United Launch Alliance To Launch The WGS-9 Mission. 

Everything is progressing for the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV launch carrying the WGS-9 satellite for the Unites States Air Force. The mission is set to lift off on Saturday, March 18 from Space Launch Complex 37 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida. 

There is a 90% chance of favorable weather conditions for the 7:44 PM EDT launch. The launch window is from 7:44-8:59 PM EDT

About the mission

WGS-9 mission logo

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Medium+ (5,4) will deliver the ninth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite to supersynchronous transfer orbit. Liftoff will occur from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), FL.

WGS-9, the third Block II follow-on satellite, supports communications links in the X-band and Ka-band spectra. While Block I and II satellites can instantaneously filter and downlink up to 4.410 GHz, WGS-9 can filter and downlink up to 8.088 GHz of bandwidth. Depending on the mix of ground terminals, data rates and modulation and coding schemes employed, a single WGS satellite can support data transmission rates over 6 Gbps, and WGS-9 with its advanced digital channelizer may support over 11 Gbps.

WGS has 19 independent coverage areas, 18 of which can be positioned throughout its field-of-view. This includes eight steerable/shapeable X-band beams formed by separate transmit/receive phased arrays; 10 Ka-band beams served by independently steerable diplexed antennas; and one transmit/ receive X-band Earth-coverage beam. WGS can tailor coverage areas and connect X-band and Ka-band users anywhere within its field-of-view. The X-band phased array antenna enables anti-jam functionality without sacrificing performance.

Five globally-located Army Wideband SATCOM Operations Centers provide 24/7 payload monitoring and command and control of the WGS constellation. In coordination with the WGS-9 launch, the US Army has modernized the Global SATCOM Configuration and Control Element to a new service-oriented virtualized software system residing on a new ground hardware platform. Each Global Satellite Configuration and Control Element has the capability to control up to ten WGS satellites at a time. Spacecraft platform control and anomaly resolution is accomplished by the 3rd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, CO.

Delta IV WGS-9 Encapsulation. – video by United Launch Alliance
 

 
Delta IV WGS-9 Payload Mate. video by United Launch Alliance.

 
Delta IV WGS-9 Mission Profile. video by United Launch Alliance.

WGS-9 encapsulated inside the payload fairing
photo credit: ULA
WGS-9 encapsulated inside the payload fairing
photo credit: ULA

 

If you plan on photographing the launch this image may be helpful in planing your photo location. ula delta iv wgs-9 mission launch profile

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