The NATO IV-A satellite became operational in 1991. It is a three-axis stabilized vehicle with a total weight (at lift off) of 1,452 pounds (660 kilograms). Two solar array panels generating 1200 watts of electricity provide power for the spacecraft and its payload. NiCd batteries provide power during solar eclipse. The TT& C subsystem operates in the 8-GHz band and employs spread spectrum protection with encryption. The altitude and orbit control subsystem uses infrared Earth sensors to maintain position. The design life of the satellite is 7 years.
The NATO IV-A satellite provides communications in the SHF and UHF bands. The SHF transponder provides four channels. The UHF transponder provides two channels. The frequencies, antennas, EIRP, and channel bandwidths are reflected in table 2-10. Spacecraft control is maintained by the Royal Air Force (RAF) with assets at Oakhanger, UK. Operation control is maintained by the Main Control Center (MCC) at Kester, Belgium, or the Alternate Control Center (ACC) at Oakhanger, UK.
The NATO IV-A SHF footprint includes Eastern Canada, the Atlantic, parts of North Africa, Europe, and Southeastern Greenland (approximately 80 o west to 60 o east, 25 o south to 75 o north). The UHF footprint covers the Eastern United States, the Atlantic, South America, Africa, and most of Greenland (approximately 90 o west to 60 o east, 75 o south to 75 o north).