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Harris Corporation Will Modernize Ground Segment For NASA TDRSS

by Staff Writers
Melbourne FL (SPX) Jun 25, 2010
Harris has been awarded a five-year, $140 million contract by General Dynamics to modernize the ground segment of the satellite communications network used by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Harris is a member of the General Dynamics-led team that won the NASA Space Network Ground Segment Sustainment (SGSS) contract. Satellites and spacecraft in low-Earth orbit use the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) network to continuously relay data to ground stations in White Sands, New Mexico and in Guam.

The modernization will improve situational awareness for TDRSS network operators, upgrade computing and signal processing equipment, enhance reliability and maintainability, improve efficiency, and reduce operations and sustainment costs.

Harris will lead the effort to replace all equipment and software in the space-to-ground link of NASA's TDRSS. The space-to-ground link will feature advanced Harris technologies including high-speed modems and switches, signal processing, and RF systems.

Harris also is responsible for large portions of the network's User Services Gateway Element, Operational Test Services, and the Maintenance and Training Facility, as well as support for overall system engineering.

"This major satellite ground system win reconfirms our industry leadership in developing and sustaining satellite networks supporting high-priority missions for customers like NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Department of Defense," said Frank Van Rensselaer, vice president, NASA Programs, Harris Government Communications Systems.

"This win also reflects a very successful, 50-year relationship with NASA."

The SGSS program builds upon the Harris 30-year incumbency with TDRSS. Harris was a primary developer of the original TDRSS ground system in White Sands in the early 1980s. Harris also provided the large deployable antennas on the original TDRSS satellites for the space segment of the original program.

Harris has supported major NASA programs since the 1960s, including Apollo, Space Shuttle, and International Space Station. The company conducts advanced research and architecture studies, and develops communications and network systems that provide NASA with highly reliable space and terrestrial communications and help solve the agency's unique, mission-critical program challenges.

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