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By Airman Aaron Edwards, Peterson-Schriever Garrison Public Affairs
/ Published August 06, 2021
NEW BOSTON SPACE FORCE STATION, N.H. – The 23rd Space Operations Squadron covers an antenna with a new radome at New Boston Space Force Station, New Hampshire, July 19, 2021. The squadron replaced the radome as it approached the end of its 20-year life expectancy. (Courtesy photo)
NEW BOSTON SPACE FORCE STATION, N.H. – The 23rd Space Operations Squadron removes a radome to access the antenna underneath at New Boston Space Force Station, New Hampshire, July 19, 2021. The squadron removed the radome to replace the tracking system for their 13-meter antenna. (Courtesy photo)
The 23rd Space Operations Squadron, located at New Boston Space Force Station, New Hampshire, received a new radome and tracking system for their 13-meter antenna on July 19, 2021.
A radome is an inflatable cover made from a radio-transparent material intended to protect a radar antenna and its components from harsh elements. They resemble giant golf balls.
Without the ensured 360-degree protection from the radome, moreover, the antenna’s physical orientation would be visible to any passersby and onlookers. The antenna would be vulnerable to conditions such as hurricanes, snow storms, ultra-violet radiation, water, corrosion and other kinds of deterioration.
Radomes have a minimum 20-year life expectancy for proper protection of equipment. For the 23 SOPS to upgrade the antenna’s automated Remote Tracking System to a hybrid RTS they needed to remove the radome protecting their antenna to access and replace the tracking system. With the antenna’s radome cover already removed for the equipment’s refurbishment, the 23 SOPS turned the upgrade into an opportunity, replacing the aging 17-year-old radome.
“The antennas at New Boston provide access to space that allows for the command and control, and health and safety of over 200 satellites a day,” said U.S. Space Force Lt. Col. David Zesinger, 23 SOPS commander. “These satellites serve a variety of missions like weather, communications, intel and navigation. Without New Boston’s coverage, the satellite control network would lose a significant portion of their ability to service the space assets that America and our allies depend on every day for our modern way of life.”
Without the 23 SOPS replacing and upgrading equipment to keep it fresh, up-to-date and ready to gather information, they would not be able to provide U.S. Space Command with critical satellite command and control capability to the more than 190 Department of Defense operations that keep us safe and protect our way of life.