REDONDO BEACH, Calif., Aug. 21, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has received the first test terminal for the Department of Defense's next-generation Advanced Extremely High Frequencies (EHF) satellite system from Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Laboratory.
Northrop Grumman Space Technology is developing the satellite communications payloads for the system, which will deliver secure, high-speed network-centric communications with anywhere, anytime access to U.S. and allied forces. The terminal, AEHF Universal System Test-Terminal, (AUST-T), provides the means for Northrop Grumman to test the compatibility of the satellite payloads with Advanced EHF ground terminals that military forces will use to communicate via satellite. AUST-T will also test the backward compatibility of the Advanced EHF payloads with ground terminals of the current Milstar system.
"Our early verification of payload-terminal compatibility using the AUST-T is a critical step in developing the Advanced EHF system," said Clayton Kau, Northrop Grumman Space Technology vice president and Advanced EHF payload program manager. "Existence of this standard will reduce design errors and debugging time for terminal developers."
When fielded, Advanced EHF ground terminals will provide warfighters with important new capabilities. These include delivery of protected communications services at rates as high as 8 megabits per second, or five times faster than is possible with today's Milstar medium-data-rate services. The higher rates will enable satellite communications support for new missions and reduced transmission times for current missions. The new terminals will also extend the data rates for highly robust survivable communications to 19.2 kilobits per second.
Kau added that the AUST-T provides many features that will not be part of standard terminals. They include capabilities for measuring performance, logging interactions and capturing data, executing repeatable tests, and investigating system operations and problems.
In all, a total of six AUST-Ts will play a key role in development of the Advanced EHF satellite system. Major verification tasks involving the AUST-Ts will include:
-- Use as a part of the payload test set, in conducting payload- level performance tests; -- Use at Lockheed Martin Corporation, after the satellite payloads are integrated with the spacecraft bus, during satellite-level testing; -- Testing between space and ground segments of the system; and -- On-orbit tests of the initial satellite.
In developing the AUST-T, the Lincoln Laboratory built upon its experience with the Advanced EHF digital-processor engineering model, developed in an earlier risk-reduction program at Northrop Grumman and delivered in 2000 to Lincoln Laboratory.
Lockheed Martin, under contract to the U.S. Air Force Space & Missile Systems Center, is the Advanced EHF system integrator and is developing the satellite bus at its Sunnyvale, Calif., facility.
Northrop Grumman Space Technology is a leading developer of military and civil space systems, satellite payloads, and advanced electronics.
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