L3 Harris Demonstrates MBMM Phased Array Antenna Tech
L3Harris Technologies has successfully completed a technology demonstration to Multi-Band Multi-Mission (MBMM) phased array ground antenna system under a Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) contract. L3Harris announced Tuesday that the antenna system was integrated with the U.S. Space Force’s Satellite Communication Network system to demonstrate multiple, simultaneous satellite contacts, where traditional parabolic or radio antennas can only connect with one satellite at a time.
The system established 16 simultaneous contacts during a demonstration with U.S. Space Force satellites across multiple orbital regimes at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado. The company said this technology is equipped to meet the demand that an increasing number of satellite missions place on ground system capacity.
“The MBMM demonstrations were a complete success that showcased the advancements in phased array technology and relevance for satellite command and control with live DOD systems. It has reinvigorated interest in the MBMM program as a key part of the overall space architecture,” commented Col. Wallace “Rhett” Turnbull III, director of Cross Mission Ground and Communications Enterprise of Space and Missile Systems Center. “Capabilities like those recently demonstrated may play an important role in meeting the growing demand for satellite control capacity by providing more affordable and resilient access to Space Force satellite systems.”
Also in the DIU’s MBMM antenna program, Lockheed Martin and Ball Aerospace successfully completed a phased array transmit test in September 2020, and Atlas Space Operations completed late-stage testing for an antenna in December 2020.