Space

December 21, 2012

STSS demonstration satellites collect data for future operational space missile tracking system

The Space Tracking and Surveillance System demonstration satellites, built by a Northrop Grumman and Raytheon team for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, collected data during an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense test June 26 that will be used to create a concept of operations for future space-borne, operational missile defense sensors.

Designated FTM-18, the combined Aegis Launch on Remote and Engage on Remote exercise involved the successful intercept of a medium-range target by the newest variant of MDA’s Standard Missile-3 interceptor, the SM-3 1B.

The pair of STSS demonstration satellites collected data in infrared wave bands similar to those planned for MDA’s proposed Precision Tracking Space System, said David Bloodgood, STSS program manager for Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems sector in Redondo Beach, Calif.

“This mission allowed STSS to take data specifically to help refine the future operations of PTSS, which MDA is designing to perform space-based tracking of ballistic missiles. Our collection settings were tuned to give maximum utility of collected data to PTSS,” Bloodgood said. “STSS was able to collect data on the medium-range target, meeting many mission objectives including collecting data on plumes, spent stages and complex scenes.”

Northrop Grumman is performing manufacturing and production readiness systems engineering as a member of the PTSS Integrated Systems Engineering Team. As prime contractor for STSS, the company brings extensive systems engineering and integration experience in midcourse missile tracking to PTSS ISET, Bloodgood said.

The FTM-18 flight test supported the initial phase of MDA’s Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense in Europe that features deployments of increasingly capable sea- and land-based missile interceptors and a range of sensors to address regional ballistic missile threats to Europe and to U.S. forces deployed there.

Using sensors capable of detecting visible and infrared light, the STSS demonstration program serves as the experimental space layer of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). The program’s mission objective is to provide accurate tracks of midcourse re-entry vehicles to the shooter.

Both STSS satellites have participated in major BMDS tests since 2010. With sensor payloads capable of detecting visible and infrared light, the low-earth orbiting spacecraft have demonstrated a number of capabilities that had existed in theory or in the lab, but never in the actual environment where they would be used. They have shown, for example, that precision tracking of a missile throughout its flight can be done with satellites alone.

 

 

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Near Infrared Camera Integrated into space telescope

Lockheed Martin and the University of Arizona have delivered the primary imaging instrument of the James Webb Space Telescope to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The new Near Infrared Camera, or NIRCam, has been successfully integrated within the heart of the telescope, known as the Integrated Science Instrument Module. The integration completes the suite of...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Carlin Leslie

Space superiority remains vital to national security

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Carlin Leslie Gen. William Shelton reviews his notes before testifying April 3, 2014, in front of the House Armed Services Committee subcommittee on strategic forces, in Washington, D.C. Shelton is...
 
 
USAF Space Command Update

Increased space, cyber threats top concerns for AF Space Command

Gen. William L. Shelton, Commander of Air Force Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., addresses Air Force Association Members during the Pacific Air and Space Symposium in Los Angeles, Calif., Nov. 21, 2013. Shelton di...
 

 
WEBatk-telescope

ATK delivers backbone of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope

  ATK has shipped the primary mirror backplane support structure for  NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to Marshall Space Flight Center, completing an important milestone for the most powerful space telescope ever t...
 
 
Boeing photograph

Boeing communications relay satellites complete space, Earthly testing

Boeing photograph TDRS-L, shown here at the Boeing satellite facility, is scheduled for launch next year. Two Boeing Tracking and Data Relay Satellites have completed testing milestones – one in space and the other on Earth ...
 
 

NASA’s Webb Telescope’s last backbone component completed

Assembly of the backbone of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the primary mirror backplane support structure, is a step closer to completion with the recent addition of the backplane support frame, a fixture that will be used to connect all the pieces of the telescope together. The backplane support frame will bring together Webb’s center...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin