Milstar (Military Strategic & Tactical Relay), DFS (Development Flight Satellite) is the tactical and strategic multiservice satellite system designed to provide survivable communications for U.S. forces worldwide. The program is managed by the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Center.
The Milstar-1 satellites carry a secure, robust low-data-rate (LDR) communications payload, and a crosslink payload that allows the satellites to communicate globally without using a ground station. The Milstar-2 satellites extend the communications capabilities to higher data rates by adding a medium-data-rate (MDR) payload. The Milstar-1 and Milstar-2 satellites are fully interoperable for LDR communications and crosslinks.
Milstar satellites use a unique bus, consisting of three boxes, which are folded during launch and deploy in orbit.
The Milstar system provides uplink communications at extremely high frequency (EHF), 44 GHz, and ultrahigh frequency (UHF), 300 MHz, and downlink communications at super-high frequency (SHF), 20 GHz, and UHF, 250 MHz. The crosslinks operate in the 60 GHz region. Survivability and endurability requirements are satisfied by anti-jam, hardening and system autonomy features.
Both Block I satellites were still operational as of August 2016, over 20 years since they were launched.
|Type / Application:||Comsat|
|Operator:||US Air Force (USAF)|
|Contractors:||Lockheed Martin (Bus), TRW (LDR payload)|
|Equipment:||LDR and Crosslink payloads|
|Propulsion:||2 × R-4D-12|
|Power:||2 deployable solar arrays, batteries|
|Lifetime:||10 years (design)|
|Milstar-1 1 (Milstar-DFS 1, Milstar 1, USA 99)||1994-009A||07.02.1994||CC LC-40||Titan-4(01)A Centaur-T|
|Milstar-1 2 (Milstar-DFS 2, Milstar 2, USA 115)||1995-060A||06.11.1995||CC LC-40||Titan-4(01)A Centaur-T|