AEHF Satellite Program Progresses
The second Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications satellite saw its spacecraft core structure mated with the payload module, Lockheed Martin Corp. [LMT] announced.
AEHF will provide global, highly secure, protected, survivable communications for all warfighters serving in the Department of Defense.
That satellite is based on the Lockheed A2100 geosynchronous spacecraft series. The AEHF core structure contains the integrated propulsion system as well as panels and other components that serve as the structural foundation of the satellite.
The payload module consists of the complete set of processing, routing and control hardware and software that perform the satellite’s communications function, including features to protect communications against interception or jamming.
Lockheed is the prime contractor, while Northrop Grumman Corp. [NOC] is the payload supplier.
Next comes system level environmental and acceptance testing of the fully integrated space vehicle in preparation for launch in early 2010.
One AEHF satellite will provide greater total capacity than the entire Milstar constellation currently on-orbit. Individual user data rates will be five times improved. The higher data rates will permit transmission of tactical military communications, such as real-time video, battlefield maps and targeting data. In addition to its tactical mission, AEHF also will provide the critical survivable, protected, and endurable communications to the National Command Authority including presidential conferencing in all levels of conflict.
Lockheed Martin is currently under contract to provide three Advanced EHF satellites and the Mission Control Segment to the Military Satellite Communications Systems Wing at the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. The program is in the early stages of adding a fourth spacecraft to the planned constellation.