AEHF-6 satellite to feature 3-D printed part
Lockheed Martin will integrate a 3-D printed part on the US Air Force's (USAF's) sixth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF 6) satellite, the company announced on 4 April.
The remote interface unit - an aluminium electronic enclosure designed to hold avionic circuits - will be the first 3-D printed part certified for use on a Lockheed Martin military satellite.
The process of 3-D printing allows the team to bring down the lead time for manufacturing the part time from six months to only one and a half months, with assembly time being reduced from 12 hours to just three hours. It also improves quality and consistency of the units.
AEHF is a global military satellite communications system that provides protected, assured communication for commanders and tactical warfighters. Lockheed Martin will deliver the fourth AEHF vehicle this year. AEHF-5 and AEHF-6 are in production and will be launched in 2018 and 2019.
The 3-D printed part for AEHF-6 was designed using a process called laser powder bed fusion, in which a laser melts and fuses aluminium metal powder to build a part based on a digital design.
More from Digital Battlespace
Military Space Cloud Architecture (MILSCA) will be able to store more than 100 Terabytes of data generated on Earth and in space on board each constellation satellite with a processing power exceeding 250 TFLOPS (250,000 billion operations per second).
The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) initiated the Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor (HBTSS) programme in 2018 and in January 2021 awarded Other Transaction Agreements to L3Harris Technologies and Northrop Grumman for the creation of prototype systems.
Project Beroe will underpin government control of future satellite constellations, further enhancing the UK’s multi-domain integration efforts.
WorldView Legion, a fleet of high-performance satellites, will expand Maxar’s ability to revisit the most rapidly changing areas on Earth to better inform critical, time-sensitive decisions.
India has ambitious plans to develop its ISR capabilities in space but has a fight on its hands if it wants to keep in touch with competing nations.
The Tracking Layer (TL) will deliver a global constellation of infrared missile warning and missile tracking satellites. The constellation will consist of approximately 270 operational Transport and Tracking Layer satellites.