Return to Human Space Flight home page

Shuttle Integrated Communication System (ICS)

Problem: The current Shuttle Communication System is expensive to maintain and there are obsolesce issues in some components. The Shuttle Integrated Communication System is planned to increase the system reliability, reduce the number of critically 1R failure modes, support increased flight rate, eliminate the parts obsolescence problem, reduce repair and maintenance cost, and increase the communication system capability.
Solution: The current S-Band and Ku-Band System will be replaced with a Ku-Band only system with four phased array antennas mounted in the current S-Band quad antennas location and a deployable dish mounted at or near the current Ku-Band location. The phased array antennas will support ascent/entry and provide redundancy to dish during on -orbit operations. The deployable dish will provide on-orbit communications and support high data down link. The radar function of the Ku-Band antenna will be provided by a separate kittable radar system. The Shuttle Integrated Communication System will also support digital TV.
Initial Operation Date: 7/2002 (continuously under review)
Mission STS-126 (continuously under review)
Phase III Upgrade
Technology Goal: The Shuttle Integrated Communication System will utilize COTS/MOTS hardware and provide a new system that could be upgrades to Ka-Band. The current S-band quad antenna will be replaced by phase array antennas. This upgrade will be an investment in the Human Exploration and Development of Space by providing technology which could be used on future spacecraft as well as synergy with the International Space Station.
Goals Supported: 1) Fly Safely
2) Meet the Manifest
3) Improve Supportability
4) Reduce Cost

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 04/07/2002
Web Accessibility and Policy Notices