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Old 11-26-2018, 05:45 AM
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Arrow US Navy launches Nano-Satellite

US Navy launches Nano-Satellite
26th November 2018 - 12:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

The US Navy has launched a nanosatellite, designed to extend the range of ultra-high frequency (UHF) communications into the polar regions, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The effort is part of the Integrated Communications Extension Capability (ICE-Cap), which aims to demonstrate the ability of low-Earth orbit satellites to extend the geographic coverage of the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) and legacy UHF follow-on satellite constellations to the polar regions.

MUOS provides mobile forces with cell-phone-like capabilities via the Wideband Code Division Multiple Access waveform while also supporting the legacy UHF currently provided by the UFO satellites. Currently, four MUOS satellites with one on-orbit spare make up the constellation, providing UHF coverage between 65 north and 65 south latitude. The ICE-Cap satellite will act as a relay to the existing MUOS constellation and, based on its orbit, extend communications into the polar regions for mobile forces.

The ICE-Cap payload, a small 3U nanosatellite, was commercially launched aloing with a number of 1U nanosatellites measuring only 10cm per side. These smaller satellites will serve as calibration targets and technology demonstrators to improve tracking of small objects in space. These satellites will host different combinations of radio frequency reflectors that reflect radar for improved space object tracking and optical reflectors that reflect lasers for precise measurement of satellite altitude.

Nanosatellites have a 12- to 18-month design cycle and an expected lifespan of about three years, allowing for continuous technology insertion.

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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