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.


 
 

 

Northrop Grumman’s AstroMesh reflector successfully deploys for NASA’s SMAP satellite

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory successfully deployed the mesh reflector and boom aboard the Soil Moisture Active Passive spacecraft, a key milestone on its mission to provide global measurements of soil moisture. Launched Jan. 31, SMAP represents the future of Earth Science by helping researchers better understand our planet. SMAP’s unmatched data capabilities are enabled...
 
 
NASA photograph by Brian Tietz

NASA offers space tech grants to early career university faculty

NASA photograph by Brian Tietz Tensegrity research is able to simulate multiple forms of locomotion. In this image, a prototype tensegrity robot reproduces forward crawling motion. NASA’s Space Technology Mission Director...
 
 

NASA releases first global rainfall, snowfall map from new mission

Like a lead violin tuning an orchestra, the GPM Core Observatory – launched one year ago on Feb. 27, 2014, as a collaboration between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency – acts as the standard to unify precipitation measurements from a network of 12 satellites. The result is NASA’s Integrated Multi-satellite Retrievals for GPM...
 

 

New NASA Earth Science Missions expand view of our home planet

Four new NASA Earth-observing missions are collecting data from space with a fifth newly in orbit ñ after the busiest year of NASA Earth science launches in more than a decade. On Feb. 27, 2014, NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched the Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory into space from Japan. Data from...
 
 

NASA, ESA telescopes give shape to furious black hole winds

NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) and ESA’s (European Space Agency) XMM-Newton telescope are showing that fierce winds from a supermassive black hole blow outward in all directions – a phenomenon that had been suspected, but difficult to prove until now. This discovery has given astronomers their first opportunity to measure the strength of these...
 
 
NASA photograph by Gary Banziger

Jurczyk named head of NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate

NASA photograph by Gary Banziger NASA’s Steve Jurczyck addresses an audience during a manufacturing event in Hampton, Va., last month. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has named Steve Jurczyk as the agency’s Associ...
 




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>