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USAF AEHF-2 Satellite Successfully Completed On-Orbit Testing

The payload equipment module of the Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite (Flight 3)  was shipped from Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Sunnyvale, Calif. and safely arrived at Northrop Grumman Space Technology in Redondo Beach, Calif., Sept.14.  The payload equipment module consists of structural panels that provide housing for all spacecraft bus and payload systems as well as thermal control. Northrop Grumman's Space Technology team will now begin integrating payload components and subsystems directly related to the mission of the satellite.  Once testing is complete, the payload module will be shipped back to Lockheed Martin for final integration with the core propulsion system module. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin Space Systems.)

The payload equipment module of the Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite (Flight 3) was shipped from Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Sunnyvale, Calif. and safely arrived at Northrop Grumman Space Technology in Redondo Beach, Calif., Sept.14. The payload equipment module consists of structural panels that provide housing for all spacecraft bus and payload systems as well as thermal control. Northrop Grumman's Space Technology team will now begin integrating payload components and subsystems directly related to the mission of the satellite. Once testing is complete, the payload module will be shipped back to Lockheed Martin for final integration with the core propulsion system module. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin Space Systems.)

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V Rocket with the Air Force's Advanced Extremely High Frequency - 1 (AEHF-1) satellite launches from the Space Launch Complex-41 launch pad at 7:07 a.m. EDT today. The AEHF constellation of satellites will provide 10 times greater capacity and channel data rates 6 times higher than that of the existing Milstar II communications satellites. (Photo by Ben Cooper, Space Flight Now)

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V Rocket with the Air Force's Advanced Extremely High Frequency - 1 (AEHF-1) satellite launches from the Space Launch Complex-41 launch pad at 7:07 a.m. EDT today. The AEHF constellation of satellites will provide 10 times greater capacity and channel data rates 6 times higher than that of the existing Milstar II communications satellites. (Photo by Ben Cooper, Space Flight Now)

The payload equipment module of the Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite (Flight 3)  was shipped from Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Sunnyvale, Calif. and safely arrived at Northrop Grumman Space Technology in Redondo Beach, Calif., Sept.14.  The payload equipment module consists of structural panels that provide housing for all spacecraft bus and payload systems as well as thermal control. Northrop Grumman's Space Technology team will now begin integrating payload components and subsystems directly related to the mission of the satellite.  Once testing is complete, the payload module will be shipped back to Lockheed Martin for final integration with the core propulsion system module. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin Space Systems.)

The payload equipment module of the Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite (Flight 3) was shipped from Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Sunnyvale, Calif. and safely arrived at Northrop Grumman Space Technology in Redondo Beach, Calif., Sept.14. The payload equipment module consists of structural panels that provide housing for all spacecraft bus and payload systems as well as thermal control. Northrop Grumman's Space Technology team will now begin integrating payload components and subsystems directly related to the mission of the satellite. Once testing is complete, the payload module will be shipped back to Lockheed Martin for final integration with the core propulsion system module. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin Space Systems.)

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V Rocket with the Air Force's Advanced Extremely High Frequency - 1 (AEHF-1) satellite launches from the Space Launch Complex-41 launch pad at 7:07 a.m. EDT today. The AEHF constellation of satellites will provide 10 times greater capacity and channel data rates 6 times higher than that of the existing Milstar II communications satellites. (Photo by Ben Cooper, Space Flight Now)

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V Rocket with the Air Force's Advanced Extremely High Frequency - 1 (AEHF-1) satellite launches from the Space Launch Complex-41 launch pad at 7:07 a.m. EDT today. The AEHF constellation of satellites will provide 10 times greater capacity and channel data rates 6 times higher than that of the existing Milstar II communications satellites. (Photo by Ben Cooper, Space Flight Now)

Los Angeles AFB, Calif. -- The U.S. Air Force Space Command Space and Missile Systems Center's second Advanced Extremely High Frequency military communications satellite successfully completed its on-orbit testing on Sept. 24.

The on-orbit test campaign included a period of single-satellite testing followed by a period of crosslink testing between AEHF-1 and AEHF-2, and culminated with testing in the operational Milstar constellation. As part of this effort, communications terminals from the Army, Navy and Air Force exercised the command and control features of this system and verified expected performance. Intersegment testing was led by the Space and Missile Systems Center MILSATCOM Systems Directorate with participation from the 14th Air Force, the 50th Space Wing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, The Aerospace Corporation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Lincoln Laboratory and representatives from terminal operations and development communities.

The test campaign successfully demonstrated the performance of an all Advanced-EHF constellation. This ensures that globally assured and protected communication will be available in future years when the Milstar system is eventually retired. Additionally the test has proven that multiple AEHF satellites can operate seamlessly within a Milstar constellation.

AEHF is a joint service satellite communications system that will provide survivable, global, secure, protected and jam-resistant communications for high-priority military ground, sea and air assets for the U.S. and international partners. The AEHF System is the follow-on to the Milstar system augmenting, improving and expanding the MILSATCOM architecture.

Both AEHF satellites were launched from the 45th Space Wing's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

AEHF is developed by SMC's MILSATCOM Systems Directorate. The MILSATCOM Systems Directorate plans, acquires and sustains space-based global communications in support of the president, secretary of defense and combat forces. The MILSATCOM enterprise consists of satellites, terminals and control stations and provides communications for more than 16,000 air, land and sea platforms.