Northrop Grumman Corp. has tested a new antenna designed to connect a U.S. Air Force on-orbit communications system to stealth bombers during unstable aerial control operations.
The latest active electronically scanned array transmitter was developed to enhance the contact features of the B-2 fleet as well as retain its essential operational elements, Northrop said Monday.
During the May 23 demonstration, the new AESA device was tested to assess it capabilities to create and maintain a secure link between an advanced extremely high frequency satellite and an aircraft.
“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.
Chong added the test also exhibited the extended data rate capabilities of the AESA antenna when run at EHF frequencies.
According to the company, the EHF satellite works to enable stealth bombers to quickly transmit and gather battlefield information.
Northrop supplies the Air Force with its B-2 aircraft built to have global mobility capabilities and fly 10,000 nautical miles within hours.