Thermal Blanket Signing Ceremony Held for First AEHF Satellite
By Military Satellite Communications Systems Wing, SMC
/ Published July 16, 2010
LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Continuing a tradition from the Milstar satellite communications program, the Lockheed-Martin/Air Force Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) team signed a piece of the flight thermal blanket for the AEHF-1 satellite.
Vera Scheidlinger, the most junior civilian employee in the Protected SATCOM Group was invited by Lt. Gen. Tom Sheridan, Space and Missile Systems Center commander, to sign the AEHF thermal blanket at a ceremony earlier this year.
The Lockheed-Martin/Air Force team completed all factory testing of the first AEHF satellite. The satellite was shipped on May 24 and is currently at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. where, next month, it is scheduled to be launched aboard an Atlas V launch vehicle. This launch marks the first protected satellite launch since the last Milstar launch in 2003.
The AEHF system is the successor to the five-satellite Milstar constellation and will provide significantly improved survivable, highly secure, protected, global communications for the warfighter. A single AEHF satellite will provide greater total capacity than the entire Milstar constellation currently on-orbit. Individual user data rates can be up to five times higher than Milstar's highest speed. The faster data rates will permit transmission of tactical military communications, such as high-quality real-time video and quick access to battlefield maps and targeting data. AEHF also provides significant increases in coverage opportunities. With substantially increased numbers of beams, the likelihood of a user losing coverage if a higher priority user moves the beam is mitigated.