Boeing [NYSE: BA] has received a $1.5 million U.S. Air Force study contract to define the next-generation communications payload for a polar-orbiting satellite.
The proposed Enhanced Polar System (EPS) would provide protected satellite communications for warfighters operating in northern polar regions and fill expected communications gaps in areas not covered by the military's Advanced Extremely High Frequency and Transformational Satellite Communications systems now in development.
The study will look at options for producing and delivering two separate protected Extremely High Frequency (EHF) communications payloads with anti-jam and low probability of intercept/detection capability. These payloads would be integrated into two separate spacecraft and serve soldiers operating above 65 degrees north latitude.
"This study contract represents the first step in defining a robust and secure satellite payload needed for Extremely High Frequency communications for Air Force and Navy warfighters in remote regions of the world," said Michael Gianelli, Boeing vice president of Navigation and Communications Systems. "Our expertise in digital signal processors and mobile satellite communications and our work on the military's Interim Polar Satellite program, the heritage system to EPS, establish a good framework to define the EHF payload architecture and lay the foundation for production."
The Interim Polar Satellite program uses a modified Boeing-built communications payload, originally slated for the U.S. Navy's Ultra High Frequency Follow-On satellite system, on a polar-orbiting satellite to provide secure military communications in the Arctic Ocean.
Under the initial six-month contract, Boeing will define the payload architecture and specifications and deliver a payload system requirements review package to the U.S. Air Force Military Satellite Communications (MILSATCOM) Joint Program Office. A 14-month Phase II contract option, if exercised, would include delivery of a completed system architecture, a system engineering master plan and a final risk management plan. The second phase study contract has a value of $8 million.
The U.S. Air Force MILSATCOM Joint Program Office at the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., will oversee the Enhanced Polar System program.
The results contained in this submission were generated in whole or in part through work supporting the MILSATCOM Joint Program Office (MJPO).