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Alaska Satellite Facility

NASA Ground Station

ASF Near Space Network (NSN) Satellite Tracking Ground Station

The Alaska Satellite Facility (ASF) operates four satellite tracking and communications antennas that are part of the Near Space Network (NSN), a global array of ground-based spacecraft-support facilities managed by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The ASF ground station provides downlink support for transferring science data from satellites in low Earth orbit and support for telemetry, tracking, and command functions. These services are provided across multiple radio frequencies – S-band, X-band, and Ka-band – depending on the data rate requirements of a mission.

Prime Location

At 64.85 degrees latitude north, ASF is in a prime location to link to satellites in high-inclination, polar orbits. Three antennas are located on the University of Alaska Fairbanks Troth Yeddha’ campus, which provides high-level infrastructure support. The fourth antenna is located 16 miles away at a second, continuously monitored ASF ground facility. 

Outstanding Performance

ASF has provided NASA with a high standard of satellite ground support since 1991, when the first data downlink was received. ASF provides 24/7 engineering staffing and support and maintains a 99.1% or higher proficiency rating as required by the NSN.

ASF-polar-station-mask-near-earth-network.jpg

The ASF Station Mask

The light blue circle on this Earth image above delineates the ASF station mask. Signals from satellites traveling within the station mask can reach ASF’s antennas. The station’s high-latitude location makes a polar-orbiting satellite visible to the ASF antennas 12 of 14 orbits a day.

NSN Antennas at ASF

AS1 - 11.28m aperture antenna

  • Operational: 1995
  • Command uplink capable
  • Fully automated pass support capability
  • Latitude: 64.858712150
    Longitude: -147.857595161
    WGS 84_G1674
  • Elevation at feed 205m MSL
  • S-Band feed at prime focus
  • X-Band feed at Cassegrain focus
  • 3860 antenna controller
  • 3316 three-axis pedestal with 7 deg train axis

AS2 - 9.1m aperture antenna

AS2 antenna
AS2 antenna
  • Operational: Original 1991; replacement 2017
  • Fully automated pass support capability
  • S-Band uplink; S-Band and X-Band downlink
  • Latitude: 64.859460942
    Longitude: -147.849742331
    WGS 84_G1674
  • Elevation at feed 231m MSL
  • S-Band feed at prime focus
  • X-Band feed at Cassegrain focus
  • 3440 three-axis pedestal with 7 deg tilt axis
  • AC4100 antenna controller

AS3 - 11m aperture antenna

AS3 antenna
AS3 antenna
  • Operational: 2013
  • Command uplink capable
  • Fully automated pass support capability
  • Latitude: 64.858875394
    Longitude: -147.854115119
    WGS 84_G1674
  • Elevation at feed: 204m MSL
  • S-Band feed at prime focus
  • X-Band feed at Cassegrain focus
  • 8400 three-axis pedestal with 7 deg third axis
  • L-3 Datron antenna control assembly

AS4 - 11m aperture antenna

AS4 radom
AS4 radom
  • Operational: 2024

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