Dust-Free Zone

Lockheed Martin announced Feb. 9 that it is now conducting thermal vacuum testing on the second advanced extremely high frequency military communications satellite. This testing, which is taking place at the company’s facilities in Sunnyvale, Calif., is meant to verify that this AEHF spacecraft will be able to perform in the extremes of hot and cold that it will encounter on orbit throughout its 14-year design life. “Our team is focused on executing a highly disciplined and successful test, demonstrating with high confidence that the spacecraft will meet all performance requirements,” said John Miyamoto, Lockheed Martin’s AEHF vice president. The company plans to deliver this spacecraft to the Air Force in 2011 in preparation for launch. The first AEHF spacecraft is set for launch in 2010. Overall, the service plans to procure four AEHF satellites to replace the current Milstar constellation.