Inmarsat selects Northrop Grumman to provide spectrum monitoring for Global Xpress ® government users — Press Release
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Events, Northrop Grumman Corp., Press Releases, Satellites, space
, Fla., Feb. 11 , 2014 – Inmarsat (LSE:ISAT.L), the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, announced today that it has selected Northrop Grumman Corporation to field its Spectrum Interference and Monitoring System
(SIMS) to government users of Inmarsat’s Global Xpress service.
SIMS will provide improved speed, flexibility, and performance in monitoring Global Xpress services. Northrop Grumman developed SIMS based on the globally-deployed monitoring system it previously developed for the Department of Defense (DoD) Wideband Global System (WGS) constellation. Through familiar user interfaces, customizable views and graphical reporting, SIMS provides Inmarsat value added resellers (VARs), network operators and government customers with unparalleled insight i
nto their networks’ operations. SIMS is the advanced tool needed for spectrum situational awareness, rapid
interference detection, and problem resolution, ensuring optimal availability, reliability and quality of service to Global Xpress users.
Inmarsat Global Xpress (GX) will be the first globally available high-speed, mobile commercial satellite wideband network. It will offer the unique combination of global coverage from a single operator, consistent performance everywhere, and the network reliability for which Inmarsat is renowned. GX is the first satellite fleet from Inmarsat that will access Ka-band frequencies and allow for even higher bandwidth communication, virtually anywhere in the world. The first satellite
(Inmarsat-5 F1) was successfully launched on December 8th, 2013 covering Europe, the Middle-East, Africa and Asia. Full
global coverage from the GX constellation of three Ka-band satellites is scheduled to be achieved by the end of 2014.
“We are excited to have Northrop Grumman as a mission partner in providing spectrum monitoring capabilities to our Government customers”, said Peter Hadinger, President, Inmarsat US Government Business Unit. “We have designed Global Xpress from the ground up to be a trusted network that complements the Wideband Global System and other MILSATCOM. We chose an advanced spectrum and interference monitoring system that is based on a common platform to the one used by the U.S. DoD to facilitate interoperability and support our commitment to assured access.”
“Northrop Grumman is proud to partner with Inmarsat on SIMS. This leveraging of defense technology and
operational flexibility represents a tangible and game-changing step in the collaboration between defense and commercial SATCOM that both enhances the value of Global Xpress services and sets a standard for future partnerships,” said Martin Amen,
director of satellite and network operations for Northrop Grumman’s Information Systems sector.
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Events, Lockheed Martin, Press Releases, production program, Satellites, space
DENVER, Jan. 29, 2014 – The Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] team developing the U.S. Air Force’s next generation Global Positioning System (GPS) recently turned on power to the bus and network communications equipment payload of the program’s second satellite designated GPS III Space Vehicle 2 (SV-02).
The successful powering on of GPS III SV-02, on Dec. 19, 2013, at Lockheed Martin’s Denver-area GPS III Processing Facility (GPF), is a major production milestone which demonstrates the satellite’s mechanical integration, validates its interfaces, and leads the way for electrical and integrated hardware-software testing.
“The GPS III SV-02 bus power on is a significant milestone, positioning SV-02 in line with the Air Force’s first GPS III space vehicle, SV-01, in our GPF, where both satellites are progressing through sequential integration and test work stations specifically designed for efficient and affordable satellite production,” explained Mark Stewart, vice president for Lockheed Martin’s Navigation Systems mission area.
On Nov. 11, 2013, the propulsion core module for SV-02 was delivered to the GPF from Lockheed Martin’s Space & Technology Center, in Stennis, Miss., where the core was manufactured. The structural backbone of the satellite, the core contains the integrated propulsion subsystem that allows the GPS III to maneuver on orbit immediately after launch, as well as to conduct repositioning maneuvers throughout its mission life.
The GPS III program will affordably replace aging GPS satellites, while improving capability to meet the evolving demands of military, commercial and civilian users. GPS III satellites will deliver three times better accuracy; provide up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities; and include enhancements which extend spacecraft life 25 percent further than the prior GPS block. The GPS III also will carry a new civil signal designed to be interoperable with other international global navigation satellite systems, enhancing civilian user connectivity.
Lockheed Martin is currently under contract for production of the first six GPS III satellites (SV 01-06), the first four funded under the original contract and the fifth and sixth recent fully funded by an exercised Air Force option on Dec. 13, 2013. Lockheed Martin had previously received advanced procurement funding for long-lead components for the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth satellites (SV 05-08).
The first GPS III satellite (SV-01) was powered on in Feb. 28, 2013. GPS III SV-01’s spacecraft bus and antenna assemblies were delivered to Lockheed Martin’s GPF this summer. SV-01 is now in the integration and test flow leading to delivery “flight-ready” to the Air Force.
The GPS III team is led by the Global Positioning Systems Directorate at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Lockheed Martin is the GPS III prime contractor with teammates Exelis, General Dynamics, Infinity Systems Engineering, Honeywell, ATK and other subcontractors. Air Force Space Command’s 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2SOPS), based at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., manages and operates the GPS constellation for both civil and military users.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 115,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2013 were $45.4 billion.
GLI-METRO-G gives user complete control over Effective Radiated Power (ERP) levels for the entire GNSS range. — Press Release
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Events, Press Releases, Satellites, space
PUEBLO, Colorado (November 2013) GPS Source announces the release of the GLI-METRO-G. A smart GNSS controller designed with technology derived from high performance systems and military applications. Capable of handling any GPS L1/L2, GLONASS L1/L2 Signal application, it has many highly desired features, including the ability to select GPS+ GLONASS, GPS only or GLONASS only signal output power control. It also has built-in antenna monitoring and oscillation detection.
With the GLI-METRO-G, the user has complete control over effective radiated power (ERP) levels for the entire GNSS range. GLI-METRO-G has the unique benefit of allowing selection for the power control between signals. A user can easily decide which signal output the GLI-METRO-G will use to control signal power: GPS+GLONASS, GLONASS only or GPS only. When used in conjunction with an active GPS/GLONASS receive antenna, it will pass GPS+GLONASS signals inside a building, hangar or any structure where signal is not accessible. It can be used in an automated test environment or in a shielded room. GLI-METRO-G reduces the need for multiple antennas, receive devices and multiple antenna runs, while lowering maintenance and installation costs.
Robert Horton of GPS Source, said “We are excited to have the opportunity to bring the GLI-METRO-G to market. The frustration of trying to get a high quality GNSS signal, inside a building or covered structure is over. This is a state-of-the-art GNSS smart amplifier system that will help anyone select an output signal, select the power level and safely bring the signal inside.”
The GLI-Metro-G is currently in production and will be available November 2013. GLI-Metro-G offers support for present and future GNSS signals, including Galileo, ensuring operation with future devices.
Founded in 2000, GPS Source, Inc. designs, develops and manufactures solutions that bring GNSS inside for the military, defense, aerospace, commercial and public sector markets. This includes a complete line of GNSS antennas, splitters, repeaters, cables, etc. The “GPS Live Inside” products ensure GPS signal availability inside. GPS Source, Inc. is a veteran owned small business and an AS9100 certified company. For more information, visit www.GPSSource.com.
U.S. NAVY AND LOCKHEED MARTIN DELIVER NATION’S newest secure communications satellite for mobile users — Press Release
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, development program, Events, Lockheed Martin, Press Releases, Satellites, space
SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 13, 2013 – The U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] have delivered the second Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) spacecraft to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., where it will be prepared for a July liftoff aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.
MUOS vastly improves current secure mobile satellite communications. It links mobile users for the first time to a powerful voice and data system that delivers high speeds and streaming data, similar to consumer smartphone capabilities. The complete constellation of four spacecraft plus on-orbit spare will provide global coverage with prioritized voice, video and data services.
“Delivery of the second MUOS satellite begins the process of launch site testing and delivery to orbit,” said Iris Bombelyn, vice president of Narrowband Communications at Lockheed Martin. “MUOS-2 will add on-orbit military satellite communication that is heavily in demand. Our first space vehicle has performed exceptionally on orbit, providing legacy payload voice calls at full capacity. In fact, we recently demonstrated mobile data and voice transmissions using our advanced payload.”
Today, MUOS-2 was safely transported from Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, Calif., facility to nearby Moffett Federal Airfield. The 60th Air Mobility Wing of Travis Air Force Base, Calif., then loaded the satellite aboard a C-5 aircraft and successfully shipped the spacecraft to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Prior to launch, engineers will complete post shipment testing, fuel the satellite’s propulsion system and encapsulate the spacecraft inside the launch vehicle’s payload fairing. The fairing will then be mated on top of the Atlas V launch vehicle for final integrated testing and closeout preparations for launch.
MUOS-1 has been providing crystal-clear voice communications since it started operating in 2012. More recently, its advanced Wideband Code Division Multiple Access payload has performed flawlessly since terminals began using its waveform, which was developed by General Dynamics and delivered by Lockheed Martin earlier this year. There are more than 20,000 existing terminals compatible with and can access the MUOS legacy payload. After MUOS-2 is operational and the ground stations and terminals have been certified, the full suite of MUOS features will be available to users in the field as new terminals are deployed.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 118,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2012 were $47.2 billion.
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, development program, Events, IT, Lockheed Martin, Military Aviation, Proposal, Raytheon, Satellites, Services, space, U.S. Air Force
The Global Aircrew Strategic Network Terminal (Global ASNT) is a U.S. Air Force project that is part of the Minimum Essential Emergency Communications Network (MEECN)system. It’s role is to provide messaging and aircrew alert functions. It will be part of the Advanced Extremely High Frequency / Extremely High Frequency (AEHF/EHF) system utilizing new AEHF communication satellites now being built by Lockheed Martin (LMT) to improve U.S. communication capabilities.
The requirement has existed for several years but earlier this month the U.S. Air Force asked for final proposals by 18 January. The solicitation information may be found on FedBizOpps.Gov here.
It has been reported that Raytheon (RTN) did submit a proposal for this requirement. It believes that the contract will be awarded this summer. The company is already building AEHF ground terminals for use by the military.
The program is still R&D and this contract would develop the terminal. It would then move into production later. If any other company bid on the contract it has not been publicized.
Due to the budget uncertainty of the sequestration and continuing resolution it may be hard in FY13 to begin new programs like this. They might, as the Army has already announced with the Ground Combat Vehicle, delay them a few months to get to FY14 and a more stable fiscal environment.
GeoEye and DigitalGlobe Receive Antitrust Clearance in Connection with Pending Combination — Press Release
Filed under: Acquisitions, Business Line, Companies, Events, IT, Press Releases, Restructuring, Satellites, space
HERNDON, Va., Jan. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — GeoEye, Inc. (NASDAQ: GEOY), a leading source of geospatial information and insight, announced that it has received antitrust clearance from the U.S. Department of Justice in connection with its pending combination with DigitalGlobe, Inc. (NYSE: DGI).
As previously announced, on July 23, 2012, the boards of directors of both GeoEye and DigitalGlobe unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement under which the companies will combine. Completion of the transaction is subject to satisfaction of other customary closing conditions, including obtaining regulatory approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). GeoEye is working cooperatively with the FCC and NOAA, and the transaction is expected to close by January 31, 2013. Shareowners of both GeoEye and DigitalGlobe have previously voted overwhelmingly in favor of the combination. Simultaneous with the closing of the transaction, the company expects to complete a $1.2 billion refinancing, which is expected to include a combination of senior notes and senior secured credit facilities.
Pursuant to the Agreement and Plan of Merger between the parties and the anticipated closing date of January 31, 2013, all stockholder election forms with respect to the consideration to be received in the merger by GeoEye stockholders must be received by the Exchange Agent, American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC (AST) by no later than 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on January 29, 2013. Further information regarding the stockholder election form may be obtained by contacting AST toll free at (877) 825 – 8619.
GeoEye is a leading source of geospatial information and insight for decision makers and analysts, who need a clear understanding of our changing world to protect lives, manage risk and optimize resources. Each day, organizations in defense and intelligence, public safety, critical infrastructure, energy and online media rely on GeoEye’s imagery, tools and expertise to support important missions around the globe. Widely recognized as a pioneer in high-resolution satellite imagery, GeoEye has evolved into a complete provider of geospatial intelligence solutions. GeoEye’s ability to collect, process and analyze massive amounts of geospatial data allows our customers to quickly see precise changes on the ground and anticipate where events may occur in the future. GeoEye is a public company listed on NASDAQ as GEOY and is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia with more than 700 employees worldwide. Learn more at www.geoeye.com.
Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
This release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Without limitation, the words “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “will” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. All statements that address operating performance, events or developments that we expect or anticipate will occur in the future, including statements relating to growth, expected levels of expenditures and statements expressing general optimism about future operating results, are forward-looking statements. Similarly, statements that describe our business strategy, outlook, objectives, plans, intentions or goals also are forward-looking statements. All such forward-looking statements and those presented elsewhere by our management from time to time are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those described in “Risk Factors” included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, which we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on March 13, 2012, as updated in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the periods ended March 31, 2012, June 30, 2012, and September 30, 2012, which we filed with the SEC on May 4, 2012, August 7, 2012, and November 6, 2012, respectively. Copies of all SEC filings may be obtained from the SEC’s EDGAR Web site, http://www.sec.gov or by contacting: William L. Warren, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, at 703-480-5672.
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, development program, Events, Press Releases, Raytheon, space
Leverages lessons learned from operational prototype and 7 decades of radar leadership to track space debris
TEWKSBURY, Mass., Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) has submitted its proposal for the U.S. Air Force’s Space Fence program.
Space Fence, a large, S-band radar to be based in Kwajalein atoll, will be capable of detecting more and much smaller objects in low Earth orbit to provide greater accuracy and timeliness to meet space situational awareness requirements.
“Raytheon’s Space Fence solution will track more than 150,000 pieces of unaccounted space debris that threaten manned space flight and the satellites we all rely on for many critical services, including accurate weather forecasts, navigation and financial transactions,” said David Gulla, vice president of Global Integrated Sensors in Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business.
“Raytheon’s decades of expertise building large-scale radars in remote locations, our investment in key technologies and the proven success of our working Space Fence prototype enable us to offer the U.S. Air Force a low-risk solution at an affordable price,” he added.
Raytheon leads the industry in delivering innovative, affordable and reliable radar solutions, leveraging a 70-year radar heritage to provide global customers a decisive intelligence edge in all domains. Raytheon produces the world’s broadest range of radar solutions and continually works to advance radar technologies to deliver enhanced capabilities for warfighters around the world.
“Raytheon has partnered closely with the Air Force during the technology development phase to understand the requirements and has come up with a number of innovative solutions that will make Space Fence affordable,” said Scott Spence, Raytheon’s Space Fence program director. “Raytheon is looking forward to supporting the Air Force as this vital program moves forward.”
About Space Fence and Space Debris
- A piece of debris as small as 1 centimeter can seriously damage – or even destroy – an operational satellite.
- Critical infrastructures such as power grids, banking operations and transportation systems are all dependent on the GPS satellite constellation.
- The Space Fence system will replace the U.S. Air Force’s Space Surveillance System radar that has been operational since 1961.
Raytheon Company, with 2011 sales of $25 billion and 71,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 90 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. For more about Raytheon, visit us at www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter @raytheon.
Lockheed Martin submits Space fence radar proposal to U.S. Air Force to detect and TRACK ORBITal objects — Press Release
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Events, Lockheed Martin, Press Releases, Satellites, space
MOORESTOWN, N.J., Nov. 13, 2012 – Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] has submitted its final contract proposal to build Space Fence, an advanced ground-based radar system that will improve the way the U.S. Air Force identifies and tracks orbital objects.
Space Fence will provide much-needed enhanced space situational awareness capabilities for the Air Force and allow the service to decommission the aging U.S.-based Air Force Space Surveillance System, originally installed in 1961.
“The original surveillance system wasn’t designed to detect and track the hundreds of thousands of smaller, orbiting objects that are in space today, potentially threatening the International Space Station, future manned space flight missions and our nation’s critical satellite assets,” said Steve Bruce, vice president for space surveillance systems at Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems & Sensors business. “With decades of experience developing powerful S-band radar systems, Lockheed Martin has proposed a scalable and affordable Space Fence solution for the Air Force that will transform space situational awareness.”
The Air Force plans to begin construction at its first Space Fence site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands in the fall of 2013 to meet the program’s 2017 initial operational capability goal. The contract value is estimated at $1.9 billion over a seven-year period of performance.
Using powerful, new ground-based S-band radar technology, Space Fence will enhance the way the U.S. detects, tracks, measures and catalogs orbiting objects and space debris with improved accuracy, better timeliness and increased surveillance coverage. Earlier this year, Lockheed Martin demonstrated its prototype Space Fence radar proving it could already detect resident space objects.
With more than 400 operational S-band arrays deployed worldwide, Lockheed Martin is a leader in S-band radar development, production, operation and sustainment. The Lockheed Martin-led team – which includes General Dynamics, AMEC and AT&T – has decades of collective experience in space-related programs, including sensors, mission processing, cataloging, orbital mechanics, net-centric communications and facilities.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 120,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2011 were $46.5 billion.
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Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin
Filed under: Boeing, Business Line, Companies, Contract Additions, Contract Awards, Events, Lockheed Martin, logistics, Satellites, Services, space, U.S. Air Force, United Launch Alliance
As the fiscal year came to an end this weekend the Pentagon closed it out by awarding several FY12 contacts. One of the biggest was to United Launch Alliance (ULA) for launch services in FY 2013.
ULA is a joint venture between Boeing (BA) and Lockheed Martin (LMT) and builds Atlas and Delta rockets used to launch military payloads. The overall program is the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV). Under the contract ULA provides both the launchers as well as engineering, management and launch activity support.
This part of the contract option for FY13 is worth a little over $1 billion and the number of launches planned for this year was not specified.
The original plan for EELV a decade a go was to support both Boeing and Lockheed as separate launch vehicle providers but eventually the decision was made to establish a joint venture between the two companies as a way to reduce costs.
Filed under: Alliant Techsystems, Business Line, Companies, Earnings, Events, logistics, production program, Seeking Alpha, space
Here is an article I wrote at Seeking Alpha discussing Alliant Techsystems (ATK) latest earnings.
TeleCommunication Systems Receives $19 Million Delivery Order from U.S. Army for SNAP Deployable Satellite Systems Equipment and Support — Press Release
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, development program, Events, Press Releases, production program, Satellites, space
ANNAPOLIS, Md., Aug. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (TCS) (NASDAQ: TSYS), a world leader in highly reliable and secure mobile communication technology, today announced that it has received a new $19 million delivery order from the U.S. Army for equipment, field services support and maintenance of Secret Internet Protocol Router and Non-secure Internet Protocol Router Access Point (SNAP) Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) satellite systems. The funding is the result of a successful bid on a task order for satellite communications equipment and support from the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command.
The order is initially funded at $700 thousand and will be funded up to a total of $19 million if the options are fully exercised. This new order will provide the U.S. Army with equipment and support for TCS’ SNAP deployable communications products. The U.S. Army Project Manager for the Warfighter Information Network – Tactical (PM WIN-T) Commercial Satellite Terminal Program is funding these procurements through the Army’s $5 billion World-Wide Satellite Systems (WWSS) contract vehicle.
“The U.S. armed forces need satellite communications systems that are easily deployed, secure and reliable,” said Michael Bristol, senior vice president and general manager of government solutions for TCS. “TCS’ SNAP VSAT satellite systems equipment meets these criteria and can help our military succeed.”
The TCS SNAP VSAT systems provide multimedia communications capabilities which convey encrypted voice, video and data. TCS SNAP products are highly transportable and ruggedized, and have a graphical user interface that facilitates easy set-up and operation. The modularity and plug-and-play interfaces between all radio frequency (RF) and baseband configurations inherent in the SNAP product line result in communication solutions tailored to the end-user’s specific needs.
About TeleCommunication Systems, Inc.
TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (TCS) (NASDAQ: TSYS) is a world leader in highly reliable and secure mobile communication technology. TCS infrastructure forms the foundation for market leading solutions in E9-1-1, text messaging, commercial location and deployable wireless communications. TCS is at the forefront of new mobile cloud computing services providing wireless applications for navigation, hyper-local search, asset tracking, social applications and telematics. Millions of consumers around the world use TCS wireless apps as a fundamental part of their daily lives. Government agencies utilize TCS’ cyber security expertise, professional services, and highly secure deployable satellite solutions for mission-critical communications. Headquartered in Annapolis, MD, TCS maintains technical, service and sales offices around the world. To learn more about emerging and innovative wireless technologies, visit www.telecomsys.com.
Except for the historical information contained herein, this news release contains forward-looking statements as defined within Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties and are based upon TCS’ current expectations and assumptions that if incorrect would cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. Risks include without limitation the possibility that the contract options will not be exercised, or that the total value of the order will not be fully funded, and those detailed from time to time in the Company’s SEC reports, including the report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, and on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2012.
Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances, or otherwise.
Filed under: Alliant Techsystems, Business Line, Companies, Events, ISR, Press Releases, Satellites, Services, space, U.S. Air Force
Spacecraft Significantly Exceeded Mission Life ? On-Orbit Operations Lasted Nearly Three Years
Mission Confirms Robustness of ATK’s Quick-to-Launch Spacecraft Bus and Components
ARLINGTON, Va., May 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — ATK (NYSE: ATK) announces the conclusion of the Tactical Satellite-3 (TacSat-3) mission. The Air Force announced on April 30th, 2012, that the satellite deorbited into and burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere nearly three years after its May 2009 launch. TacSat-3 was designed for six months of operation, with a goal of one year. Not only did it outlive its design life, it also surpassed its original mission requirements and goals as an experimental spacecraft, and was successfully transitioned to operational status in 2010.
The satellite was removed from operational status and transferred to the Space and Missile Systems Center in February 2012. Once transitioned, ATK provided the Air Force Research Laboratory with updated flight software, which allowed the vehicle to conduct on-orbit collection testing.
TacSat-3′s mission demonstrated the capability to conduct hyperspectral imaging to support the needs of U.S. warfighters.
“TacSat-3 served America well. We were proud to be part of the team that provided reconnaissance data from space to warfighters in the field and to intelligence analysts at home,” said Tom Wilson, vice president and general manager, Space Systems Division, ATK Aerospace Group. “Our innovative bus technology was a key factor in successfully extending the TacSat-3 demonstration to a longer-term operational mission. The mission enabled us to apply and enhance our flexible, modular bus platforms for future small satellite missions that included the ORS-1 spacecraft.”
The spacecraft is a pioneer of the emerging Operationally Responsive Space program, which was designed to meet the growing need of U.S. forces for flexible, affordable and responsive satellite systems.
ATK, as the spacecraft bus prime contractor, provided the complete bus system, which included the onboard command and data handling system, electrical power system, spacecraft bus primary structure, and interfaces to the launch vehicle and payload. Built and designed in just 15 months, ATK’s spacecraft bus met the TacSat-3 program goals of being operationally responsive, low-cost and with expected performance. The spacecraft also featured first-generation modular bus technology designed to provide flexibility for future small satellite missions. As a rapid, affordable experimental mission, the specification did not include a propulsion system to sustain long-term low-Earth orbit.
The TacSat-3 program was managed by the Air Force Space Command with collaboration from the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate and the Army Space and Missile Defense Command.
ATK is an aerospace, defense and commercial products company with operations in 22 states, Puerto Rico and internationally. News and information can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com.
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Department of Defense, development program, Events, missile defense, NASA, Orbital Systems, production program, Satellites, Seeking Alpha, Services, space
This is an exclusive article I wrote at Seeking Alpha on Orbital Sciences. It may be found here.
Lockheed Martin Honors Pioneers of Recently Declassified National Reconnaissance Satellites — Press Release
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Events, Lockheed Martin, Press Releases, S&T, Satellites, space
Lockheed Martin Honors Pioneers of Recently Declassified National Reconnaissance Satellites
SUNNYVALE, Calif., Jan. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Pioneers of the highly successful Gambit and Hexagon legacy reconnaissance systems recently unveiled by the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) were honored during a Jan. 24 ceremony at Lockheed Martin’s (NYSE: LMT) facilities in Sunnyvale, Calif.
Gambit and Hexagon followed Corona, the nation’s first photo reconnaissance satellite system to return an image from space successfully. All three programs were built by industry teams under contract to the NRO with Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company as the satellite system integrator. These programs provided vital national security information from 1960 until 1986.
Approximately 400 former employees involved in some aspect of Hexagon and Gambit and their guests attended the ceremony which featured displays and videos highlighting spacecraft production, launch and technical capabilities including actual Earth imagery. Speakers included Bruce Carlson, director of the NRO, and Joanne Maguire, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company.
In his remarks, Carlson expressed his gratitude to the entire Lockheed Martin team for their contributions to national security: “Without this vital work, we would not have had the search, surveillance, and mapping capabilities that provided the high resolution imagery that gave our nation’s decision makers the ability to deal with our adversaries from a position of strength.”
“The successes achieved by the Hexagon and Gambit teams built upon the Corona legacy to deliver unprecedented mission capabilities and longevity,” said Maguire. “We are enormously proud of our role in providing these vitally important remote sensing assets to the nation.”
The first Gambit system, launched in 1963, was equipped with a 77-inch focal length camera system . The second system, Gambit 3 was equipped with the camera system that included a 175-inch focal length camera. The system was first launched in 1966 and provided the U.S. with exquisite surveillance capabilities from space for nearly two decades.
Hexagon was first launched in 1971 to improve upon Corona’s capability to image broad denied areas for threats to the United States. Twelve of the 19 systems flown also carried a mapping camera to aid in U.S. military war planning.
The United States depended on these search and surveillance satellites to understand the capabilities, intentions, and advancements of those who opposed the U.S during the Cold War. Together they became America’s essential eyes in space.
In addition, Gambit and Hexagon were launched aboard rockets built by Lockheed Martin heritage companies. Gambit 1 was launched on an Atlas rocket with the orbiting Agena D upper stage and Gambit 3 was launched using a Titan III B booster. Hexagon was launched aboard the larger Titan III D rocket.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company is a world leader in the most advanced space-based systems for government and global commercial customers. Its expertise in stabilized, remote sensing spacecraft for high-resolution remote sensing missions began with Corona, a ground-breaking system that achieved its first successful launch in 1960.
The company draws on its wealth of expertise in building and integrating remote sensing satellites to provide commercial customers with advanced systems such as the GeoEye’s IKONOS satellite and its next-generation Earth imaging program, known as GeoEye-2.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s 2010 sales from continuing operations were $45.8 billion.
Filed under: Boeing, Business Line, Companies, Contract Additions, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, Events, logistics, production program, Satellites, Services, space, U.S. Air Force
The United States military and government relies heavily on satellite communications to support their operations. Boeing (BA) has been building the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite for several years. Yesterday the aerospace contractor received a contract from the Air Force for more of the systems as well as successfully launching the 4th system into space.
The contract for WGS-9 follows on one recently awarded for number 8 and has a value of about $377 million. This is the exercise of an option on a production contract Boeing won late in FY11. Combined with that for the 8th system Boeing has received contracts worth almost $700 million for WGS birds. Boeing had previously delivered 4 WGS systems.
Also last night Boeing saw a Delta IV rocket successfully place WGS-4 into orbit. WGS-1 was launched in 2007, WGS-2 in 2008 and WGS-3 in 2009. Ultimately a constellation of 9 of the WGS satellites will be launched. Boeing now has received production options for all of them.
The U.S. is also buying two other communication satellites under the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) and Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) programs. WGS was originally a “gapfiller” to provide temporary capability to bridge until AEHF were ready. Now due to their capability and time pressures WGS is becoming a primary communication system.
Filed under: Business Line, commercial aviation, Companies, Contract Additions, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, development program, Events, Lockheed Martin, logistics, Military Aviation, Satellites, Services, space, U.S. Air Force
Even though the U.S. defense budget and spending overall will decline in the next few years there is no doubt certain critical modernization and support programs that need to be funded. One of these is the U.S. investment in the Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system. The United States military developed the system and has launched several satellites over the last thirty years and is now in the process of carrying out a program to build and place into orbit the GPS III Constellation.
GPS is now used not only for navigation of ships and aircraft as originally intended but also to support ground movement and provide guidance and targeting data for a host of weapons and unmanned vehicles. This is not even considering the capability it provides to the civilian world as well. In the near future GPS will become critical to international and national air traffic control and guidance as while the U.S. upgrades its system the European Union and Russia are deploying their own advanced constellation of updated satellites to provide similar capability.
The Block IIIA satellites have been under development and production by Lockheed Martin (LMT) and other contractors since 2008 when the program passed its Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) review. In early FY11 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report stating that the program was facing development and deployment delays due to not awarding the contract for the new satellites in a timely manner. This could lead to the GPS constellation being smaller then necessary to support all applications. The Air Force and Lockheed were working mitigation plans.
As the program has progressed the Air Force awarded Lockheed the contract to build the third and fourth satellites in this configuration. The initial value for the contract is almost $240 million. The initial contract awarded in 2008 covered the first two satellites in the program.
Ultimately up to 32 GPS III satellites will be manufactured and deployed over the enxt several years. The first is expected to be launched in 2014.
GPS is critical to support U.S. combat operations and new satellites need to be launched to replace the older, less capable systems from earlier constellations. Lockheed as long as it continues to meet the Air Force’s schedule and requirements should have the bulk of this work which should be due to its importance fairly well funded until its completion.
Filed under: Boeing, Business Line, Companies, development program, Lockheed Martin, production program, Satellites, space
The U.S. Air Force recently awarded a contract to United Launch Alliance (ULA) to provide vehicles to launch military payloads into space. ULA is a joint venture between Boeing (BA) and Lockheed Martin (LMT) and manufactures these vehicles primarily at their Decatur, AL facility.
ULA was an outgrowth of a program from the early part of this century called Assured Access to Space. The plan was to have the ability to launch when necessary and would rely on Boeing and Lockheed to provide their two main launch vehicles – the Atlas and Delta rockets. Originally the two companies would have competing contracts to control costs. After reviewing the requirements and to assure both systems were available it was decided to combine their efforts into ULA.
A contract to support various satellite launches was awarded this week with a value of over $1.5 billion. This is for 5 Atlas V and 4 Delta IV systems. The launches will all occur by 2014. The payloads include reconnaissance systems, GPS satellites and two weather ones.
ULA has been the primary provider of launch vehicles for military, science and foriegn payloads for several years. With the demise of the space shuttle which also had the ability to deliver satellites to some orbits unless the Air Force or NASA choose one of the newly emerging commercial space contractors, like Space X, ULA will continue to win most of the work.
Photo from Ryan Somma’s Flickr photostream.
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Countries, development program, England, Events, Press Releases, Satellites, space
COM DEV USA wins military contract
EL SEGUNDO, CA, Sept. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – COM DEV USA, LLC, a subsidiary of COM DEV International Ltd. (TSX: CDV), today announced that it has been awarded a contract to supply equipment for a military communications satellite. Valued in excess of US$5 million, the contract is a follow-on order for an additional flight set of equipment on a satellite program for which the Company is an incumbent supplier. COM DEV USA will be providing filters, diplexers, ferrite devices and switches for the satellite. Work on the contract will be carried out at the Company’s facility in El Segundo, California with completion expected by the end of fiscal 2012.
“When COM DEV entered the US military satellite communications market in 2008, our stated intention was to be the tier two supplier of choice for a full range of passive microwave devices into that market. Being the incumbent on a number of continuing milsatcom programs has given us the opportunity to demonstrate ourselves as an outstanding supply chain partner to the prime contractors in this market,” said Dan White, president of COM DEV USA. “More importantly, our performance on these programs has resulted in continuing contract awards, and we are grateful for the confidence our customer continues to show in us.”
Commenting on this contract award, Michael Pley, CEO of COM DEV International said, “Even as new government programs are delayed by spending restraint, our position as the incumbent supplier on a number of continuing legacy satellite programs, coupled with our demonstrated ability to deliver value to our customer, is providing our US based business with a significant and steady flow of work, which we expect will continue well into the future.”
About COM DEV
COM DEV International Ltd. (www.comdevintl.com) is a leading global provider of space hardware and services. With facilities in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, COM DEV manufactures advanced subsystems and microsatellites that are sold to major satellite prime contractors, government agencies and satellite operators, for use in communications, space science, remote sensing and defense applications. COM DEV’s majority-owned subsidiary, exactEarth Ltd., provides satellite data services.
This news release may contain certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from results indicated in any forward-looking statements. The Company cautions that, among other things, in view of the rapid changes in communications markets and technologies, and other risks including the cost and market acceptance of the Company’s new products, the level of individual customer procurements and competitive product offerings and pricing, and general economic circumstances, the Company’s business prospects may be materially different from forward-looking statements made by the Company.
The triangular logo and the word COM DEV are each registered trademarks and the property of COM DEV Ltd. All rights reserved.
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Events, IT, logistics, Press Releases, Satellites, space, Trade Shows and Events
Defence Geospatial Intelligence (DGI) 2012
23-26th of January 2012
Westminster, London on
Defence Geospatial Intelligence (DGI) is Europe’s largest and most international annual gathering dedicated to the high-level discussion of the importance and the major challenges of the use of geospatial intelligence in both defence and national security operations.
DGI brings together heads of Geospatial Intelligence, Remote Sensing, GIS Mapping, Satellite Imagery and Analysis within the Military, Governmental and National Security sectors. It attracts professionals who are responsible for using, and integrating, geo based capabilities in their operations and organisations. DGI provides a unique forum for defence intelligence to discuss and debate the development of geospatial intelligence capabilities across the globe in defence and security sectors – With over 600 attendees year on year, DGI has becomes Europe’s key forum for geospatial strategy.
Addressing the use of geospatial information in scenarios such as international conflicts, defence operations, C4ISR, humanitarian disasters, crime, national security, border control, arms treaty monitoring and global climate change; a fundamental objective of DGI is to help organisations understand how to build the necessary infrastructure and architecture to take advantage of geospatial intelligence capabilities.
To find out more, contact the organisers today:
Lockheed Martin Is Leveraging Satellite and Missile Defense Expertise on Precision Tracking Space System Team — Press Release
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, development program, Events, Lockheed Martin, missile defense, Press Releases, S&T, Satellites, space
Lockheed Martin Is Leveraging Satellite and Missile Defense Expertise on Precision Tracking Space System Team
SUNNYVALE, Calif., Sept. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is leveraging its satellite and missile defense expertise on the Manufacturing and Production Readiness Integrated Systems Engineering Team for the Precision Tracking Space System (PTSS). PTSS will provide the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) with a space-based system for post-boost tracking of ballistic missile threats in a global infrastructure.
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory awarded Lockheed Martin Space Systems a contract in February for $1.2 million covering a 24-month period of performance. Lockheed Martin participated in the PTSS system requirements review, which was completed in March. Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory is leading the Manufacturing and Production Readiness Integrated Systems Engineering Team, which is comprised of government, national laboratories and industry participants.
“Lockheed Martin has extensive experience in advanced sensors, satellite surveillance systems, and missile defense systems, which is ideally suited to help address this critical fire control sensor capability for the Ballistic Missile Defense System,” said Doug Graham, vice president of advanced programs, Strategic and Missile Defense Systems, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. “We are partnering with the Missile Defense Agency and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab to provide the best integrated satellite solution for the agency’s network of sensors and weapon systems.”
Following the current prototype phase, the MDA has announced that it plans to competitively select one contractor for system development and production of an operational PTSS, consisting of nine to 12 spacecraft with associated ground control and processing equipment.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s 2010 sales from continuing operations were $45.8 billion.
Filed under: Boeing, Business Line, Companies, Contract Additions, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, EADS, EADS Astrium, Events, IT, logistics, Satellites, Services, space, U.S. Air Force
The U.S. Air Force and Boeing (BA) signed a contract for the seventh Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite last week. The contract has a value of over $1 billion and includes the advanced procurement materials for the eighth satellite as well.
The WGS, also called the “Wideband Gapfiller Satellite”, is a new communication system used by the U.S. military as well as the Australian Ministry of Defence. The first of the systems was launched in 2007 and so far two others have been launched. With this contract Boeing will have up to five in production of the new communication system.
The U.S. military is increasingly dependent on satellite communications for its war fighting needs. Not only has it been investing in its own systems to support this need but has also been buying large amounts of commercial capability. The fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan has required large amounts of this support.
Recently the U.S. government began issuing omnibus contracts for commercial time for communications. This is a joint contract between the Department of Defense and the General Services Administration (GSA). It will allow any agency or part of the government to buy commercial satellite time from a variety of providers and the contract could have a value of over $5 billion.
This type of support is considered a growth area for defense contractors and is part of the reason that EADS (EADS:P) acquired the second largest commercial satellite provider recently.
At the same time the U.S. military will continue its investment in internal capability with systems such as WGS.
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, development program, EADS, EADS Astrium, General Dynamics, IT, logistics, medicine, production program, S&T, Satellites, space
IBM (IMB) expanded its capabilities in the area of security analytical support through the acquisition of British company i2 yesterday. i2 provides software that does data analysis in support of law enforcement and military operations. The value of the transaction was not announced.
IBM has invested several billion since 2006 on companies that provide this and other types of security related services in order to bolster its capabilities in this market. The move also illustrates the further commitment of government and defense contractors to what is to be an expected growth area in the future as the U.S. military and others invest in more sophisticated computer security and intelligence support functions.
While IBM did not say how much they paid for i2 in 2008 it was last sold for $185 million indicating that this deal would be substantially more as the company has had some growth since then.
It is expected that Merger & Acquisition (M&A) activity will be accelerating and the deals will be getting larger. Recently there have been two deals in the billion dollar range by larger aerospace and defense companies. First, General Dynamics (GD) acquired Vangent a health IT company for $980 million and EADS’ (EADS:P) satellite division, Astrium, agreed to acquire satellite communications company Vizada for $960 million.
These two deals expand the company’s capabilities in less traditional markets for them but ones that it is felt the U.S. especially will be spending billions on in the near future. This is move away from their past efforts in developing, producing and supporting large platforms such as aircraft, vehicles and military communication systems.
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Congress, Department of Defense, development program, Events, Press Releases, production program, Satellites, Services, space
AIA Concerned by Defense Appropriations Cuts to National Security Space
ARLINGTON, Va., June 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Aerospace Industries Association is concerned about substantial cuts to national security space programs in the fiscal year 2012 House Defense Appropriations bill.
“We understand the need for belt-tightening in today’s economic climate,” said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. “However, we are deeply concerned that the cuts to national security space go too far.”
National security space systems provide essential capabilities such as global satellite communications; access to space; positioning, navigation and timing; environmental monitoring; Operationally Responsive Space support to the warfighter; situational awareness and missile warning. Stable funding for these mission areas is critical. Research and development in the House bill was reduced by $2 billion with some individual programs taking significant cuts. Overall, the bill’s reductions for space, not including classified programs, total nearly $600 million. AIA believes such a significant cut on this sector would pose economic and national security challenges because of the vital importance of space capabilities in both areas.
“Long-term funding, block buys and stability are more critical than ever to maintain cutting-edge, cost-effective space programs and a healthy national security space industrial base,” Blakey said. “Cuts of this magnitude risk the loss of skilled workforce and the capability to design and build the space assets on which our warfighters and economy depend.”
AIA urges full funding for:
- The fiscal year 2012 budget request for national security space programs of $10.2 billion in addition to support of stable RDT&E funding required for development of future capabilities.
- The Evolutionary Acquisition for Space Efficiency initiative, which will increase stability in the space industrial base.
- The Operationally Responsive Space initiative consistent with the fiscal year 2011 appropriation of $93.9 million to mature new capabilities to provide rapid support to the warfighter.
SOURCE Aerospace Industries Association
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne J-2X Engine for NASA’s Future Human Spaceflight Ready for Test — Press Release
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, development program, Events, Pratt & Whitney, Press Releases, S&T, space, UTC
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne J-2X Engine for NASA’s Future Human Spaceflight Ready for Test
CANOGA PARK, Calif., June 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne completed assembly of the first J-2X upper-stage engine for NASA’s next era of human spaceflight in preparation for demonstration testing expected to begin this month at Stennis Space Center, Miss. The J-2X is a highly efficient and versatile rocket engine with characteristics to power the upper stage of a heavy-lift launch vehicle. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company.
“Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is proud to have assembled and brought to test NASA’s first new human rated engine in 31 years,” said Jim Maser, President, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. “Built from a proven engine design, the J-2X is a safe and reliable solution for NASA’s future heavy-lift architecture.”
Fueled by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, the J-2X engine will generate 294,000 pounds of thrust to propel a spacecraft into low-Earth orbit. The J-2X can start and restart in space to support of a variety of mission requirements. To view a time-lapse video of engine assembly, click here: http://tinyurl.com/3vxm25f
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a part of Pratt & Whitney, is a preferred provider of high-value propulsion, power, energy and innovative system solutions used in a wide variety of government and commercial applications, including the main engines for the space shuttle, Atlas and Delta launch vehicles, missile defense systems and advanced hypersonic engines. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is headquartered in Canoga Park, Calif., and has facilities in Huntsville, Ala.; Kennedy Space Center, Fla.; Stennis Space Center, Miss; West Palm Beach, Fla.; and ARDE, Carlstadt, NJ. For more information about Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, go to www.prattwhitneyrocketdyne.com.
Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines. United Technologies, based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified company providing high technology products and services to the global aerospace and commercial building industries.
SOURCE Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Congress, Contract Additions, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, development program, Events, Federal Budget Process, Northrop Grumman Corp., Restructuring, Satellites, Services, space, U.S. Air Force
In the Nineties it was decided that the U.S. military and the Department of Commerce would work jointly on a new weather satellite constellation to orbit near the Poles. Previously the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as part of Commerce developed and operated civil weather satellites. This decision led to the National Polar-orbiting Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) which would deploy six systems to conduct data gathering in support of weather forecasting and earth science.
The program suffered various schedule and cost challenges which led to a Nunn-McCurdy breach and a major restructuring of the program in 2005. Major portions of the program were deleted and only four systems would be built. In 2010 as part of their budget the Obama Administration changed the program again with NOAA taking over management of one part of the program and DoD the other.
Photo from wharman’s flickr photostream.
In the summer of 2010 the Air Force proposed the establishment of the Defense Weather Satellite System (DWSS) which will be their part of the new NPOESS program. Northrop Grumman (NOC) was the prime contractor on NPOESS and will continue to support both Commerce and the Air Force.
This week Northrop announced that they had received authorization from the Air Force to begin work on the DWSS. This means that they begin the transition from the old contract and start the DWSS work.
The U.S. has seen several satellite programs started to replace aging Cold War era ones suffer from cost and schedule delays. Now many are starting to get on their feet and begin to make solid progress. DWSS will be one of those programs and illustrates again the difficulties of conducting joint programs between different services and parts of the government.
Photo from wharman’s flickr photostream.