Space

June 25, 2014

AEHF-3 protected communications payload, built by Northrop Grumman, completes on orbit testing ahead of schedule

REDONDO BEACH, Calif.†- The protected communications payload built by Northrop Grumman for the U.S. Air Force’s third Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite has completed on orbit testing ahead of schedule without any discrepancies, matching the high performance levels of others the company has provided.

Launched Sept. 18, 2013, aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, AEHF-3 reached its final position in geostationary orbit in January 2014. The payload began transmitting as planned when it was activated for the first time at that point, said Stuart Linsky, vice president, communication programs, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.

An extensive series of on-orbit payload tests that followed was successfully completed in February. The Air Force said its 4 th Space Operations Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., took over satellite operations in March from the Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles.

As a result, AEHF-3 has been integrated in a constellation of satellites forming a “ring of protection” around the Earth that provides the only global, highly secure, protected, survivable communications for warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms.

The constellation now includes five Milstar and three AEHF satellites, all communicating with each other via satellite-to-satellite crosslinks ñ a capability exclusive to Milstar and AEHF within the MILSATCOM enterprise. Northrop Grumman has provided all payloads for AEHF satellites to the prime contractor, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Sunnyvale, Calif.

“The AEHF-3 payload turned in a stellar performance throughout on orbit testing,” Linsky said. “With the third AEHF satellite seamlessly integrated into the ‘ring of protection,’ the Northrop Grumman-built crosslinks demonstrated a new first ó operations at extended data rates [XDR] on both sides of an AEHF satellite. That wasn’t possible with only two AEHF satellites on orbit.”

Testing involved establishing communications networks between combinations of EHF terminals on the ground that use Milstar’s medium data rates and other terminals equipped to handle the wideband AEHF XDR. They exercised and further proved payload software that configures worldwide networks, Linsky noted.

“The payload’s software-based communication network architecture allows us the unprecedented ability to reconfigure assets as needed for an evolving battlefield,” Linsky said. “This software-based architecture has enabled Northrop Grumman to deliver new capabilities our leaders and warfighters requested through the Milstar constellation for all 20 years since the launch of the first Milstar in February 1994.”

Advanced EHF satellite payloads uniquely contain a full range of features that provide effective protection against the wide range of threats from capable adversaries. These features include anti-jamming for the strongest jammers, low probability of detection and intercept, rapid recovery during a nuclear event, the ability to operate through scintillation, greatly reduced risk from physical attack to ground systems, and significant protection from cyber attack.




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


 
 

 

Headlines August 28, 2015

Business: Rafale, Mistral on agenda for Le Drian in Malaysia, India – French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is due to visit Malaysia Aug. 30, with talks expected to cover the Rafale fighter jet and Mistral helicopter carrier, website La Tribune reported. U.S. Army to choose new landing craft next year – In line with the Pentagon’s...
 
 

News Briefs August 28, 2015

Boeing plans to lay off some Southern California workers Boeing has announced that it plans to lay off employees at its Southern California-based satellite division. The Los Angeles Times reports that the aerospace giant said Aug. 25 that it will lay off as many as several hundred employees at the El Segundo factory. Boeing says...
 
 

Special tactics Airmen killed in hostile incident

Two special tactics airmen, who were deployed in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, were killed near Camp Antonik, Afghanistan, Aug. 26. Capt. Matthew D. Roland, 27, and SSgt. Forrest B. Sibley, 31, were at a vehicle checkpoint when two individuals wearing Afghan National Defense and Security Forces uniforms opened fire on them. NATO service members...
 

 

Hurricane Hunters to fly Tropical Storm Erika

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters are operating out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., flying their state-of-the-art WC-130J Super Hercules into Tropical Storm Erika in support of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew four missions into the tropical storm from their deployed location at St. Croix in the...
 
 
LM-MUOS

U.S. Navy, Lockheed Martin ready to launch MUOS-4 Aug. 31

The U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin are ready to launch the fourth Mobile User Objective System secure communications satellite, MUOS-4, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Aug. 31 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V...
 
 

Pentagon probing alleged distorting of war intelligence

The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating an allegation that the military command overseeing the anti-Islamic State campaign distorted or altered intelligence assessments to exaggerate progress against the militant group, a defense official said Aug. 26. The official was not authorized to discuss the probe publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity. The investigation was...
 




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>