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Space Force, Northrop to Begin Test, Integration of Polar Satcom System’s Control Segment

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The U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) has completed critical design review activities for the control and planning segment (CAPS) of a Northrop Grumman-developed satellite communications system over the North Pole.

SMC said Wednesday the review, which took place on June 24 and 25, follows more than three months of critical baseline assessments for the Enhanced Polar System Recapitalization (EPS-R) CAPS concept.

Northrop secured an $87 million contract to develop EPS-R CAPS in 2019 and will now help SMC test and integrate CAPS before working on command and control capabilities for other EPS/EPS-R payloads.

EPS-R serves as a follow-on effort to EPS and includes two eXtended Data Rate payloads intended for encrypted coverage ahead of the delivery of protected tactical and strategic satcom polar variants.

EPS is designed to handle satcom operations over the polar region to support various applications including homeland defense, wartime, humanitarian assistance and contingency support.

The system includes two Extremely High Frequency (EHF) communications payloads, CAPS, a Global Information Grid, a gateway and modified Advanced EHF terminals.