May 23, 2016 – NASA has awarded Harris Corporation two 1-year options, adding $384 million of contract ceiling, to continue supporting the Space Communications Network Services (SCNS) program. The award was received during the third quarter of Harris’ fiscal 2016.
Harris will continue to support SCNS, which provides most of the communications and tracking services for a wide range of Earth-orbiting spacecraft, such as the International Space Station, the Hubble Space Telescope and Earth Observing System satellites.
“This award reflects our continued successful performance and reaffirms that Harris can deliver the comprehensive engineering and management support required for this flagship program, which supports a new era of space exploration,” said Carl D’Alessandro, president, Harris Critical Networks.
As prime contractor for SCNS, Harris provided communications support to NASA’s successful Orion Exploration Flight Test-1 Mission in December 2015, which marked a critical step in NASA’s return to human space exploration.
In support of the EFT-1 Mission, Harris modified the NASA Space Network to operate with the new, high-performance Orion communications signal format. The Orion signal format is based upon novel Low Density Parity Check (LDPC) codes designed and developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. LDPC codes are significantly more power-efficient than conventional space communication codes and this translates to improved spacecraft size, weight and power characteristics. The EFT-1 Mission marked the first operational use of the NASA LDPC code and demonstrated the reliability and robustness of the signal format.