In a demonstration conducted May 23, Northrop Grumman proved that a new antenna it has developed for the B-2 can establish and maintain communications services with an on-orbit Air Force Advanced EHF (AEHF) communications satellite.
The new active electronically scanned array (AESA) antenna and EHF satellite communications system would allow the B-2 to send and receive battlefield information significantly faster than its current satellite communications system.
"Our demo marks the first time that AESA antenna technology has been used to communicate with the AEHF network," said Byron Chong, Northrop Grumman's B-2 deputy program manager. During the test, he added, Northrop Grumman successfully demonstrated extended data rate (XDR) communications between the AESA antenna and the AEHF satellite at EHF frequencies. XDR communications take advantage of the AEHF satellites' most advanced, most secure signaling protocols and communication waveforms.