US Space Force
Space Force Selects Two Companies to Design Digital Models for Missile Warning Sensors
The Space Force has selected Raytheon Technologies and Millennium Space Systems to design digital models for verifying the performance of infrared sensors to be used in the Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared satellites.
The companies will support the Missile Track Custody Prototype effort, which is aimed at determining the IR sensors’ effectiveness in detecting and tracking ballistic missiles.
Both of the vendors’ digital models are slated to undergo critical design review before being cleared for delivery, C4ISRNET reported.
The IR sensors are a critical component of the Next-Gen OPIR satellites, which will comprise what is billed as the nation’s next premier missile warning satellite constellation for detecting missile threats all over the world.
The Space Force already awarded contracts to two vendors to begin work on the first five satellites in the constellation.
Lockheed Martin has recently been awarded a $4.9 billion contract to build three satellites to be deployed in geosynchronous orbit. The aerospace company is expected to deliver the first GEO satellite in 2025 ahead of its launch in 2026.
Northrop Grumman was also awarded a $2.4 billion contract to begin designing two more satellites for polar coverage.
The Next-Gen OPIR constellation will serve as a replacement for the Space Based Infrared System, which consists of five GEO satellites for early missile warning.
A sixth and final SBIRS satellite is currently under development. The SBIRS GEO-6 is being built by Lockheed and is projected to launch in 2022.
Tags: C4ISRNET infrared sensor Millennium Space Systems missile warning satellites Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared satellite Raytheon Technologies space US Space Force