Pomonkey is a unique field laboratory with associated platforms and located 25 miles south of NRL near LaPlata, MD. The site occupies approximately 58 acres and is owned by NRL. It contains the largest high-speed tracking antenna in the United States and is suitable for low Earth orbit and deep space mission requirements. Other precision tracking antennas are available with apertures ranging from 1 to 9 m. Using special designs, Pomonkey can support operations over a wide band of frequencies from 50 to 25,000 MHz. Real-time signal enhancement and analysis capability has been developed for the facility, and specific operational analysis tools have been implemented to support a wide range of tasks. Operational systems at the facility are linked through several networks in a peer-to-peer environment. A primary network provides access to key systems at NRL and other agencies, while a second network supports operations conducted at the facility. Firewalls and switches protect the integrity of the systems. Precise ephemeris data of all catalogued objects is obtained from the Naval Space Command through automated communications.
The Satellite Mission Analysis Facility compares the on-orbit performance of complex systems against prelaunch and other baseline data. It supports telemetry, tracking, and control (TT&C) and other ground station require-ments that cannot be accomplished by established tracking and control net-works. The Pomonkey, MD facility can function semi-autonomously since design, fabrication, test, and calibration as well as other support functions are conducted within the facility.
The facility maintains an inventory of very low noise front-ends, including special feeds, line elements, and amplifiers. These support the standard UHF, L, S, C, X, Ku, and Ka frequency bands as well as deep space frequency assignments. Operation centers house down-converters and other receiving equipment for signal acquisition within these bands. Special radiometric test equipment is used to verify efficiency, gain, and noise temperature of low-noise, high-gain receiving systems. Vector, scalar, and spectrum analyzers are available to ensure performance of newly developed subsystems and omponents. Fiber-optic links are widely available in support of high-speed connections.