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Lockheed Team Recognized for Putting High Frequency Satellite Into Orbit

Lockheed Martin was recognized along with its U.S. Air Force and Aerospace Corporation team members for successfully developing a work-around plan to enable a high frequency satellite to be achieve its geosynchronous orbit.

The team received Aviation Week’s Laureate Award, which honor teams and individuals for their achievements in aviation and aerospace.

Award judges credited the team with creating an orbit-raising work-around that allowed the first advanced extremely high frequency satellite to be able to achieve its operational location.

Lockheed said when the AEHF-1 satellite launched in 2010, there was an anomaly in its propulsion system that upset the satellite’s orbit-raising plan.

The Bethesda, Md.-based contractor and team members designed a plan that pushed the satellite into its correct orbit by using the satellite’s hall thruster propulsion system and other hydrazine thrusters.

Since achieving its orbit, the satellite has been able to complete on-orbit testing and communicate to networks with extremely high frequency terminals at extended data rates, the company reports.

Lockheed said the satellite’s progression to network with the Milstar constellation will be followed by the satellite being turned over to the 14th Air Force at Vanderberg in California.

The AEHF team also includes Northrop Grumman’s aerospace systems business, which provides payloads used to develop the satellite under the contract agreement.

Lockheed provides services other than satellite and aviation services. The company recently won a $715 million U.S. Navy contract modification in order to build two combat ships.

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