L3Harris launches satellite for USAF constellation

7 July 2020 (Last Updated July 7th, 2020 11:39)

L3Harris Technologies has launched a satellite as part of a US Air Force (USAF) constellation for the firm-fixed-price development space mission.

L3Harris Technologies has launched a satellite as part of a US Air Force (USAF) constellation for the firm-fixed-price development space mission.

As the prime contractor of the mission, L3Harris is designing, developing, building, testing and deploying the satellites.

The satellite is the latest in a demonstration series of end-to-end small satellites to deliver the airforce with on-orbit imagery.

Once completed, the company will task, command and control the satellite system. Additionally, it will perform on-board processing to provide troops on tactical timelines.

The Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) class, satellite system will use L3Harris’ fully reprogrammable payload platform.

This will allow operators to reconfigure smallsat payloads on orbit to changing missions.

The on-board High Compaction Ratio unfurlable X-band reflector will enable high-speed data communication.

L3Harris Space and Airborne Systems president Ed Zoiss said: “L3Harris has developed and supported various aspects of satellite missions over the last several decades as a component supplier or hosted payload.

“In collaboration with the USAF, we pulled the pieces together to successfully plan, develop and execute an affordable, high-performance space mission, which is part of a responsive constellation contract.”

In April this year, L3Harris Technologies secured a contract to modernise and sustain critical US Space Force (USSF) infrastructure to be used by the military. Under the $23m contract, the modernised infrastructure will keep track of activities and objects in space.

Over a period of ten years, the current estimated contract value with the USSF Space and Missile Systems Center is up to $1.2bn.