Mon, Dec 07, 2009
Delta IV Launch Delivers Third Piece Of New Communications
configuration of the Delta IV rocket left its Florida launch pad on
Saturday around 8:47 pm carrying a next-generation Air Force
satellite. Lift-off occurred at the very end of a
90-minute launch window and after several days of delay caused by
unfavorable weather around Cape Canaveral.
The success is good news for United Launch Alliance (ULA), a
2006 joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing. ULA had
never flown this specific configuration of the rocket with the
larger 5-meter payload shroud and a total of 4 strap-on
ULA provides both the Atlas and Delta
families of expendable rockets for the DOD and NASA. The high
success rate for ULA vehicles has been quoted in recent talk of
revisions to NASA's moon plans. Improved versions of Delta and
Atlas vehicles have been proposed as replacements for the Ares I
rocket being developed internally by NASA.
The rocket's payload was the third Wideband Global SATCOM
(WGS-3) spacecraft, a $300 million, 6.5 ton satellite. There
are a total of six satellites being developed by defense
departments in the US and Australia as a part of a new
high-capacity communications system.
WGS replaces the current Defense
Satellite Communication System (DSCS) that has been in operation
for more than two decades. The older system cannot process
the high data rates common in today's technology. Troops in
Afghanistan and Iraq are already benefitting from vast improvements
in communications provided by the two WGS spacecraft already in
orbit, including downloads of up to 2.4 Gigabits/second.
Air Force Maj. Mark Hadley, a deputy program manager for WGS
explained the impact of the new system on military capabilities.
"It provides voice, data and commanding at about 10 times the data
rate that was previously available," said Hadley. "It really is a
Also: HeliTrak PMA, Aviation’s Next Big Fight, New KC Airport, Verifly, CFM Orders, Purdue Aviation, P&W Expansion Some of the aviation industry’s worst fears appea>[...]
Aero-News Quote of the Day "Although our navigation algorithms can get even better, and we need to test them in many other parts of the world, this is a positive sign for Loon&rsqu>[...]
Takeoff Hold Lights (THL) The THL system is composed of in-pavement lighting in a double, longitudinal row of lights aligned either side of the runway centerline. The lights are fo>[...]
Aero Linx: Modification and Replacement Parts Association (MARPA) MARPA is the non-profit trade association that represents the Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) community. A PMA i>[...]
Get Your Breaking News Out To The Industry A partnership between ANN and others in the aviation/aerospace industry offers more exposure, a greatly lessened strain on individual res>[...]