Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory set to launch experimental TacSat-4 spacecraft

Date:
August 22, 2011
Source:
U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
Summary:
The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory TacSat-4 spacecraft is scheduled to launch, Tuesday, September 27 from the Alaska Aerospace Corporation's Kodiak Launch Complex. TacSat-4 is a Navy-led joint mission which provides 10 Ultra High Frequency (UHF) channels and allows troops using existing radios to communicate on-the-move (COTM) from obscured regions without the need for dangerous antenna positioning and pointing.

TacSat-4 is scheduled to launch from the Alaska Aerospace Corporation’s Kodiak Launch Complex into a highly elliptical orbit aboard an Orbital Sciences, Minotaur-IV+ launch vehicle.
Credit: Alaska Aerospace Corporation

The Naval Research Laboratory's Tactical Satellite IV (TacSat-4) is scheduled to launch from the Alaska Aerospace Corporation's Kodiak Launch Complex, Tuesday, September 27, 2011, aboard an Orbital Sciences Corporation Minotaur-IV+ launch vehicle. The Office of Naval Research (ONR) sponsored the development of the payload and the first year of operations. The Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) Office funded the launch which is managed by the Space Development and Test Directorate (SD), a directorate of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC).

Shortly after launch, the TacSat-4 spacecraft will be deployed into a unique, highly elliptical orbit with an apogee of 12,050 kilometers. This orbit helps augment current geosynchronous satellite communication by including high latitudes.

TacSat-4 is a Navy-led joint mission which provides 10 Ultra High Frequency (UHF) channels and allows troops using existing radios to communicate on-the-move (COTM) from obscured regions without the need for dangerous antenna positioning and pointing.

"Communication is a critical warfighting requirement. TacSat-4 will support forward deployed forces at sea and Marines on the ground," said Dr. Larry Schuette, ONR's director of innovation.

"We've developed a technology more rapidly and at lower cost that will supplement traditional satellites, giving multiple combatant commanders around the globe another outlet for data transmission and communications on the move."

TacSat-4 provides flexible up and down channel assignments, which increase the ability to operate in busy radio-frequency environments and will cover the high latitudes and mountainous areas where users currently cannot access UHF satellite communications (SATCOMs). The NRL Blossom Point Ground Station provides the command and control for TacSat-4. The Virtual Mission Operations Center (VMOC) mission planning system allows dynamic reallocation to different theaters worldwide that enables rapid SATCOM augmentation when unexpected operations or natural events occur.

Marking the 100th launching of an NRL built satellite into orbit, TacSat-4 is an experimental spacecraft that will test advances in several technologies and SATCOM techniques. Ultimately, TacSat-4 will augment the existing fleet by giving the SATCOM Support Centers (SSC) an additional space asset to provide communications to otherwise under-served users and areas that either do not have high enough priority or do not have satellite visibility. The project helps define future options for launching one or more smaller, highly elliptical orbit (HEO) satellites allowing the military to achieve the benefits of a combined HEO and geosynchronous orbit constellation.

The spacecraft bus was built by NRL and Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) to mature ORS bus standards. It was developed by an Integrated (government and industry) System Engineering Team, the "ISET Team," with active representation from AeroAstro, Air Force Research Laboratory, Johns Hopkins Laboratory APL, ATK Space, Ball Aerospace and Technologies, Boeing, Design Net Engineering, General Dynamics AIS, Microcosm, Microsat Systems Inc., Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory, Orbital Sciences, NRL, SMC, Space System Loral, and Raytheon. The Office of the Director of Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E) funded the standardized spacecraft bus.

TacSat-4 is managed by the Naval Research Laboratory Naval Center for Space Technology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. "U.S. Naval Research Laboratory set to launch experimental TacSat-4 spacecraft." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110822111735.htm>.
U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. (2011, August 22). U.S. Naval Research Laboratory set to launch experimental TacSat-4 spacecraft. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110822111735.htm
U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. "U.S. Naval Research Laboratory set to launch experimental TacSat-4 spacecraft." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110822111735.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Could Cost Billions According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins