System reliability and design lifetime:
1. System reliability:
Satellites are designed to operate dependably throughout their operational life, usually a number of years.
This is achieved through stringent quality control and testing of parts and subsystems before they are used in the construction of the satellite.
Redundancy of key components is often built in so that if a particular part or subassembly fails, another can perform its functions.
In addition, hardware and software on the satellite are often designed so that ground controllers can reconfigure the satellite to work around a part that has failed.
2. Design lifetime:
The Milstar constellation has demonstrated exceptional reliability and capability, providing vital protected communications to the warfighter,” said Kevin Bilger, vice president and general manager, Global Communications Systems, Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Sunnyvale.
“Milstar’s robust system offers our nation worldwide connectivity with flexible, dependable and highly secure satellite communications.”
The five-satellite Milstar constellation has surpassed 63 years of combined successful operations, and provides a protected, global communication network for the joint forces of the U.S. military. In addition, it can transmit voice, data, and imagery, and offers video teleconferencing capabilities.
The system is the principal survivable, endurable communications structure that the President, the Secretary of Defense and the Commander, U.S. Strategic Command use to maintain positive command and control of the nation's strategic forces.
In addition to this 10-year milestone for Flight-5, each of the first two Milstar satellites have been on orbit for over 16 years – far exceeding their 10-year design life.
The next-generation Lockheed Martin-built Advanced EHF satellites, joining the Milstar constellation, provide five times faster data rates and twice as many connections, permitting transmission of strategic and tactical military communications, such as real-time video, battlefield maps and targeting data. Advanced EHF satellites are designed to be fully interoperable and backward compatible with Milstar.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 123,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation's net sales for 2011 were $46.5 billion.