Groundbreaking Held for Next Generation NHS-B Antenna
By Capt. Jessica Schroeder, Satellite Control and Network Systems Division
/ Published August 16, 2011
LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The first step in achieving the next generation in satellite tracking capability was taken at New Boston Air Force Station on July 21 with a groundbreaking ceremony marking the beginning of the New Hampshire Tracking Station B-Side Remote Tracking Station Block Change project.
This project, which will be completed by the defense contractor Honeywell Technology Solutions Inc., will bring enhanced telemetry, tracking and command capabilities to the Air Force Satellite Control Network. The AFSCN, which is operated by the 50th Space Wing at Schriever AFB, Colo., is a global system of control centers, remote tracking stations, and communications links that support the nation's surveillance, navigation, communications and weather satellite operations. NBAFS is home to the Twenty-Third Space Operations Squadron. The squadron is responsible for supporting the AFSCN and the organization will operate the NHS-B RBC system once it is completed.
The NHS-B RBC project will construct a new ring wall and inflatable radome that will enclose a 13-meter antenna, complete with updated electronics on the operations floor that will offer more automation and faster turn-around time between satellite supports than on previous systems. The RBC system, which will be turned over to 23 SOPS by January 2014, will replace the previous 60-foot antenna that began operations at NBAFS in 1961. The 60-foot antenna, which was demolished in the summer of 2010, supported the then Top-Secret Corona Reconnaissance program as one of its earliest endeavors. The NHS-B RBC antenna will be built in the same location as the demolished antenna.
The lead organization on the RBC project is the Satellite Control and Network Systems Division under Air Force Space Command's Space and Missiles Systems Center located at Los Angeles AFB, Calif. The NHS-B RBC will be the seventh RBC to be installed in the AFSCN. The Satellite Control and Network Systems Division has completed RBC systems and turned them over for operations at Vandenberg AFB in Calif., Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean and at Oakhanger in the United Kingdom. SMC/SN is the acquisition program office responsible for modernizing and sustaining the AFSCN to ensure responsive, effective support to the warfighter.
Distinguished guests attending the ground breaking included Douglas Tayrien, deputy director for the Satellite Control and Network Systems Division; Raul Diaz, technical director for the 50th Network Operations Group; and ommunity leaders from the surrounding area.
"This site as well as the other remote tracking stations is what keeps me going to work every day. I really love my job and I truly enjoy going to work every day. And the reason for that is what you all do for the Air Force, for Space Command and for our nation. I'm proud to be part of this historic event and very proud of our entire team, including 23 SOPS, Honeywell, Aerospace, our support contractors, civilians and our entire team. This ground breaking event is the first step in the 7th RBC weapons system that is upgrading the worldwide AFSCN. This event is important. What you all do for our nation's security is of the utmost importance. I'm proud to be part of this event and am honored to be allowed to speak to you today," said Douglas Tayrien.