Northrop Grumman delivers mission critical hardware for Enhanced Polar System ground station network
Northrop Grumman Corporation announced August 9 that it successfully deployed the Enhanced Polar System (EPS) Control and Planning Segment (CAPS) hardware in December 2015 to operational sites at Clear Air Force Station (CAFS), Alaska and Schriever Air Force Base (SAFB), Colorado – paving the way for System Acceptance Testing in the spring of 2017.
The U.S. Air Force’s EPS provides secure, jam-resistant satellite communications coverage to users in the North Polar region to support national objectives. CAPS is a next-generation ground system that receives telemetry and supplies configuration commands, mission planning and cryptographic planning for the two EPS polar-orbiting payloads.
Falls Church, VA-based Northrop Grumman deployed the CAPS operations and test equipment hardware strings (racks that enable testing) to SAFB in Colorado, which is responsible for hosting the software and tools necessary for CAPS functionality. Northrop Grumman also deployed the satellite interfacing and routing equipment to CAFS in Alaska, which is responsible for maintaining the communications interface with the EPS constellation. Completing these milestones prepares EPS CAPS for the System Acceptance Tests.
“Our EPS CAPS team continues to execute the program and deliver capability on this nationally strategic program,” said Joe Ensor, vice president and general manager, space intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems division, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems. “Working closely with our customer, we are delivering innovation on an extremely complex effort to ensure mission success.”
The CAPS design leverages Northrop Grumman’s foundational payload control and planning proficiencies in use throughout the company from various heritage programs. These proven competencies establish a pathfinder for an affordable, scalable mission control capability for any variety of future protected satellite communications architecture options the company may pursue.
Northrop Grumman was awarded a contract in November 2012 to develop, build and deploy EPS CAPS. The Military Satellite Communications Systems (MILSATCOM) directorate at the Air Force’s Space and Missile System Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is acquiring EPS and EPS CAPS.
The 18-month CAPS base contract was for segment design and risk-reduction efforts, which were successfully completed, on time, in May 2014. This current contract covers the next 48 months to complete CAPS development, deployment and initial sustainment. Primary design, development and testing are being done in Redondo Beach, California, with additional CAPS work performed in Orlando, Florida, and Needham and Marlborough, Massachusetts.
Source: Northrop Grumman Corp