Travelling Wave Tube Assembly, Communications Satellite, BS-3N SATELLITE

Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

This device is a traveling wave tube (TWT), built by Martin Marietta in the early 1990s for the BS-3N communications satellite, owned by the Japanese NHK television company.

TWTs have been and remain a critical technology for communications satellites in geostationary orbit. After a satellite receives a signal, processes it, and then prepares to transmit it, the satellite must first amplify the signal to ensure that it arrives at a receiving antenna on Earth with sufficient strength and integrity. Typical TWTs can amplify a signal by a factor of 100,000 to 1,000,000.

Lockheed Martin donated this artifact to the Museum in 1998.