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.