Military Embedded Systems

Tactical SATCOM payload prototype developed for Space Force


April 23, 2021

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Stock image.

FALLS CHURCH, Va. Northrop Grumman Corporation has been selected by the U.S. Space Force’s (USSF) Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) to proceed with its ongoing Protected Tactical SATCOM (PTS) Rapid Prototype program, with a flight demonstration of the company’s PTS payload set to occur in 2024.

Selected for the initial award through the Space Enterprise Consortium, this continuation enables Northrop Grumman to proceed with the completion of the detailed design, manufacturing, and testing of the payload. The company will also integrate its payload onto a host space vehicle and conduct its on-orbit demonstration.

According to the company, Northrop Grumman completed the preliminary design peer review of its PTS prototype in December 2020. The company has also demonstrated the interoperability of its prototype with the government’s PTS test terminal, and has validated the anti-jam performance of its design using the Protected Tactical Waveform, an anti-jam communications waveform that allows access to secure, protected communications by the tactical warfighter.

The company’s flight demonstration of the PTS payload will feature advanced anti-jam SATCOM links as an element of the Protected Anti-Jam Tactical SATCOM architecture, which includes space, ground, and gateway segments.


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