[Satellite TODAY 08-14-12] The U.S. Air Force
’s Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite has successfully arrived at its geostationary-orbit test location following its May 4 launch, the Air Force confirmed Aug. 13.
The satellite’s solar arrays were deployed in preparation for the Hall Current Thruster (HCT) phase of orbit transfer. During the HCT phase, the U.S. Air Force executed 47 burns during a period of 85 days to raise the perigee and reduce the apogee of AEHF-2’s orbit. Air Force officials said the next phase involves payload activation, which will include deploying the payload’s wings and antennas and turning on the payload electronics. Once complete, the system will begin an on-orbit test phase that will last approximately two months.
AEHF is a joint service satellite communications system that aims to provide survivable, global, secure, protected and jam-resistant communications for high-priority U.S. military ground, sea and air assets. The AEHF system is the follow-on to the U.S. Department of Defense’s Milstar system.