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 January 30, 2015

News: Taliban claims responsibility for attack on Americans at military base near airport - The Taliban claimed responsibility Jan. 30 for a shooting incident at a military base attached to Kabul’s international airport yesterday that killed three American civilian contractors and an Afghan national, saying the attacker had infiltrated the ranks of the security forces. Commission...
 
 

News Briefs January 30, 2015

Military judge weighs restrictions on Gitmo female guards A military judge is deciding whether to continue restricting the use of female guards at Guantanamo. Navy Capt. J. Kirk Waits heard closing arguments Jan. 29 at the base in Cuba during a pretrial hearing for Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi. Waits didn’t say when he will rule. Hadi...
 
 
Air Force photograph by 1st Lt. Jake Bailey

Cope South experts exchange knowledge, techniques

Air Force photograph by 1st Lt. Jake Bailey TSgt. Sam Bishop, center left, and SSgt. Jeffrey Stephens discuss propeller maintenance with Bangladesh air force maintainers, from the 101st Special Flying Unit, during exercise Cope...
 

 

Air Force names 2-star to lead F-35 Integration Office

With the initial operating capability date of the F-35 Lightning II quickly approaching, the Air Force appointed Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian as the director of a larger Air Force F-35 Integration Office, Feb. 1. In addition to gaining new leadership, the F-35 Integration Office will also grow from a staff of four to 12 and...
 
 
boeing-ana2

Boeing announces ANA’s commitment to more jetliners

Airline continues fleet modernization with Boeing airplanes Boeing and All Nippon Airways announced Jan. 30 the airline’s intent to purchase three 787-10 Dreamliners to add additional flexibility to the airline’s 787 fleet....
 
 
Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash

Air Force risks becoming too small to succeed under sequestration

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee Jan. 28, 2015, in Washington, D.C., as Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joesph F. Dunf...
 




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>