Space

December 17, 2012

AEHF team completes major integration milestone ahead of schedule

The U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin have integrated the system module for the fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite six months ahead of schedule.

The milestone marks the completion of the first major phase in the satellite’s assembly, integration and test and is a key indicator that Lockheed Martin and the Air Force are successfully streamlining processes to achieve affordability goals.

AEHF, the next generation of protected military satellite communications satellites, 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.

The AEHF-4 system module includes the satellite’s payload structure module and electronic components that are critical to controlling its communications payload and ensuring the satellite’s health and safety throughout its on orbit mission life. The AEHF payload provider, Northrop Grumman, will now integrate the satellite’s advanced communications payload with its system module. The fully integrated system module will then be returned to Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, Calif., facility for final satellite integration and test.

“The ahead of schedule completion of the system module for our fourth AEHF satellite is a true testament to the Air Force and Lockheed Martin team,” said Col Rod Miller, the U.S. Air Force’s AEHF program manager. “We look forward to integrating the advanced communications payload and ultimately delivering this satellite in support of strategic and tactical protected communications 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 is now preparing the satellite for a September 2013 launch date.

“Leveraging our experience on the first three AEHF satellites, we are executing a highly efficient and affordable assembly and integration of AEHF-4,” said Mark Calassa, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Protected Communications mission area. “In the current budget environment, we are laser focused on streamlining our processes and deploying affordability initiatives to reduce the cost of each AEHF asset now vital to our national security,”

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.

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.


 
 

 
Images courtesy of NASA/JHU-APL/SwRI

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft stays course to Pluto

Images courtesy of NASA/JHU-APL/SwRI These images show the difference between two sets of 48 combined 10-second exposures with New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) camera, taken at 8:40 UTC and 10:25 UTC...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Fourth Lockheed Martin-built MUOS secure comm satellite shipped

Lockheed Martin photograph On June 28, MUOS-4, the next satellite scheduled to join the U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System secure communications network, shipped to Cape Canaveral from Lockheed Martin’s satellite manu...
 
 
Photograph courtesy of NASA/CXC/U. Wisconsin/S. Heinz

NASA’s Chandra captures x-ray echoes pinpointing distant neutron star

Photograph courtesy of NASA/CXC/U. Wisconsin/S. Heinz A light echo in X-rays detected by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has provided a rare opportunity to precisely measure the distance to an object on the other side of the...
 

 

Veteran NASA spacecraft nears 60,000th lap around Mars

NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft will reach a major milestone June 23, when it completes its 60,000th orbit since arriving at the Red Planet in 2001. Named after the bestselling novel “2001: A Space Odyssey” by Arthur C. Clarke, Odyssey began orbiting Mars almost 14 years ago, on Oct. 23, 2001. On Dec. 15, 2010, it...
 
 
nasa-study

NASA selects six wild ideas in aviation for further study

NASA has selected six proposals to study transformative ideas that might expand what’s possible in aviation, shifting the boundary between fantastic and futuristic. During a day-long meeting in April, 17 teams pitched the...
 
 
NASA photograph

NASA signs agreement with Space Florida to operate historic landing facility

NASA photograph This aerial photo of the runway at the KSC Shuttle Landing Facility looks north. Longer and wider than most commercial runways, it is 15,000 feet long, with 1,000-foot paved overruns on each end, and 300 feet wi...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>