Northrop Grumman has successfully completed the critical design review (CDR) for the US Air Force’s (USAF) enhanced polar system (EPS) control and planning segment (CAPS) programme.

Soon after the review, which focused on ensuring all CAPS requirements were completely allocated, feasible and verifiable, the Military Satellite Communications Systems Directorate (MILSATCOM) exercised the programme’s development option.

Carried out as part of an 18-month contract awarded in November 2012, the CDR also analysed details of both the hardware and software designs to ensure they adequately addressed the segment requirements to include specialty engineering analysis, detailed plans for verification and validation, and updated programme risks.

Northrop Grumman intelligence systems division vice-president and general manager Dave Ryan said the EPS CAPS is another example of how the air force is leveraging the company’s ability to quickly and affordably deliver innovative national space security products.

"EPS CAPS provides telemetry and control, mission planning and cryptographic planning for the EPS payload."

"With the detailed design work behind us, we can concentrate on development and final planning for the segment and system tests with the other EPS segments in the near future," Ryan said.

The newly awarded contract requires the company to complete CAPS development, deployment and initial sustainment in the next three years.

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Primary design, development and testing are being carried out at the company’s facilities in California, while additional CAPS work is also underway at its sites in Florida, and Needham and Marlborough, Massachusetts, US.

The EPS system provides soldiers with secure teletype, voice, email, instant messaging, video and multimedia and data communication capabilities, apart from enabling jam-resistant, strategic and tactical communications between forces operating in the North Polar Region in support of national objectives.

Specifically, EPS CAPS provides telemetry and control, mission planning and cryptographic planning for the EPS payload.

Defence Technology