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FLC Region

Security Lab

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Blossom Point

Description

FUNCTION: The Blossom Point Satellite Command and Tracking Facility (BP) provides engineering and operational support to several complex space systems for the Navy and other users, enabling cost-effective solutions for all programs. BP provides direct line-of-sight, two-way communications services with spacecraft in multiple bands during all mission phases, including concept, mission, and space segment development, launch, early on-orbit operations, and mission data collection. Additionally, BP's capabilities allow coverage through connectivity to worldwide ground station networks.

DESCRIPTION: The 41-acre facility is 40 miles southeast of Washington, D.C. The remote location assures interference-free operations and permits low elevation angle satellite communications. BP consists of a satellite mission operations center, multiple antennas, and an existing infrastructure capable of providing space system command, control, and management for all customer classes. BP provides a single interface point to networked ground stations. BP supports aggregate data rates up to 400 megabits per second with a variety of communication protocols. BP provides high-rate data telecommunications services on a global basis using encrypted DS-3 Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) technology. BP is also accessible from the Internet using TCP/IP protocols and established secured firewall techniques. Selected clients have access to the facility's capabilities via a protected server. BP is a fully certified external user of the Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN) and has a communications interface into all AFSCN control nodes.

INSTRUMENTATION: Eight ground system antennas covering L-, S-, C-, and X-band capability. SGLS, STDN, and CCSDS compatible for extensive customer support flexibility. BP uses the government-owned Common Ground Architecture (CGA) software system as the basis for all ground system and mission operations activities. CGA provides standard ground processing services and employs a reusable code base to develop mission unique requirements. The system runs on SUN platforms under the Solaris UNIX operating system.

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