Advanced EHF moves closer to realization with ASMCS demo

Dan Ingald demonstrates the Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellite Mission Control Segment's test, training and simulation software to Lt. Col. Keith Phillips, Air Force Space Command Directorate of Plans and Requirements; Col. William Harding, Space and Missile Systems Center; and Lt. Col. John Shaw, 4th Space Operations Squadron commander. Mr. Ingald is the AEHF Test and Training Test Lead at Lockheed Martin. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Don Branum)

Dan Ingald demonstrates the Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellite Mission Control Segment's test, training and simulation software to Lt. Col. Keith Phillips, Air Force Space Command Directorate of Plans and Requirements; Col. William Harding, Space and Missile Systems Center; and Lt. Col. John Shaw, 4th Space Operations Squadron commander. Mr. Ingald is the AEHF Test and Training Test Lead at Lockheed Martin. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Don Branum)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- A team of Lockheed Martin contractors demonstrated a new Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellite Mission Control Segment system to visitors from Schriever, Peterson and Los Angeles Air Force bases April 25.

The system, known as ASMCS, will communicate with both AEHF and Milstar satellites once it enters production, said 1st Lt. Daniel Schwarz, an AEHF operator with 4th Space Operations Squadron plans and requirements.

“This is the first opportunity after years of development to see all of it working,” Lieutenant Schwarz said.

Operators accustomed to working with the legacy Satellite Mission Control Segment system had the chance to get hands-on experience with the new software and a new test, training and simulation system. They were able to provide input to help the contractor in improving the system to meet operational needs, said Capt. Kenneth Lancaster, chief of Milstar plans and tactics for 4th SOPS.

“It’s an eye-opener for leadership,” said 1st Lt. Craig Cherek, 4th SOPS chief of mobile plans and tactics. “It shows them the future of secure communications—where we’re heading and what our capabilities are.”

Lt. Col. John Shaw, 4th SOPS commander, said he expected good teamwork and an effective product that would protect secure satellite communications well into the future.

“The flexible, responsive and familiar ASMCS interface moves us ‘into the 21st century’ with extremely high frequency command and control,” Colonel Shaw said. “It was terrific to see current operations personnel from 4th SOPS working hand-in-hand with our development contractor team to mold future capabilities.”

SMCS cannot handle the more advanced features on the AEHF satellites, Lieutenant Cherek said.

The legacy SMCS system was developed approximately 20 years ago, and ASMCS incorporates pieces of the legacy software, said Christopher Bryan, a Lockheed Martin contractor assigned to the project.

“Those pieces work well, and we’re keeping them,” Mr. Bryan said.

The next step for the ASMCS team will be to integrate resource and product management, said Rick Donaldson, ASMCS program manager. It will provide full mission-operations capability for Milstar and will be able to fly Pathfinder satellites as part of the Milstar constellation.