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 October 29, 2014

News: Unmanned rocket explodes just six seconds after taking off - A NASA rocket due to be visible across the East Coast on its way to the International Space Station has blown up on the Launchpad. IG: Former chief of wounded warrior office broke law, DOD regs - The Defense Department inspector general has recommended “corrective action”...
 
 

News Briefs October 29, 2014

F-35C makes first landing at Virginia Beach Navy base The Navy says an operational F-35C joint strike fighter has landed at Naval Air Station Oceana for the first time. Naval Air Station Oceana is the Navy’s master jet base on the East Coast. The Navy says the plane came to the Virginia Beach base Oct....
 
 

Time to turn to American technology for space launch

For the first time since the Cold War, the United States has deployed armored reinforcements to Europe. To counter Russia’s aggression, several hundred troops and 20 tanks are now in the Baltic. Yet the U.S. military is still injecting millions into the Russian military industrial complex. In late August, the United Launch Alliance – the...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Joe Davila

Boeing, Air Force demonstrate Minuteman III readiness in flight test

Air Force photograph by Joe Davila Boeing supported the launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Sept. 23, 2014. Boeing supported the U.S. Air Force’s succ...
 
 

Pentagon going to court for refusing to release Sikorsky data

PETALUMA, Calif. – The Pentagon is refusing to release any data on any prime contractors participating in the 25-year-old Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program. The American Small Business League launched a program in 2010 to expose the fraud and abuse against small businesses the CSPTP had allowed. As a test the ASBL requested the most...
 
 
Northrop Grumman photograph

Raytheon Griffin C flight tests demonstrate in-flight retargeting capability

Northrop Grumman photograph Northrop Grumman has received a contract from the U.S. Marine Corps for low-rate initial production of the AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR). G/ATOR is the first ground-based multi-mi...
 




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>