Enhanced Polar System


The Enhanced Polar System (EPS) represents an evolution of requirements for protected extremely high frequency (EHF) satellite communications in the North Polar Region. EPS is the next-generation SATCOM system that will replace the current Interim Polar System (IPS) and serve as a polar adjunct to the Advanced EHF system.


EPS will provide continuous coverage in the polar region for secure, jam-resistant, strategic and tactical communications to support peacetime, contingency, homeland defense, humanitarian assistance, and wartime operations. The system consists of two EHF communications payloads hosted on satellites operating in highly elliptical orbits, a Gateway to other communication systems and the Global Information Grid (GIG), and a competitively selected ground segment to accommodate EPS payload command and control.


The EPS system will provide communications for military tactical and strategic forces and other users for operations above 65 degrees north. Additionally, EPS provides connectivity to Combatant Commander Command and Control centers below 65 degrees north. EPS characteristics include protected communications services, communications services for users without continuous system C2, integrated capability allowing users to manage their assigned resources, interconnectivity between Enhanced Polar satellites and mid-latitude users via an EPS Gateway located at a GIG Point of Presence, and an AEHF Extended Data Rate (XDR)-interoperable waveform. Each EPS payload must provide the minimum capacity to accommodate 20 communication channels operating in a 64 kbps mode (1.28 Mbps capacity). Users operate in standard XDR modes supported by the EPS communication links (data rates from 75 bps up to 2.048 Mbps). With the first operational availability in 2018, EPS will be an essential adjunct to the MILSATCOM mid-latitude systems.

Key program milestones include the Acquisition Strategy Addendum no.1 in January 2012 and EPS Acquisition Decision Memorandum in May 2012.

General Characteristics

Primary Function: Protected EHF communications above 65 deg N
Payload: Interoperable with AEHF Extended Data Rate (XDR) waveform
Antennas: 1 spot beam on Gateway, 1 user spot beam, 1 user earth coverage beam
Capacity: 20 channels x 64 kbps/channel each