Northrop Grumman has successfully concluded thermal vacuum testing on the satellite constellation it is constructing for the Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission (ASBM). This mission, led by Space Norway, aims to provide broadband communications across the northern polar region.
The ASBM project consists of two satellites, each equipped with specific payloads. These include an X-Band payload for the Norwegian defense ministry, a Ka-band payload for Viasat, and Enhanced Polar System Recapitalization payloads for the U.S. Space Force.
The initial vibration testing for the ASBM-1 satellite has already been completed at Northrop’s satellite manufacturing facility in Dulles, Virginia. The company is now preparing to commence testing on the ASBM-2 satellite.
In addition to the satellite testing, Northrop has also finalized the acceptance and turnover process for the Control and Planning Segment ground system. This ground system will facilitate compatibility testing with the satellite payloads and will interface with the satellite operations center located in Norway.
Space Norway, a subsidiary of the Norwegian government, awarded Northrop Grumman the contract in 2019 to develop, design, integrate, and test the two broadband satellites for the ASBM program. The integration of the Space Force payloads onto the satellites was completed by the company in August.
The successful completion of thermal vacuum testing is a significant milestone for the ASBM project, as it brings the mission closer to its goal of delivering broadband communications to the northern polar region. With the continued progress in testing and development, the ASBM mission is expected to play a crucial role in expanding connectivity and communication capabilities in this remote and vital part of the world.