Enhanced Polar System (EPS)

Providing continuous coverage in the polar region for secure, jam-resistant, strategic and tactical communications.


The Enhanced Polar System (EPS) represents an evolution of requirements for protected extremely high frequency (EHF) satellite communications in the North Polar Region; above 65 deg N. EPS is the next-generation SATCOM system that will replace the current Interim Polar System (IPS) and serve as a polar adjunct to the Advanced EHF system.

earth covered by a net


EPS will provide continuous coverage in the polar region for secure, jam-resistant, strategic and tactical communications to support peacetime, contingency, homeland defense, humanitarian assistance and wartime operations. The system consists of two EHF communications payloads hosted on satellites operating in highly elliptical orbits, modified AEHF communications terminals, a Gateway to provide connectivity into other communication systems and the Global Information Grid (GIG) and the EPS Control and Planning Segment (CAPS) to provide telemetry and control, mission planning and cryptographic planning for the EPS payload. More information on CAPS is available at Enhanced Polar System Control and Planning Segment (EPS CAPS).


The EPS system will provide communications for military tactical and strategic forces and other users for operations above 65 deg N. Additionally, EPS provides connectivity to Combatant Commander Command and Control (C2) centers below 65 deg N. EPS characteristics include protected communications services, communications services without continuous system C2, integrated capability allowing different levels of planners to manage their resources, interconnectivity between Enhanced Polar satellites and mid-latitude users via an EPS Gateway located at a GIG PoP (Point of Presence), data rates between 75 bps and 1.28 Mbps (threshold) and an AEHF Extended Data Rate (XDR)-interoperable waveform. With the first operational availability in 2018, EPS will be an essential adjunct to the MILSATCOM mid-latitude systems.

General Characteristics

  • Primary Function: Protected EHF communications above 65 deg N
  • Payload: Interoperable with AEHF Extended Data Rate (XDR) waveform
  • Antennas: 1 spot beam on Gateway, 1 user spot beam, 1 user earth coverage beam
  • Capability: 20 channels x 64 kbps/channel each (Previous information provided by, and published with the permission of the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Air Force).
  • Payload prime contractor: Northrop Grumman

In the News

Northrop Grumman Enhanced Polar System, Control and Planning Segment Accepted by U.S. Air Force

Northrop Grumman Awarded $429M Contract for Payload that will Provide Continuous Coverage of Polar Regions

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David Larter