Northrop Grumman has announced two key milestones in the delivery of the Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission (ASBM) – the delivery of two major components and the start of the next phase of pre-launch preparations.

ASMB is a two-satellite constellation project between the US Space Force, Space Norway and Northrop Grumman. It will deliver protected satellite communications to the northern polar region, one of the most difficult locations on earth to deliver communications.

ASBM uses the Northrop Grumman GEOStar-3 platform, which includes the main satellite structure and systems required to maintain operation, such as power, propulsion, communications, command and data handling, thermal control and guidance and navigational control. Northrop Grumman also provides the payload and ground system for this critical capability.

“Northrop Grumman’s end-to-end space technology capabilities represent a powerful model for government and commercial partnerships in space, marked by greater agility and affordability,” said Tom Wilson, corporate vice president and president, Northrop Grumman Space Systems. “Our work to deliver protected polar satellite communications will fill a critical need for our customers.”

Another recent accomplishment of the ASBM project was the successful delivery of the Control and Planning Segment (CAPS) ground system the US Space Force in March following successful completion of the site acceptance test, functional configuration audit/physical configuration audit and DD-250 sell-off.

CAPS is currently transitioning to the operations phase which opens the door for using the ground system for early operations with the two on-orbit operational EPS payloads along with the capability to support the two Enhanced Polar System Recapitalization (EPS-R) payloads after the ASBM launch.

The satellites also carry multiple hosted payloads, including an X-Band payload for the Norwegian Ministry of Defense, a Ka-Band payload for Inmarsat and the Norwegian Radiation Monitor payload commissioned by the European Commission.

Exclusive interview

Discover how digital transformation is enhancing space technologies in an exclusive interview with Jennifer Rogers, chief architect, Northrop Grumman at Space-Comm Expo 2023 – click here.

Image: ASBM-1 satellite enters thermal vacuum environmental testing at Northrop Grumman’s satellite manufacturing facility in Dulles, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Northrop Grumman)
Subscribe to the FINN weekly newsletter