EPS CAPS programme on track
The US Air Force’s Enhanced Polar System (EPS) Control and Planning Segment (CAPS) hardware has been delivered to operational sites by Northrop Grumman as the system prepares to enter acceptance testing, the company announced on 9 August.
The EPS provides secure, jam-resistant satellite communications coverage to users in the North Polar region. The CAPS ground system receives telemetry and supplies configuration commands, mission planning and cryptographic planning for the two EPS polar-orbiting payloads.
The CAPS operations and test equipment hardware strings (racks that enable testing) were delivered to Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado. This site is responsible for hosting the software and tools necessary for CAPS functionality.
The satellite interfacing and routing equipment was deployed to Clear Air Force Station in Alaska; from here the communications interface with the EPS constellation will be maintained.
System acceptance testing is set to get underway in the spring of 2017.
Northrop Grumman received the contract in November 2012 to develop, build and deploy EPS CAPS. The 18-month base contract covered segment design and risk-reduction efforts, which were completed in May 2014. Work under the current contract covers the next 48 months to complete CAPS development, deployment and initial sustainment.