OS/COMET ® Telemetry Tracking and Control Donated to U.S. Air Force Academy
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — U.S. Air Force Academy cadets will be able to train for and execute space communications assignments using the most advanced technology available today, thanks to a donation from Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS), an international communications and information technology company. Harris has donated OS/COMET® satellite telemetry tracking and control product licenses, and associated engineering/training support, to the Academy’s Department of Astronautics.
Bob Henry, executive vice president of Harris Corporation and president of Harris Government Communications Systems Division, presented the product licenses to Brigadier General Dana H. Born, Dean of the Faculty, United States Air Force Academy, during the 23rd National Space Symposium being held April 9-12 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. Attendees included Undersecretary of the Air Force for Space Programs, the Honorable Dr. Ronald M. Sega; Elliot G. Pulham, president and chief executive officer, Space Foundation; Colonel Marty France, head of the Air Force Academy’s Department of Astronautics; Air Force Academy cadets involved with the FalconSAT program; other industry executives; and representatives from government and academia.
The Academy’s Department of Astronautics offers an engineering program where cadets design, develop, integrate and test small satellites for Department of Defense research and development space programs. The Harris OS/COMET® software tool will be used for training, integration and test, and on-orbit command and control of the cadet-built and operated FalconSAT series of satellites. Four FalconSAT satellites have been launched to date - the last one, FalconSAT-3, was launched on March 8, 2007. Another two FalconSAT satellites are in the design phase.
“The Academy’s FalconSAT program is a very important one that enables cadets to gain real-world, hands-on satellite mission experience prior to graduating and, for some, taking on assignments that involve Air Force satellite network operations,” said Dr. Sega. “Small satellites have become an increasingly important part of our operationally responsive space efforts, and these hands-on experiences with small satellites will assist our people in rapidly gaining critical skills in building, launching, and operating spacecraft. These efforts help develop technical instincts, which should prove valuable in our space professionals’ future endeavors.”
“Harris is a mission partner with the Air Force in support of many of its satellite programs, so we are very pleased to be able to present the Academy with this new software tool that will enhance the educational experience of cadets participating in the astronautics engineering program,” said Bob Henry of Harris Corporation. “As an industry employer in the Colorado Springs area through our work with the Air Force’s 50th Space Wing, we see this donation as an investment in both higher education and the local community for the future of military satellite communications.”
Harris has been providing operations and maintenance services to the 50th Space Wing at Schriever AFB in Colorado Springs since 1996. Major programs include the Operational Satellite Support Services and Mission Communications Operations and Maintenance programs supporting the Air Force Satellite Control Network. The company employs nearly 250 people in the Colorado Springs area who support the 50th Space Wing customer.
Harris is a recognized leader in satellite ground data processing and mission command-and-control systems. Its OS/COMET® commercial, off-the-shelf software tool offers superior levels of flexibility, and allows users to choose and change the level of automation throughout the life of a satellite program. OS/COMET® is designed for government and commercial applications, supporting both single-satellite missions and the largest and most complex satellite fleets deployed today. It is the command-and-control product of choice for programs such as Iridium®, Global Positioning System, and multiple geostationary earth orbiting and low earth orbiting satellites.
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