B-2 AESA Antenna Links with Communications Satellite

Northrop Grumman demonstrated that the active electronically scanned array radar antenna it developed for the Air Force’s B-2 stealth bomber can establish and maintain communications with an on-orbit Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications satellite, announced the company on Tuesday. “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, in the company’s July 8 release. “We showed that our antenna will consistently produce and maintain the high-gain beam needed to communicate with AEHF satellites,” he said. The May 23 demonstration included the antenna, a Navy multiband terminal, and the satellite, states the release. Such a communications setup would allow the B-2 to send and receive battlefield information significantly faster than its current satellite communications gear, according to the company. (See also Leaping out of the 1980s.)