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AEHF -- 14.08.2010 -- Atlas V531 (AV-019)


[code:1:d89be70804]AEHF 1 (USA 214) 1486.2 мин. 4.48° 37518 х 36005 км[/code:1:d89be70804]
Не пей метанол!
Говорят, чудо-зверушка доползла до стационара и укрепилась в районе 68°з.д.:

Mike McCants reports that AEHF 1 (10039A / 36868) reached synchronous orbit on 2011 Oct 25, near longitude 68 W, one of the operational Milstar/AEHF locations. Based on observations overnight, he provided the following elset, with the caution that eccentricity and argument of perigee remain uncertain:

[code:1:83d6118101]1 36868U 10039A 11298.86959040 0.00000000 00000-0 00000-0 0 09
2 36868   4.4100 278.5854 0002000 241.0264 118.9823  1.00270000    04[/code:1:83d6118101]
No doubt this is a time of celebration for the team of USAF, Aerospace Corporation and Lockheed Martin personnel who have worked for the past 14 months to overcome the loss of the spacecraft's liquid apogee engine, initially by using its hydrazine attitude control thrusters, followed by thousands of hours of hall current thruster firings over 12 months.
Сказанное выше выражает личную точку зрения автора, основанную на открытых источниках информации
AEHF-1 Satellite Arrives at Its Operational Orbit After 14-Month Journey
10/28/2011 -  LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The U.S. Air Force's first Advanced Extremely High Frequency military communications satellite completed a 14-month journey to reach its intended operational position in geosynchronous orbit, Oct. 24.

The AEHF team will now start an approximately four-month detailed test and checkout phase of all spacecraft systems before the Space and Missile Systems Center transfers satellite command authority to Air Force Space Command's 14th Air Force in early 2012.

Shortly after launch August 14, 2010, the AEHF-1 orbit-raising plan was modified as a result of an anomaly with the bi-propellant propulsion system, which was intended to place the spacecraft near its operational orbit. A joint team of Air Force, Lockheed Martin, The Aerospace Corporation, and Aerojet engineers responded to the anomaly, planning and executing a sophisticated campaign of approximately 500 burns which entailed two phases: one phase using hydrazine thrusters and the other using the Hall Current Thruster electrical propulsion system. The revised orbit-raising plan safely delivered AEHF-1 to its intended orbit while maintaining its required 14 years of mission life.

"I am extremely proud of the entire AEHF team for its ability to apply engineering excellence, superior teamwork and remarkable creativity to accomplish this very important milestone in the Program," said Dave Madden, director of SMC's MILSATCOM Systems Directorate. "The next chapter for AEHF-1 - on-orbit test and checkout - is even more important as the satellite transitions to its operational mission of delivering protected communications to Department of Defense users and our international partners."

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. The AEHF System is the follow-on to the Milstar system, augmenting, improving and expanding the MILSATCOM architecture.

AEHF is developed by the MILSATCOM Systems Directorate at Los Angeles AFB, Calif. 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.

Фотка http://www.afspc.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/photos/070612-O-9999B-549.jpg
Из http://www.pcweek.ru/themes/detail.php?ID=134978
Спасти рядовой спутник
Заработал в штатном режиме американский военный спутник связи AEHF-1, ... 8,129 Мбит/с...
Checkout Of AEHF Paves Way For 2012 Launch[/size:1316c8eaa0]

Nov 21, 2011

By Guy Norris

LOS ANGELES — The U.S. Air Force says activation of its Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications satellite continues to progress well, and the launch of two more jam-proof satellites is now on track for 2012.

Although launched in August 2010, the AEHF satellite took 14 months to reach orbit on Oct. 24, 2011, after debris in the propulsion system prevented the spacecraft’s liquid-fueled booster engine from placing the satellite in its correct apogee.

“It’s in orbit and has been in checkout since then,” says the commander of Air Force Space Command, Gen. William Shelton. “All the payload systems and antenna have deployed properly, although I was concerned after that long a cold soak. Yet everything is performing as expected.”

The Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles AFB intends to transfer responsibility for the satellite to the 14th Air Force early next year. With the planned launch of AEHF-2 in April 2012, the Air Force says preparations also are underway to deploy AEHF-3 in December 2012 and AEHF-4 in April 2017.

Shelton, who spoke at the Air Force Association’s Global Warfare Symposium here, also said that the initial Space-Based Infrared System (Sbirs) GEO-1, which shares the same Lockheed Martin A2100 satellite bus design as the AEHF series, also is performing well after a prolonged checkout following its launch in May.

Although Shelton says the overall checkout process “took too long in my mind,” he notes that the precautionary approach to activating the first-of-a-kind capabilities of the new-generation missile warning satellite was correct. “You have to make sure you do it right,” he declares.

Launch of Sbirs GEO-2 is currently penciled in for spring 2013, the Air Force says.[/size:1316c8eaa0]
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"
Wed, 7 December, 2011
Lockheed Gets $312 Million for AEHF Anomaly Analysis[/size:d729c5ea91]
By Rachel Bernstein

   WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin Space Systems a $312 million contract for on-orbit anomaly analysis on the service’s Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) secure satellite communications system, the Defense Department announced Dec. 5.

   The cost-plus-incentive-fee contract modification covers “on-orbit anomaly resolution and investigation” as well as system testing, sustainment and other functions, the Pentagon said.

   Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Sunnyvale, Calif., is prime contractor on the AEHF program, whose first satellite, AEHF-1, took more than a year longer than expected to reach its operating orbit due to an onboard propulsion system failure that occurred shortly after its August 2010 launch. The glitch forced Lockheed Martin and the Air Force to devise a new orbit-raising plan using backup thrusters; the satellite reached geosynchronous orbit Oct. 3 and is now undergoing testing.

   The Air Force penalized Lockheed Martin with a $15 million reduction in its contract award fee June 10 as a result of the delay. The Air Force said Lockheed was at fault for not properly flushing out one of the satellite’s fuel lines, which resulted in an engine ignition failure.

   Air Force spokeswoman Christina Greer said she could not immediately comment on the anomaly resolution contract, which runs through Dec. 31, 2014.

   Lockheed Martin spokesman Stephen Tatum deferred questions about the contract to the Air Force.

   Lockheed Martin is under contract to build three AEHF satellites, and was authorized late last year to begin ordering parts for a fourth. In its budget request for 2012, the Air Force asked Congress to authorize the purchase of a fifth and sixth satellite expected to cost a combined $3.1 billion over the next several years.[/size:d729c5ea91]
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"
The fight to save AEHF 1 produces remarkable rescue
As the new year is ushered in, flight controllers are continuing with the detailed checkout of the U.S. military's newest ultra-secure communications satellite after a miraculous recovery saved the craft's life.

Launched August 14, 2010 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 booster and expected to reach geosynchronous orbit 100 days later, the Advanced Extremely High Frequency 1 satellite's main engine failed to fire during two attempts to begin raising the altitude from the rocket's dropoff point.

It's a standard practice for launchers to place communications satellites into highly elliptical transfer orbits, then allow the spacecraft themselves to finish the job by maneuvering into the circular geosynchronous orbits 22,300 miles above the planet where they match Earth's rotation and appear parked over one spot of the globe.

The Atlas 5 rocket successfully put the craft into a supersynchronous transfer orbit with a high point of 31,060 miles, low point of 170 miles and inclination of 22.1 degrees.

The satellite's main engine was supposed to produce 100 pounds of thrust while burning hydrazine fuel and nitrogen tetroxide during three firings to propel AHEF 1 into an intermediate orbit after launch.

The satellite's novel electric propulsion system using Hall Current Thrusters then would finish shaping the orbit into a circular, geosynchronous altitude about 22,300 miles high and inclined 4.8 degrees by late November 2010.

But attempts to burn the Liquid Apogee Engine (LAE) in the days after launch produced no acceleration and were immediately aborted by the spacecraft.

Dave Madden, director of the Military Satellite Communications Systems Directorate at the Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center, recalls those tense days as the team huddled to oversee maneuvers.

"The first time we fired the LAE and it failed I really wasn't worried that much at all because we see that kind of thing a lot of times. In general, I tell my guys when something fails, the satellite is smarter than we are and it's probably telling us something we don't realize and we're trying to do something it shouldn't do. So the first time I just assumed it was something we did wrong -- and the data generally supported that.

"So when we fired it the second time and it shut itself off even quicker than the first time, the first thing that went through my head was 'we lost the vehicle.' We were going to be stuck in this orbit.

"Then two minutes later the engineer in me kicked in and I took a deep breath and said OK, what do we need to do to make the vehicle safe? Let's organize our thoughts. How are we going to going to get the vehicle to orbit? Let's put the team together, circle the wagons, build a fishbone and try to figure out what we need to get done, and then, last phase, look at what caused this anomaly because we may have different options later on if we can understand the anomaly better."

According a Government Accountability Office report issued last summer, investigators probing the problem determined that debris mistakingly left inside the craft was the culprit. The clogged plumbing would mean the engine was forever deemed unusable.

The report cited "blockage in a propellant line that was most likely caused by a small piece of cloth inadvertently left in the line during the manufacturing process."

Valued at over $1 billion and the first in a new series of nuclear-survivable spacecraft that would ensure American leadership with communications in the most hellish scenarios of war imaginable, the AEHF 1 would be a total loss if it remained stranded in the transfer orbit.

Faced with the prospect of failure, the team got creative to draw up a Plan B to salvage the spacecraft and somehow get it maneuvered into the proper orbit.

The best option was using the craft's much smaller hydrazine thrusters to lift the orbit a bit, then rely on the exotic electric thrusters in a way never planned -- firing them for days, weeks and months as their whisper-like push eventually accumulated to propel AEHF 1 where it was supposed to go.

It was an unprecedented rescue campaign, like no other in recent memory for Air Force spacecraft. But after 14 months and nearly 500 maneuvers, AEHF 1 finally reached a circular geosynchronous orbit on Oct. 24, 2011.

"The tremendous demonstration of engineering excellence, superior teamwork and remarkable creativity truly is what saved this vehicle," said Madden.

The craft unfurled its antenna wings in the final days of October before commencing four months of in-orbit testing that is expected to last through March.

"After successful on-orbit test and checkout, we'll transfer the satellite command authority from the Space and Missile Systems Center to the 14th Air Force," Madden said.

Despite the extra maneuvers and long wait to get the satellite into a usable orbit, officials still expect to get the full 14 years of mission life out of the bird once it enters operations later in 2012.

"We believe the strategy we used to get it into orbit, the fuel we used and how we did it still allows the vehicle to get a full, at least 14-year mission life, if not significantly longer," said Madden.

Terminals in use with the Army, Navy and Air Force are exercising improved data rate communication connections that AEHF will bring to the warfighter. Other testing is verifying the backwards compatibility of the spacecraft with legacy gear from the Milstar satellite program that this next-generation AEHF satellite series will replace. Also on tap is integrating the AEHF 1 into Milstar's global network that rings the planet.

The checkout includes 76 specific tests and 374 objectives to confirm AEHF 1 is fully ready for handover to Air Force mission controllers that will place the craft into operations.

"What the team did was really an exciting thing...and saving this mission is probably the most significant thing I've seen," said Madden, who has spent a 30-year career working in the military space program.

"As the follow-on to Milstar that provides the assured, survivable, protected communications, we had a critical mission that has to be met. Providing this space-based capability to the president, top military commanders and our international partners is probably one of the most important missions the United States supports for nuclear deterrent communications."

And with AEHF 1 now progressing along, officials have given approval to ship the AEHF 2 satellite from Lockheed Martin's manufacturing plant in Sunnyvale, Calif., to Cape Canaveral in early-to-mid February to begin final preps for blastoff atop an Atlas 5 rocket on April 27.

"Because we were able to understand the anomaly on Vehicle 1, (it) enabled us to verify that we don't have that problem on Vehicle 2 and 3," Madden said. "That's why the anomaly analysis was so important, now we're able to go back into the fuel lines and we've verified we don't have anything similar that we saw on Vehicle 1."

The Air Force also recently inked a $227 million deal with industry to begin buying parts to build the structures and communications payloads for the AEHF 5 and 6 satellites. Buying the two craft together saved $42 million versus purchasing them separately, Madden said. Full production contracts for the spacecraft are still to come.
Еще немного подробностей


Первый после Artemis случай, насколько понимаю.

March 03, 2012

Lockheed Martin... AEHF SV-1 All A Go

Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] has successfully completed on-orbit testing for the...
...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.

Shown here is an artist rendering of an Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite, courtesy of Lockheed Martin.
С уважением, Павел Акулаев
Человеческий фактор....


March 19, 2012

U.S.A.F... Clogged AEHF-1 Rescued

Merryl Azriel of http://www.spacesafetymagazine.com/ reports that 14 months after human error stranded...
...U.S. military Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications satellite (AEHF-1) in the wrong orbit and at risk of exploding, the satellite was finally placed in its correct orbit in October of 2011. A successful test completed on February 29th prepared the AEHF-1 for operations, just two months before the second AEHF satellite is scheduled to launch. “This rescue effort was definitely a very sophisticated and highly technical masterpiece,” said Col. Michael Lakos, chief of the Military Satellite Communications Division at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.

It all started a couple days after AEHF-12s August 2010 launch aboard an Atlas V rocket. The satellite successfully reached it’s parking orbit. But the main engines that are needed to circularize the satellite’s orbit refused to work—they kept shutting off. The shut off is a safety feature instituted when a satellite detects a fault in the engines. The question was: what fault?

Experts determined that the fuel line must be blocked. But the attempts to engage the engines had resulted in filling the lines with fuel, thereby putting the satellite at risk of explosion and making it hazardous to attempt another engine fire. Luckily, AEHF-1 has two additional propulsion systems, albeit much less powerful, designed for use in stationkeeping adjustments, not major changes in trajectory. However, by applying small propulsive adjustments hundreds of times over 14 months, ground crews were able to slowly coax the satellite into its proper orbit. The major challenge was keeping it intact in the interim. The satellite had to dodge space debris three or four times and deploy its solar shields much earlier than intended—putting them at risk of degradation from radiation exposure in the van Allen belts.

The fault for the blocked fuel line was eventually attributed to a piece of cloth that had been placed over the line during manufacturing to protect it from contamination, but was never removed. “If I had to find the top 10 strange ones, that one would make my list,” said defense analyst Marco Caceres, who tracks rocket and satellite failures as part of his work for the Teal group, an aerospace and defense analysis firm. The Air Force has implemented additional checks for the remaining 5 satellites to be launched as part of the AEHF constellation and docked manufacturer Lockheed Martin $15 million for the mistake.
С уважением, Павел Акулаев

March 19, 2012

U.S.A.F.'s 4th Space Operations Squadron... Huge Step Forward — Safe + Secure

Recently, the men and women of the 4th Space Operations Squadron, in partnership with the Space and Missile Systems Center's Protected SATCOM Division, have...
...taken huge steps to ensure protected, survivable satellite communication for years to come. Initial payload contact was made October 29th, marking the start of on-orbit testing of the first Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite, the newest addition to the Milstar/protected communication satellite family. This initial contact with AEHF was important because, for the first time, it involved 4 SOPS operators and the primary ground system 4 SOPS will use to command and control, the AEHF Satellite Mission Control Subsystem.

The new capabilities of this satellite enhance secure communications both here at home and down range. This new technology, orbiting more than 22,000 miles above the earth, will boost secure global communications bandwidth by a factor of 10. A comparison would be updating from a dial-up internet connection to a broadband line. Instead of just basic data and voice, AEHF has the ability to stream large bandwidth information with the same security provided by the current Milstar constellation. To perform this feat, AEHF will introduce a new Extended Data Rate bandwidth capability, which encompasses both the current Low Data Rate and Medium Data Rate bandwidths along with the higher bandwidths beyond the capability of the current Milstar constellation.
Along with this addition to the Milstar constellation comes new capabilities here. Currently there are three new Advanced Ground Mobile (AGM) command and control centers at various locations. These mobile facilities can command and control the entire constellation as a standalone operations floor if needed during a wartime environment. To ensure the survivability of these platforms, they are housed inside trailers that can be driven or flown to any location on Earth at a moment's notice to ensure continued control of the constellation.

Since October, 4 SOPS and SMC/MCA personnel, along with their contractor partners Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman, have been working around the clock to ensure AEHF will seamlessly fit into the Milstar constellation and provide warfighters with unprecedented secure communication capabilities. These tests are proving AEHF is a perfect fit and valuable addition to the current constellation. One significant test validated AEHF's ability to integrate into the Milstar constellation's complex cross-link network. This network allows data to pass from satellite to satellite without the need for ground stations to relay the data. Another successful test AEHF completed proved its ability to perform over-the-air rekey. This critical capability ensures that communications passed between our warfighters remains protected from the enemy.

First contact and the numerous tests successfully completed since that important day are significant milestones representing the culmination of years of planning and development. These milestones are especially important, considering the satellite travelled more than 14 months to reach its final orbit location following a thruster anomaly after its August 2010 launch. The entire team to include, 4 SOPS, SMC/MCA and their industry partners continue to work tirelessly to bring AEHF online for the warfighter and we are excited about the capabilities this new satellite will bring to the fight.
С уважением, Павел Акулаев
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