Space

March 14, 2014

Northrop Grumman begins integrating antennas for fourth Advanced EHF communications payload

Two downlink antennas that are the fastest of their kind to operate in space are being integrated into the protected communications payload built by Northrop Grumman for the fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite.

The company delivered the Super High Frequency Array Unit (SAU), as the antennas are called, in early March to AEHF system prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, in Sunnyvale. These high-speed downlink phased array antennas, the first to operate at 20 GHz in space, provide assured point-to-point connectivity using electronically steerable beams that reach military users at fixed-site and mobile terminals.

Under a hybrid integration plan, Lockheed Martin is integrating the satellite bus unit within the system module while a team from Northrop Grumman simultaneously completes remaining payload integration.

Northrop Grumman produces phased array antennas, which are a new technology developed specifically for AEHF satellites. High-speed downlink phased array antennas are the first of their kind to operate at 20 GHz in space. High-speed uplink phased array antennas operating at 40 GHz provide direct radio frequency beams electronically rather than by moving reflectors mechanically.

Advanced EHF anti-jam payloads communicate via super high frequency downlinks, transmitting in the 20.2 to 21.2 GHz frequency band, and EHF uplinks, which also are the first to operate at 40 GHz in space.

“This allows one array to do the job of many reflectors, giving the flexibility to point-on-demand in fractions of a second to hundreds of coverage areas, greatly improving access and automatically countering signal jamming by adversaries,” said Stuart Linsky, vice president, Communication Programs, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.

This agility and flexibility of the beams formed by the phased arrays are critical to providing coverage to the dispersed tactical and strategic users on the AEHF system. The high-speed phased arrays are used to form multiple beam types concurrently including high gain earth coverage anywhere in the satellite field of view, super high gain earth coverage to up to 160 locations, and up to 24 medium resolution coverage area spot beams.

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

With the more compact phased array, AEHF can process greater amounts of information. It will deliver 10 times greater total capacity and channel data rates six times higher than that of Milstar II communications satellites. AEHF is the successor to the Milstar system.

The SAU was built by Northrop Grumman’s Antenna Products Center, which also provides EHF Uplink Phased Array unit, jam-resistant nulling antenna subsystems, crosslink antennas and steerable spot beam antennas for the AEHF Payload.

Previous ahead-of-schedule deliveries included the uplink phased array (UPA) high-efficiency converter that operates the payload’s UPAs. Commercial application specific integrated circuits were also delivered on time, along with hardware consisting of electromechanical switches, passive microwave filters and beam select switch assemblies.




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


 
 

 

Headlines July 30, 2014

News: Software to power F-35 running as much as 14 months late¬†- Software needed to operate Lockheed Martin’s F-35 jet, the Pentagon’s costliest weapons system, may be as much as 14 months late for required flight testing, according to a Pentagon review.   Business: Lockheed will turn on JLTV production line In August; 6-D truck...
 
 

News Briefs July 30, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,197 As of July 29, 2014, at least 2,197 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,819 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds

F-35B successfully completes wet runway, crosswind testing

Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds F-35B aircraft BF-4, piloted by Lockheed Martin Test Pilot Dan Levin, starts down the runway as part of wet runway and crosswind testing at Edwards AFB, Calif. In an important program ...
 

 
boeing-chinook

Boeing delivers first U.S. Army multiyear II configured Chinook

Boeing July 29 delivered the first multiyear II configured CH-47F Chinook helicopter to the U.S. Army one month ahead of schedule. The delivery was celebrated in a ceremony at the production facility in Ridley Township, Penn. ‚...
 
 
Army photograph by SSgt. Angela Stafford

Engineers developing safer, more accurate tracer round

Army photograph Tracer rounds enable the shooter to follow the projectile trajectory to make aiming corrections. However, the light emitted by these rounds also gives away the position of the shooter. Engineers at Picatinny Ars...
 
 
NASA photograph by Carla Thomas

Katherine Lott awarded NASA Armstrong employee scholarship

NASA photograph by Carla Thomas Katherine Lott, the recipient of the 2014 NASA Armstrong Employee Exchange Council Joseph R. Vensel Memorial Scholarship, is congratulated by NASA Armstrong center director David McBride. Flankin...
 




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>