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Interim Polar System Reaches Full Operational Capability

by Staff Writers
Los Angeles AFB CA (AFNS) Feb 11, 2007
Air Force officials announced Feb. 6 the successful launch and delivery for operational service of the second Interim Polar System payload. With this placement of the second of three planned IPS payloads, the extremely high frequency constellation is at full operational capability, providing 24-hour EHF communications coverage of the northern polar region.

"The capabilities provided by the Interim Polar System will give U.S. forces located in the polar region a critical asset for seamless communications with both CONUS-based combatant commanders and separate force elements located above the Arctic Circle," said Brig. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, the Military Satellite Communications Systems Wing commander.

The system provides secure EHF communications connectivity for support of peacetime, contingency and wartime operations. The payloads are produced by Boeing Satellite Systems in El Segundo, Calif., and hosted on a classified platform in a highly elliptical orbit. Initial operational capability of the IPS was achieved in 1998 with the launch of the first payload, which is still providing uninterrupted service. The third payload will replace the first payload to maintain full operational capability of the system.

The Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the Air Force's center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems. The center includes six wings and three groups. They are responsible for the Global Positioning System, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control network, space-based infrared systems, intercontinental ballistic missile systems and space situational awareness capabilities.

The center manages more than $60 billion in contracts, executes annual budgets of $10 billion and employs more than 6,800 people worldwide.

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Raytheon Demonstrates Satellite Communications Alternative
Marlborough MA (SPX) Feb 11, 2007
During an exercise with the I Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Raytheon successfully demonstrated that a traditional, transportable satellite communications terminal could be field configured to communicate without acquiring a satellite connection.

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