Harris has secured a contract to provide global satellite data and communications support to the US Air Force’s (USAF) Satellite Control Network (AFSCN) and Global Positioning System (GPS) antenna sites.
The $65m contract represents an extension to the company’s existing network and space operations and maintenance (NSOM) contract that supports the Air Force Space Command’s 50th Space Wing (50th SW), which is situated at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado, US.
According to the contract, the company-led team will continue its support for both inbound and outbound data and communications for more than 150 Department of Defense’s (DoD) satellites, as well as operation and maintenance of the AFSCN’s antenna and ground system infrastructure at ten locations worldwide.
Harris IT Services president Wayne Lucernoni said the 50th Space Wing plays a significant role in the US defence through management of a complex system of satellites.
"Harris helps ensure that communications and critical data are properly managed. This contract modification expands our support at a reduced cost to the air force and US taxpayers," Lucernoni said.
Awarded in January 2008, the $410m NSOM contract covers maintenance and operations of multiple 50th SW programmes and resources, including the AFSCN, the defence satellite communications system (DSCS), GPS, and Milstar facilities among others.
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The contract also included six one-year options with potential performance through 2014, if all options are exercised.
Comprising satellite operation centres (SOCs), tracking stations and test facilities located worldwide, the AFSCN delivers prelaunch checkout and simulation, readiness, launch support, early orbit/on-orbit support, and anomaly resolution for an array of DoD and some non-military satellite constellations.
Additionally, the network provides 50th SW with tracking data required for maintenance of the catalogue of space objects and the distribution of satellite ephemeris, almanacs and other information.
Image: A USAF space systems operator uploading navigation and timing data to GPS satellites. Photo: courtesy of staff sgt. Don Branum.