RF Payload Center of Excellence

RF Center of Excellence


"The world depends on RF communications to drive commerce, connect people and strengthen global security. The RF Payload Center of Excellence brings together an innovative team with 50 years of experience to drive down costs and research new technologies. We are engineering a better tomorrow for the future of RF payloads."

Mark Pasquale, vice president of Engineering
Lockheed Martin Space Systems


The RF Payload Center of Excellence reduces cost and accelerates development by uniting researchers, manufacturers and analysts into one organization. Bringing people together improves schedule, reduces transportation costs and enhances collaboration between related teams.

You may not know it, but every satellite in orbit uses one or more RF subsystems, either to communicate with people or to each other. These subsystems can be broken into four categories, each with leading Lockheed Martin experts driving their progress. We tailor these categories to fit our customers’ mission needs with scalable performance and capability. We also back up our systems designs with common functional elements—like antennas, amplifiers, receivers, etc.—ensuring our payloads are dependable and affordable across the fleet.

Payloads and Subsystems

"The RF Payload Center of Excellence redefines RF systems and component development. Co-locating development, assembly and test speeds our production rate for a variety of spacecraft types, from cubesats to human spaceflight. We're also maximizing our Digital Tapestry to integrate virtual reality, common products, 3-D printing and virtual sustainment analysis to improve the entire product lifecycle."

- Dennis Little, vice president of Production

Our center in Denver co-locates development, production and testing in one site. Using the Digital Tapestry, we can seamlessly use the same digital information from development, production, test and ultimately sustainment. This maximizes our use of common products and economies of scale across mission areas for affordable, agile and innovative solutions.  

The RF Payload Center of Excellence is re-inventing RF payload production through advanced technologies and streamlined manufacturing. Our Digital Tapestry interweaves model-based design, analysis, fabrication with 3-D printing, and automated assembly, test and inspection to cut cost and cycle times for payload hardware.

Collocated Facilities

While this Center of Excellence is new, our experience isn’t. Lockheed Martin has over 50 years of heritage in payload design, manufacturing, delivery and successful operations. Our deep mission understanding and broad knowledge of solutions enable us to better collaborate with customers for new options. 

Proven Experience

The RF Payload Center of Excellence is also a broad network that brings together experts in RF payload systems, advanced technology research, industry partnerships and research institutions across engineering and manufacturing.

Our Network of Expertise

We’ve been at the forefront of RF technology for decades, always working to answer the question, “what’s next?”

Industry Firsts
  • GPS

    The RF Payload Center of Excellence co-locates the majority of payload development, production and testing, a first for Lockheed Martin. This center and the broader network of experts connects expertise in the variety of systems and components we build.
  • Products

    The RF Payload Center of Excellence is located in Denver, but its network spans the nation with both Lockheed Martin, industry and academia experts paving the way for advanced and affordable systems.
  • Waterton Canyon

    The R&D experts for the center of excellence are at Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Center which accelerates generation-after-next systems for RF technologies and other payload systems.
  • Advanced Technology Center

    MicroElectronics Hybrid Laser Seal


Mark Lewis, Media and Press Inquiries: (408) 742-3516
Sam Valenti, Director, RF Payload Center of Excellence: (303) 977-2606