Raytheon Completes Satellite Downlink in Antarctica for Critical Weather Systems
[Satellite TODAY 06-08-11] Raytheon has successfully completed the third major communications upgrade at McMurdo research station in Antarctica to support future U.S. scientific and environmental satellite missions for the National Science Foundation (NSF), Raytheon announced June 7.
The third communications upgrade at McMurdo supports several missions that use the station for satellite downlink, including the NASA Near Earth Network Sciences (NENS) McMurdo ground station, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) polar-orbiting MetOp satellite mission and the U.S. Air Force’s Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP).
The upgrade includes an increase in the off-continent communications bandwidth from 20 megabits per second outbound to 60 megabits per second, as well as the integration of an alternate downlink station in Australia to provide higher operational availability of the off-continent link. The significant increase of the available bandwidth to and from McMurdo allows additional polar-orbiting environmental and weather satellite systems to use McMurdo Station as a second downlink site, Raytheon said.
The fourth and final upgrade to the McMurdo station is scheduled during the 2011-2012 austral summer.