The Alaska Aerospace Corporation will be hosting a satellite launch two weeks from today, weather permitting. The Naval Research Laboratory’s Tactical Satellite IV is scheduled to lift off from Narrow Cape on September 27th, aboard an Orbital Sciences Minotaur-IV rocket.
According to Daniel Parry with the Naval Research Laboratory, the TacSat-4 is an experimental spacecraft that will test advances in satellite communications and the use of special orbits to augment current geostationary communication satellites.
The TacSat-4 will go into a highly elliptical, or oblong, orbit, reaching a maximum distance from earth of 12,050 kilometers, or 7,500 miles. Parry says the high swings in orbit will help provide better military communications in high latitudes and in mountainous terrain.
Chief of Naval Research, Rear Admiral Nevin Carr, said the technology represented in the new satellite will give military personnel on the ground another outlet for data transmission and communications while on the move.
The launch is a milestone for the Naval Research Laboratory, as it is the 100th satellite the organization has built and launched.