 have both launched and are on orbit. Lockheed Martin has completed work on AEHF-3 and will prepare the satellite for a September 2013 launch date.

The AEHF team includes the U.S. Air Force Military Satellite Communications Systems Directorate at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, Calif., is the AEHF prime contractor, space and ground segments provider as well as system integrator, with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Redondo Beach, Calif., as the payload provider.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s WISE spacecraft discovers most luminous galaxy in universe

Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech This artist’s concept depicts the current record holder for the most luminous galaxy in the universe. The galaxy, WISE J224607.57-052635.0, is erupting with light equal to more than 300 ...
 
 

Air Force launches hush-hush mini-shuttle into space

A mysterious space plane rocketed into orbit May 20, carrying no crew but a full load of technology experiments. The Air Force launched its unmanned mini-shuttle late morning, May 20. An Atlas V rocket lifted it up and out over the Atlantic. This is the fourth flight for the military research program, which is shrouded...
 
 
Image courtesy NASA TV

Critical NASA research returns to Earth aboard U.S. SpaceX Dragon spacecraft

Image courtesy NASA TV The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft was released from the International Space Station’s robotic arm at 7:04 a.m., EDT, May 21. The capsule then performed a series of departure burns and maneuvers to ...
 

 

NASA, Canadian agency renew agreement to reduce aviation icing risks

On hand to sign the renewal agreement May 21 at the NRC offices in Ottawa, Ontario, were Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator of NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in Washington, and Ian Potter, the NRC’s vice-president of engineering. “The combined efforts of our two agencies will help solve some of the most difficult and challenging weather-related...
 
 
ULA photograph

Space and Missile Systems Center successfully launches the AFSPC-5 mission

ULA photograph An Atlas V rocket successfully launches the AFSPC-5 mission from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., May 20, 2015.   The Air Force and its mission partners successfully launched the AFSPC-5 mission aboar...
 
 

NASA’s CubeSat initiative aids in testing of technology for solar sails in space

With help from NASA, a small research satellite to test technology for in-space solar propulsion launched into space May 20 aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., as part of the agency’s CubeSat Launch Initiative. The Atlas V sent the U.S. Air Force’s X-37B space plane on its fourth mission,...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>