Northrop Grumman technicians in Redondo Beach California thread wiring and cabling through the fourth protected communications payload for the US Air Force39s Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite system photo courtesy of Northrop Grumman

Antenna Precision Unit Delivered for AEHF Satellite

Sept. 18, 2013
A communications payload system of 10 different antennas has been delivered for integration within an Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite.

An electronics unit that positions a suite of antennas for the US Air Force Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite has been delivered as part of a communications payload. The AEHF satellite provides improved global, survivable, highly secure, and protected communications for strategic command and tactical warfighters. Delivered by Northrop Grumman, this payload is the fourth in a series supplied to Lockheed Martin Space Systems.

The payload’s gimbal control unit (GCU) contains 10 mechanically steered antennas as part of a subsystem that processes gimbal-pointing commands for precision pointing. It also operates two crosslink antennas, two nulling antennas, and six gimbaled dish antennas. The payload provides and controls all extremely-high-frequency (EHF) uplink, super-high-frequency (SHF) downlink and crosslink functions, beamforming, on-board nulling, signal processing, and time and frequency control for low-, medium-, and extended-data-rate operation.

The system, which is designed to provide higher-reliability and higher-data-rate broadband communications in remote regions, provides extreme-data-rate (XDR) services to 8.192 Mb/s per user. It provides Milstar low-data-rate (LDR) services at 75 to 2400 b/s and Milstar medium-data-rate (MDR) services at 4.8 kb/s to 1.544 Mb/s. The payload will begin to be integrated immediately, consistent with the on-schedule performance of the satellite.

About the Author

Iliza Sokol | Associate Digital Editor

Iliza joined the Penton Media group in 2013 after graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a BS in Advertising and Marketing Communications. Prior to joining the staff, she worked at NYLON Magazine and a ghostwriting firm based in New York.

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