Goodrich Corporation announced July 9 that the ORS-1 satellite has celebrated its first anniversary in space.
ORS-1, the first Operationally Responsive Space satellite specifically designed to support combatant command operations, was launched from Wallops Island Flight Facility aboard a Minotaur I launch vehicle June 29, 2011, at 11:09 p.m., EDT.
Designed, manufactured, integrated and tested by Goodrich’s ISR Systems business in Danbury, Conn., ORS-1 is a 500Kg class satellite providing game-changing impacts. In recognition of its ground breaking importance, ORS-1 was named one of the nation’s 25 most important concepts by C4ISR Journal in 2011.
Initiated to fulfill requirements from the Commander of US Strategic Command to support U.S. Central Command, the satellite went from the drawing board to delivery in 30 months. Less than 90 days after launch, ORS-1 earned early acceptance and has been satisfying CENTCOM’s mission needs for multispectral EO/IR imagery and enhanced battlespace awareness ever since.
“The ORS-1 satellite has been meeting or exceeding expectations since its launch. We continue to support the Government operations team providing this valuable capability supporting CENTCOM mission objectives,” said Andreas Nonnenmacher, vice president, Goodrich’s ISR Systems business.
“CENTCOM is extremely pleased with ORS-1. It has met or exceeded its projected capabilities and additional capabilities and applications continue to unfold. ORS-1 provides superb collection … CENTCOM will continue to rely on its capabilities as an integral component to our ISR architecture and collection plan,” stated Col. Berry, chief, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Division, Directorate of Intelligence, Headquarters Central Command.
Rapidly developing and fielding ORS-1 was an important step in demonstrating the in-theater value of low-cost tactically focused EO/IR satellites to meet emerging and persistent war fighter needs in operationally relevant timelines. Moreover, ORS-1 has demonstrated an alternative to the normal acquisition process for space programs and its lower cost, when compared to more traditional space-based ISR platforms, makes it an affordable contributor to the ISR “force mix” in today’s fiscally constrained environment.
CENTCOM indicated they were “…extremely impressed with the imagery they had gotten from ORS-1. They were not only happy with the responsiveness of it, but they were also happy with the quality of the imagery that they were getting. And, it was a war fighting advantage, no question about it…,” according to a statement by General Shelton, Commander, AFSPC, to the U.S. House Armed Services Committee.
The Goodrich payload features a modified version of its SYERS-2 multispectral sensor, the primary imaging sensor on the U-2 reconnaissance plane. A ground segment that formats the satellite’s data products to be compatible with existing Processing, Exploitation and Dissemination infrastructure was also developed and provided by ISR Systems.
The ORS-1 Program is managed by the Space Development and Test Directorate located at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., on behalf of the Operationally Responsive Space Office at the same location. The ORS Office is a joint initiative within the DOD responsible for integrating joint ORS capabilities and for applying ORS resources to the development, acquisition and demonstration of capabilities to meet specific responsive space needs as established by global combatant command joint force commanders and users.