NAVY EXTREMELY HIGH FREQUENCY SATELLITE
COMMUNICATIONS PROGRAM (NESP)
|Navy ACAT IC Program||Prime Contractor|
|Total Number of Systems:||359||Raytheon|
|Total Program Cost (TY$):||$2.1B|
|Average Unit Cost (TY$):||$5.8M|
SYSTEM DESCRIPTION & CONTRIBUTION TO JOINT VISION 2010
The Navy Extremely High Frequency (EHF) Satellite Communications Program (NESP) terminal connects ship, shore, and submarine platforms to the Military Strategic and Tactical Relay (MILSTAR) satellite constellation. The NESP terminal supports survivable, endurable, and flexible worldwide command and control communications to strategic and tactical Naval forces through all levels of conflict. The NESP terminal provides minimum essential secure communications in stressed environments that require anti-jam and low-probability-of-intercept capabilities. NESP will enable our forces to maintain information superiority through all levels of conflict, enhancing full-dimensional protection to our warfighters by capitalizing on the unique capabilities of the MILSTAR satellite system.
There are three different configurations of the NESP terminal corresponding to ship, shore, and submarine platforms. Although each terminal has the same basic capabilities, their antennas and other peripheral equipment vary by platform. In addition to communicating with the MILSTAR satellites, the NESP terminals can operate with the EHF Package on Fleet Satellites 7 and 8 and with EHF packages on UHF Follow-On (UFO) satellites 4 through 10.
In keeping with the 1992 restructuring of the MILSTAR program, the NESP terminal is being upgraded to add a tactical medium data rate (MDR) capability to the existing strategic low data rate (LDR) capability. The maximum low data rate is 2.4 kbps, while the maximum medium data rate is substantially higher at 1.544 mbps. The existing NESP ship and shore terminals are being upgraded with a medium data rate appliqué to achieve the combined low/medium data rate MILSTAR capability. However, to satisfy terminal requirements beyond upgrading the existing NESP ship and shore terminals, the Navy has initiated a new Follow-On Terminal program. In addition to providing low/medium data rate communications at extremely high frequencies, the Follow-On Terminal will also support super high frequency satellite communications and Global Broadcast Service satellites. The submarine low data rate terminals are undergoing medium data rate upgrades, including modification for a new mast and 16" antenna, as well as addition of the super high frequency and Global Broadcast Service capabilities.
The Navy is developing two new communications controllers, the Navy EHF Communications Controller (NECC) and the Time Division Multiple Access Interface Processor (TIP). The NECC and TIP are baseband interface units that allow more efficient use of MILSTAR satellite resources. The NECC supports LDR networks, while the TIP supports MDR networks.
The NESP low data rate terminal reached full production status in 1993. IOT&E for the low data rate terminal included three operational tests:
- The first operational test, OT-IIA in June 1988, supported the Milestone IIIA decision in September 1988.
- The second and third operational tests, OT-IIB and OT-IIC (conducted in September 1990 and August 1992, respectively), supported the Milestone IIIB decision in April 1993.
Since the NESP IOT&E occurred before the first MILSTAR satellite was on orbit, Navy Fleet Satellites with EHF payloads supported the three IOT&E events. Two follow-on operational tests were conducted after the first MILSTAR satellite was in orbit.
- OT-IIIA (August and September 1994) and OT-IIIB (June, July, and September 1996) verified the NESP terminal performance with an in-orbit MILSTAR satellite. OT-IIIA addressed unresolved issues and deficiencies observed in prior tests, while OT-IIIB addressed low data rate anti-jam and low probability of intercept performance.
TEST & EVALUATION ACTIVITY
Army, Navy, and Air Force terminals participated in the developmental MILSTAR System Tests in July 1997, August 1998, and August 1999. In these medium data rate focused developmental tests, Service terminals were connected to the MILSTAR satellite payloads at the contractor's facility in Sunnyvale, CA. The Army's low/medium data rate capable Secure, Mobile, Antijam, Reliable, Tactical Terminal (SMART-T) and the NESP terminal, equipped with a medium data rate appliqué, participated in both low and medium data rate tests. The Air Force Command Post Terminal and the Army Single Channel, Anti-Jam, Man-Portable (SCAMP) terminal participated in the low data rate tests. These tests examined the compatibility and interoperability of the NESP terminal with both MILSTAR payloads. The tests included low and medium data rate signal acquisitions, simultaneous network operations, interoperable network and point-to-point calls, antenna and network control functions, and Year 2000 rollovers.