Northrop Grumman has successfully conducted the critical design review for the Enhanced Polar System Control and Planning Segment the week of April 28 and the Military Satellite Communications Systems Directorate exercised the program’s development option on April 30.
The U.S. Air Force’s EPS provides space-enabled, secure communications capabilities to polar users in support of national objectives. EPS CAPS supplies telemetry and control, mission planning and cryptographic planning for the EPS payload.
“Completing all the design work and risk reduction required for EPS CAPS in just 18 months was a real triumph of teamwork and perseverance for our Northrop Grumman team as well as our MILSATCOM customer,” said Dave Ryan, vice president and general manager, Northrop Grumman intelligence systems division. “With the detailed design work behind us, we can concentrate on development and final planning for the segment and system tests with the other EPS segments in the near future. EPS CAPS is another great example of how the Air Force is leveraging Northrop Grumman’s ability to quickly deliver innovative national space security products affordably.”
The design review concentrated on ensuring all CAPS requirements were completely allocated, feasible and verifiable. It also reviewed the details of both the hardware and software designs to ensure they adequately addressed the segment requirements to include specialty engineering analysis, detailed plans for verification and validation, as well as updated program risks. Some elements of the design also highlighted demonstrations during the review showing the progress retiring potential development risks.
Northrop Grumman was awarded the EPS CAPS contract in November 2012. The base 18-month contract was for segment design and risk reduction efforts. The next phase of the contract covers 48 months of work to finish CAPS development, deployment and initial sustainment. Primary design, development and testing are being done in Redondo Beach, California, with additional CAPS work performed in Orlando, Florida, and Needham and Marlborough, Massachusetts.
The CAPS design leverages Northrop Grumman’s foundational payload control and planning proficiencies in use throughout the company from various heritage programs. These proven competencies establish a pathfinder for an affordable, scalable mission control capability for any variety of future protected satellite communications architecture options the company may pursue.