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Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: Defense Satellite Communications System
Origin: United States of America
Parent System: DSCS
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 1982
Total Production: 14
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Description: The Defense Satellite Communications Systems (DSCS) is a constellation designed to provide global military communications to the United States of America Armed Forces on the ground, at sea or in the air. Since 1982, the system has been used for high priority command and control communication such as the exchange of wartime information between defense officials and battlefield commanders. The United States military also uses DSCS to transmit space operations and early warning data to various systems and users. The United States Air Force Space Command operates�nine Phase III DSCS satellites as of October 2006.
Each DSCS III satellite uses six super high frequency transponder channels capable of providing secure voice and high rate data communications. The spacecraft also carries a single-channel transponder for disseminating emergency action and force direction messages to nuclear-capable forces. As the workhorse of military satellite communications, the system is built with single and multiple-beam antennas that provide more flexible coverage than its predecessor. The single steerable dish antenna provides an increased power spot beam which can be tailored to suit the needs of different size user terminals. DSCS III satellites can resist jamming and consistently exceed their 10-year design life.
Members of the 50th Space Wing's 3rd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., provide satellite bus command and control for all DSCS satellites. Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles AFB, Calif., developed the DSCS III satellites and ground segment. The Electronics Systems Center at Hanscom AFB, Mass., developed the Air Force portion of the terminal segment. DSCS III constellation surpassed 200 years of on-orbit operations on February 17, 2009.
Height: 6 foot (72 inch)
Length: 6 foot (1,829 millimeter)
Solar Panel Span: 38 foot (11.6 meter)
Width: 7 foot (2.13 meter)
Orbit: 22,230 mile (35,768 kilometer)
Power Consumption: 1,500 watt
Service Life: 10 year (3,650 day)
Weight: 2,716 pound (1.23 ton)
CEP: Circular Error Probable
Meters (m) Kilometers (km) Nautic Miles (nm) Inch (in) Yard (yd) Foot (ft) Millimeter (mm)
Pound (lb) Kilogram (kg) kN (KiloNewton) Ton (t)
Meters per Second (mps) Kilometers per Hour (kph) Knot (kt) Miles per Hour (mph)
Liter (l) Galon (gl)
Year (yr) Minutes (min) Second (sec)
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18 Oct 2006 and 6 Oct 2009
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