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Tests Demonstrate Functionality of Lockheed Martin/Northrop Grumman’s Next Generation TSAT


REDONDO BEACH, Calif. - The Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT)/Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) Transformational Satellite Communications (TSAT) team has announced that the functionality of its Next Generation Processor Router (NGPR) has been demonstrated in a comprehensive test conducted by the U.S. government.

The milestone further demonstrates the team’s readiness to enter the next phase of the TSAT program, which will provide an advanced generation of protected, wideband satellite communications for military and intelligence users.

Using high-speed optical communications, Internet Protocol network routing, and communications-on-the-move capability, TSAT will provide a dramatic increase in connectivity, speed and mobility for the future warfighter. The NGPR is a critical component of the TSAT payload that combines features common to terrestrial network routers with TSAT-unique processing functions, providing anti-jam radio frequency (RF) waveforms, military Quality of Service features, and flexible optimization of capacity via Dynamic Bandwidth Resource Allocation (DBRA) processing.

In the NGPR-2 tests, the team demonstrated the high-data-rate, protected TSAT waveforms through integrated end-to-end threads, as well as network functionality of the NGPR under planned scenarios defined by the U.S. Air Force. The tests, conducted from November 2006 through February 2007 at Northrop Grumman, were performed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory (MIT/LL) using its suite of test and verification equipment. The Aerospace Corporation, which provides technical support to USAF on the TSAT program, also participated in the test execution.

The official NGPR-2 testing was completed ahead of schedule, which enabled the team to conduct further tests designed to highlight additional features of the NGPR design interoperating with the MIT/LL equipment.

“These successful tests are the result of our proven processes and engineering experience evolved over successive generations of highly advanced processors we have developed for military satellite communications,” said Alexis Livanos, president of Northrop Grumman’s Space Technology sector. “These capabilities that brought success on previous EHF SATCOM payloads will continue to be applied as we move forward on the TSAT program.”

A first round of tests (NGPR-1) last year demonstrated compliance with the U.S. government’s compatibility standards for the XDR+ waveform, a secure, protected, anti-jamming waveform developed for TSAT ground-to-satellite uplinks and downlinks. The NGPR-2 tests went further by demonstrating these waveforms through end-to-end uplink/downlink paths, and additionally demonstrated network routing functionality using Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6).

“This successful test is another important step in our efforts to develop and mature the technologies essential for introducing TSAT,” said Mark Pasquale, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s TSAT. “Our sustained risk reduction performance on TSAT and proven track record of delivering sophisticated communications systems gives us high confidence that we are ready to proceed with the next phase of this critical system.”

The Lockheed Martin/Northrop Grumman TSAT space segment team is currently working under a $514 million contract for the Risk Reduction and System Definition phase of the program. The team has a legacy of successfully developing new satellite communications technologies and integrating them into progressively more advance military systems. The team is competing for the subsequent Development and Production phase of TSAT, which is planned to be awarded in late 2007.


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