The Space and Missile Systems Center's Launch Enterprise Mission Manifest Office has handed over to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida a multi-manifest small satellite vehicle designed to work with the sixth Advanced Extremely High-Frequency satellite.
Built by the Georgia Institute of Technology, the TDO-2 vehicle will work to utilize satellite laser ranging and optical calibration capabilities to equip warfighters with space domain awareness, the U.S. Air Force said Tuesday.
TDO-2 will take off along with AEHF-6 aboard a United Launch Alliance-built Atlas V 551 rocket. The platform will carry government payloads, which will be incorporated into the aft-end of the Centaur upper stage.
The rocket is expected to field TDO-2 after the second main engine cut off and prior to AEHF-6 during the launch. AEHF-6 will also demonstrate a "swap-out" capability, a feature that will enable two multi-manifest satellites to be replaced if required.