Space Norway, a government-owned Norwegian space firm, has selected Northrop Grumman to design, develop, integrate and test two broadband satellites intended to handle communications across the north polar region.
Northrop said Wednesday it plans to use its GEOStar spacecraft as a basis for manufacturing the Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission platforms which will carry payloads such as Inmarsat's Ka-Band technology, the Norwegian defense ministry's X-Band and the U.S. Air Force's Extremely High Frequency eXtended Data Rate satellite communications system.
The company will also construct ground infrastructure as part of the potential $429M Enhanced Polar System-Recapitalization contract with the Air Force awarded in February 2018 to support the service's EHF-based military satcom activities in the polar region.
Frank DeMauro, sector vice president and general manager for Northrop's space systems segment, said that the ASBM contract award serves as the company's first mission with Space Norway and that the former is looking forward to demonstrating its payload integration and GEOStar satcom expertise.
ASBM's dual launch is slated for late 2022.