L3Harris has successfully launched a new demonstrator satellite for the U.S. Air Force, the company announced July 6.
The small satellite is part of a constellation of end-to-end small satellites the company is developing for the Air Force. While the company declined to discuss launch details due to the classified nature of the program, L3Harris noted in a press release that it is the prime contractor for the “responsive constellation contract” and is responsible for designing, developing, building, testing and deploying the satellites.
“L3Harris has developed and supported various aspects of satellite missions over the last several decades as a component supplier or hosted payload,” said Ed Zoiss, president of space and airborne systems at L3Harris. “In collaboration with the U.S. Air Force, we pulled the pieces together to successfully plan, develop and execute an affordable, high-performance space mission, which is part of a responsive constellation contract.”
The Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) satellite system features a reprogrammable payload that will allow operators to change the satellites’ missions while on orbit. The payload will also utilize L3Harris’ High Compaction Ratio unfurlable X-band antenna to enable high-speed data communication.