DSCS-3 (Defense Satellite Communications System 3) are geostationary communications satellites, which provide a robust anti-jam, nuclear hardened capability that supports Department of Defense (DoD) worldwide requirements, White House and Diplomatic communications. They are the follow-on generation of the DSCS-2 satellites.
The system is used for high priority communications such as the exchange of wartime information between defense officials and battlefield commanders. The system provides uninterrupted secure voice and high-data rate communications to globally fixed and mobile DoD users, NATO, the United Kingdom, the Diplomatic Telecommunications Service, and the White House Communications Agency.
DSCS-3 B7 also carried the CHARGECON-GEO (Charge Control at Geosynchronous Altitude, S90-3) experiment for the Space Test Program.
Two solar wings produce 1700 Watts of onboard power at the beginning of life and 1230 watts at the end of life.
DSCS-3 satellites were designed to be injected directly into GEO by the launch vehicle (Titan-34D IUS, Titan-34D Transtage or Shuttle IUS) without the need to incorporate an apogee kick engine. Switching to Atlas-2, Atlas-2A and Delta-4M launch vehicles made it necessary to include a dedicated apogee kick stage (IABS) with the satelite for injecting the DSCS-3 into GEO orbit.
Another DSCS-3 satellite was constructed under the name STARSAT to be used as a test object in the "Huron King" nuclear weapons test for the effects of system generated electromagnetic pulse (SGEMP) on a full-scale operating DSCS-3 military communications satellite. The spacecraft was contained in a large above-ground tank.
The DSCS-3 is succeeded by the WGS series of satellites.
DSCS-3 B12 was retired in 2015 and was moved into a graveyard orbit above the geostationary belt.
|Type / Application:||Communication|
|Operator:||US Air Force (USAF)|
|Equipment:||6 SHF transponders, 1 special purpose transponder (SHF and UHF)|
|Configuration:||DSCS-3 Bus, 3-Axis stabilization|
|Power:||2 deployable solar arrays, batteries|
|Mass:||1235 kg (2733 kg including IABS stage)|
|DSCS-3 A1 (#1)||1982-106B||30.10.1982||CC LC-40||Titan-34D IUS||with DSCS-2 16|
|DSCS-3 A2 (#4) (USA 44)||1989-069B||04.09.1989||CC LC-40||Titan-34D Transtage||with DSCS-2 15|
|DSCS-3 A3 (#13) (USA 167)||2003-008A||11.03.2003||CC SLC-37B||Delta-4M IABS|
|DSCS-3 B4 (#2) (USA 11)||1985-092B||03.10.1985||CCK LC-39A||Shuttle IUS||with Atlantis F-1 (STS-51-J), DSCS-3 B5|
|DSCS-3 B5 (#3) (USA 12)||1985-092C||03.10.1985||CCK LC-39A||Shuttle IUS||with Atlantis F-1 (STS-51-J), DSCS-3 B4|
|DSCS-3 B6 (#14) (USA 170)||2003-040A||29.08.2003||CC SLC-37B||Delta-4M IABS|
|DSCS-3 B7 (#9) (USA 113)||1995-038A||31.07.1995||CC LC-36A||Atlas-2A IABS|
|DSCS-3 B8 (#11) (USA 148)||2000-001A||21.01.2000||CC SLC-36A||Atlas-2A IABS|
|DSCS-3 B9 (#7) (USA 93)||1993-046A||19.07.1993||CC LC-36A||Atlas-2 IABS|
|DSCS-3 B10 (#8) USA 97)||1993-074A||28.11.1993||CC LC-36A||Atlas-2 IABS|
|DSCS-3 B11 (#12) (USA 153)||2000-065A||20.10.2000||CC SLC-36A||Atlas-2A IABS|
|DSCS-3 B12 (#6) (USA 82)||1992-037A||02.07.1992||CC LC-36A||Atlas-2 IABS|
|DSCS-3 B13 (#10) (USA 134)||1997-065A||25.10.1997||CC LC-36A||Atlas-2A IABS||with Falcon Gold|
|DSCS-3 B14 (#5) (USA 78)||1992-006A||11.02.1992||CC LC-36A||Atlas-2 IABS|