How many of us know about (AEHF) Advanced Extremely High Frequency ?
AEHF is a series of communications satellites operated by the United States Air Force Air Force Space Command. They will be used to relay secure communications for the Armed Forces of the United States, the British Armed Forces, the Canadian Forces and the Royal Netherlands Armed Forces. The system will consist of six satellites in geostationary orbits, three of which have been launched. AEHF will replace the older Milstar system and will operate at 44 GHz Uplink (EHF band) and 20 GHz Downlink (SHF band).
AEHF satellites use a large number of narrow spot beams directed towards the Earth to relay communications to and from users. Crosslinks between the satellites allow them to relay communications directly rather than via a ground station. The satellites are designed to provide jam-resistant communications with a low probability of interception. They incorporate frequency-hopping radio technology, as well as phased array antennas that can adapt their radiation patterns in order to block out potential sources of jamming.
AEHF incorporates the existing Milstar low data-rate and medium data-rate signals, providing 75–2400 bit/s and 4.8 kbit/sec–1.544 Mbit/s respectively. It also incorporates a new signal, allowing data rates of up to 8.192 Mbit/s. When complete, the space segment of the AEHF system will consist of six satellites, which will provide coverage of the surface of the Earth between latitudes of 65 degrees north and 65 degrees south.
(source Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Extremely_High_Frequency )
Manufactured by Lockheed Martin, (the corporation that gathered the UK sensus information).
AEHF first launched in August 2010 from Cape Canaveral.
According to Lockheed Martin it is now a critical element of U.S. national security, military satellite communications delivers vital connectivity to armed forces around the globe, making warfighters safer and more effective.
The Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) system provides vastly improved global, survivable, protected communications capabilities for strategic command and tactical warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms. The jam-resistant system also serves international partners including Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
AEHF is a case study in cost-reduction. Through a continuing focus on affordability via fixed pricing, streamlined engineering teams, improved manufacturing and economies of scale, we lowered satellite cost by more than 35 percent in AEHF’s most recent block buy. In 2014, the Department of Defense honored the U.S. Air Force AEHF Program with the David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award for saving $1.6 billion from initial government estimates.
A single AEHF satellite provides greater total capacity than the entire legacy five-satellite Milstar constellation. Individual user data rates will be increased five-fold, permitting transmission of tactical military communications, such as real-time video, battlefield maps and targeting data. In addition to its tactical mission, AEHF assures the critical protected communications links for national leaders, such as the President and Joint Chiefs of Staff, in all levels of conflict.
Today 22/05/15 Reuters reports that Lockheed Martin Corp has won a $735.5 million contract to maintain and operate several U.S. military secure communications satellites.