Commercial Communications Satellites

Commercial Communications Satellites

Connecting the world is impossible. Until it’s not.

Defining Possible in Commercial Communications Satellites

Global, regional and national satellite communications service providers rely on our affordable, flight-proven satellites for their broadband, television broadcasting, mobile communications, business data networks and other telecommunications missions. Northrop Grumman is an industry pioneer in the design and production of commercial satellites as well as in the incorporation of civil and military hosted payloads on commercial spacecraft.

Rendering of the GEOstar-3 satellite

GEOStar

Northrop Grumman’s GEOStar™ geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) commercial satellites are among the industry’s best small- and medium-class communications satellites for 2-8 kW missions.

Northrop Grumman’s GEOStar satellites are a very economical choice for the small to medium market, providing a full complement of payload capabilities. With more than 40 satellite contracts to date, Northrop Grumman’s GEOStar satellites have demonstrated benefits to established global and regional operators, as well as government and emerging new businesses for Broadcast Satellite Services (BSS), Fixed Satellite Services (FSS), High-throughput satellite (HTS), and other mission capabilities.

Learn more about GEOStar mission history GEOStar Fact Sheet

GEOStar Missions

Galaxy 33 and 34

Currently in development for Intelsat, the Galaxy 33 and Galaxy 34 spacecraft are C-band satellites that will operate in the upper portion of the C-band spectrum—a range of wireless radio frequencies used for critical telecommunications and data connectivity around the world. The satellites are based on the GEOStar platform and are set to launch in 2022.

SES 18 and 19

Northrop Grumman is currently developing two C-band satellites for SES that will operate in the upper portion of the C-band spectrum—a range of wireless radio frequencies used for critical telecommunications and data connectivity around the world. The satellites are based on the GEOStar platform and are set to launch in 2022.

Artic Satellite Broadband Mission (ABSM)

Northrop Grumman is currently developing two satellites for Space Norway’s Artic Satellite Broadband Mission system. The satellites will host payloads for the Norwegian Ministry of Defense, the U.S. Air Force and Inmarsat, and will improve secure and continuous communications in the North Polar Region. These satellites are scheduled for launch in 2022.

A satellite in orbit in space above earth

ESPAStar

Northrop Grumman’s ESPAStar platform provides a modular, cost-effective and highly capable infrastructure for hosting technology development and operational payloads. The ESPAStar platform uses an Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) ring as part of the structure and is capable of being launched aboard any launch vehicle that meets National Security Space Launch standards.

The ESPAStar platform’s six payload ports are capable of accommodating any combination of up to six hosted and 12 separable payloads. The payload interface at each port has been standardized, allowing for hosted and separable payload interchangeability, late payload integration and manifest changes. ESPAStar leverages the available mass margin from any EELV launch to provide an affordable path to space for payloads. The platform can meet the environments for GEO, LEO and MEO missions

Learn more about ESPAStar

ESPAStar Missions

LDPE-1

Built by Northrop Grumman for the U.S. Air Force Space and Missiles Center (AFSMC), the Long Duration Propulsive Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) space platform, also known as the LDPE. Based on Northrop Grumman’s ESPAStar platform, LDPE is positioned between the launch booster and a primary space vehicle, and is used to carry small payloads or deploy small satellites. LDPE-1 is scheduled to launch in 2021.

NTS-3

The Navigation Technology Satellite-3 (NTS-3), a satellite platform in development by L3Harris and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), uses an ESPAStar bus to carry the experimental NTS-3 payloads designed to augment space-based position, navigation and timing for warfighters. Benefitting from ESPAStar’s flexibility, NTS-3 features a modular design capable of supporting a variety of mission needs. NTS-3 is scheduled for launch in 2022.

Commercial Satellites in the News

Northrop Grumman to Build Two C-band Satellites for Intelsat

Northrop Grumman has been selected by Intelsat to build two C-band satellites that will operate in the upper portion of the C-band spectrum, a range of wireless…

Northrop Grumman Awarded Contract from SES for Two C-band Satellites

The C-band satellites are set to launch in 2022.

Northrop Grumman’s Second Mission Extension Vehicle and Galaxy 30 Satellite Begin Launch Preparations in French Guiana

The spacecraft will launch together on an Arianespace 5 rocket; MEV-2 set to dock with Intelsat satellite in early 2021

Orbital ATK Announces U.S. Air Force Contract for Long Duration Propulsive ESPA Spacecraft

Company’s ESPAStar Platform Demonstrates Capability to Deliver Flexible, Affordable Access to Space