...first Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications space vehicle (SV-1). The AEHF system will provide vastly improved global, survivable, highly secure, protected communications for warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms. AEHF SV-1 was launched on Aug. 14, 2010 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and reached geosynchronous orbit on Oct. 24, 2011 following successful execution of a work-around orbit-raising plan.
The satellite has now completed on-orbit testing that included establishing communications networks between combinations of EHF terminals at the backward compatible Milstar data rates as well as at the new AEHF extended data rates. On-orbit testing began with SV-1 then progressed with SV-1 networked with the Milstar constellation. Completion of this key milestone paves the way for the satellite to be turned over to the 14th Air Force at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
One AEHF satellite provides greater total capacity than the entire Milstar constellation currently on-orbit. Individual user data rates will be five times improved, providing 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.
The AEHF team includes the U.S. Air Force Military Satellite Communications Systems Directorate at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, Calif., is the AEHF prime contractor, space and ground segments provider as well as system integrator, with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Redondo Beach, Calif., as the payload provider.