Business

December 5, 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.


 
 

 

Headlines March 4, 2015

News: Pentagon: Another BRAC will save money - Pentagon planners have a new pitch to lawmakers skeptical of a fresh round of base closings: We promise we’ll save money this time.   Business: China’s new C919 will begin test flights this year - China’s new superjet will take to the skies for the first time later this...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Jensen Stidham

World War II pilot reunited with P-47

Air Force photograph by SrA. Jensen Stidham Retired Air National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 2 Robert Hertel, laughs while under the wing of a P-47 Thunderbolt during the Heritage Flight Training and Certification Course Feb. 2...
 
 

News Briefs March 4, 2015

General: 8,500 Islamic State fighters killed in Iraq so far The U.S.-led military coalition in Iraq has killed more than 8,500 Islamic State fighters since its bombing campaign began in August, the top general overseeing the coalition said March 3. Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, the commander of U.S. Central Command, said the Islamic State, which...
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Turning up the heat

Lockheed Martin photograph Lockheed Martin ATHENA laser weapon system defeats a truck target by disabling the engine, demonstrating its military effectiveness against enemy ground vehicles. Latest evolution of Lockheed Martin l...
 
 

USO Visit

Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara Actor Vince Vaughn speaks with Edwards Airmen and 412th Security Forces Squadron members at the base library before introducing an advance screening of his new movie, “Unfinished Business,” at the base theater Feb. 28.
 
 

Sikorsky S-97 RAIDERô team begins final assembly of second aircraft

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., announced March 4 the start of final assembly of the second S-97 RAIDERô helicopter at the company’s Development Flight Center. Along with a team of industry suppliers, Sikorsky is developing two RAIDERô prototypes to demonstrate the revolutionary new capabilities in improved maneuverability and flight speed. The...
 




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>