Category Archives: Space

Satellite Mesh Network

The Space Development Agency (SDA) awarded a Tranche 0 contract of the Space Transport Layer to Lockheed Martin to demonstrate a mesh network of 10 small satellites that links terrestrial warfighting domains to space sensors – all launching in just two years.

Lockheed Martin to build 10 Small Satellite Mesh Network in two years

The $187.5-million contract for Transport Layer’s Tranche 0 is an initial test and demonstration phase, with two prime contractors building a total of 20 satellites. The first step toward building an interoperable, connected secure mesh network, it will help enable Joint All-Domain Operations, allowing warfighters to stay ahead of emerging threats. By linking nodes together, seamless connectivity is created between all domains, much like today’s smartphones.

«We see a world across all warfighting domains where fourth and fifth-generation fighters and tactical forces on the ground can connect seamlessly with holistic situational awareness», said Kay Sears, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Military Space. «Interoperability and battlespace connectivity are critical to staying ahead of our adversaries».

The 10 satellites, operating in Low Earth Orbit, will provide secure high-bandwidth, low-latency data links. Additionally, new Link 16 network connectivity will be introduced to space. This capability will connect to systems that include fighter aircraft like F-16, F-22, and F-35, missile defense networks like PAC-3 and THAAD, weapons systems, and Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) networks, and will provide sensor-to-shooter targeting and situational awareness for tactical land and maritime warfighters.

 

Changing the Dynamics of Warfighting

This beyond-line-of-site tracking, targeting and communications will dramatically extend U.S. warfighting options and allows additional coalition and allied partners to eventually bring their capabilities into the network. Interoperability extends into space with prospective data connections to commercial satellite communications (SATCOM) and other military protected satcom systems, which will require close partnership with multiple companies across industry.

 

How Software Adds Flexibility to Missions

Each Transport Layer satellite will be fully-software defined, using SmartSat, Lockheed Martin’s software-defined platform that makes it easier to dynamically add and quickly change missions in orbit through simple app uploads. The satellites will also be fully cyber-hardened from day one using Lockheed Martin’s Cyber Resiliency Level model to identify cyber strengths and weaknesses so we can address those early in the design process.

The Transport Layer contributes to resilience in space communications. Mission resilience comes from being able to form a seamless network of networks, with network nodes spanning multiple domains and services provided via multiple tactical data links, making it much harder for an adversary to disrupt because of network diversity and node distribution.

First Qualification Test

Northrop Grumman Corporation conducted its first ground test of an extended length 63-inch-diameter/160-centimeter-diameter Graphite Epoxy Motor (GEM 63XL) on August 13, 2020 in Promontory, Utah. This variation of the company’s GEM 63 strap-on booster was developed in partnership with United Launch Alliance (ULA) to provide additional lift capability to the Vulcan Centaur vehicle.

Northrop Grumman conducted the first test of its GEM 63XL rocket motor to serve the United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur on August 13 at its Promontory, Utah, facility

«Our new GEM 63XL motors leverage its flight-proven heritage while utilizing state-of-the-art manufacturing technology to enhance launch vehicle heavy-lift capabilities», said Charlie Precourt, vice president, propulsion systems, Northrop Grumman. «The GEM 63XL increases thrust and performance by 15-20 percent compared to a standard GEM 63».

During today’s static test, the motor fired for approximately 90 seconds, producing nearly 449,000 pounds/203,663 kg of thrust to qualify the motor’s internal insulation, propellant grain, ballistics and nozzle in a cold-conditioned environment. This test demonstrated materials and technologies similar to the GEM 63 rocket motor that qualified for flight in October 2019.

Northrop Grumman has supplied rocket propulsion to ULA and its heritage companies for a variety of launch vehicles since 1964. The GEM family of strap-on motors was developed starting in the early 1980s with the GEM 40 to support the Delta II launch vehicle. The company then followed with the GEM 46 for the Delta II Heavy, and the GEM 60, which flew 86 motors over 26 Delta IV launches before retiring in 2019 with 100 percent success. The first flight of the GEM 63 motors will be on a ULA Atlas V launch vehicle planned for fourth quarter 2020, and GEM 63XL motors will support the Vulcan rocket in 2021.

Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 90,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services.

The GEM 63XL motor being prepared for static test firing in a Test Area test bay

Navigation Technology

L3Harris Technologies is on track to begin building the U.S. Air Force’s first Navigation Technology Satellite-3 (NTS-3) after completing the program’s critical design review.

Signals readiness to begin building first Navigation Technology Satellite-3

L3Harris will integrate the program’s experimental payload with an ESPAStar Platform, planned for launch in 2022. The system is designed to augment space-based position, navigation and timing capabilities for warfighters.

The NTS-3 payload features a modular design and can adapt to support various mission needs. The experiment will demonstrate capabilities that can be accomplished through a stand-alone satellite constellation or as a hosted payload.

«Collaboration with our customers has enabled us to move rapidly through important milestones to design this experimental satellite», said Ed Zoiss, President, Space and Airborne Systems, L3Harris. «Our goal is to deliver new signals to support rapidly evolving warfighter missions».

Less than a year after award, the company cleared the first development hurdle in half the time similar satellite programs take. The Space Enterprise Consortium selected L3Harris for the $84 million contract in 2018 as the prime system integrator to design, develop, integrate and test NTS-3. L3Harris is combining experimental antennas, flexible and secure signals, increased automation, and use of commercial command and control assets.

Designated as one of the Air Force’s first vanguard programs, NTS-3 will examine ways to improve the resiliency of the military’s positioning, navigation and timing capabilities. It will also develop key technologies relevant to the Global Positioning System (GPS) constellation, with the opportunity for insertion of these technologies into the GPS IIIF program. The program is a collaboration with the Air Force Research Laboratory, Space and Missile Systems Center, U.S. Space Force, and Air Force Lifecycle Management Center.

L3Harris has more than 40 years of experience transmitting GPS navigation signals. The company’s technology has been onboard every GPS satellite ever launched.

La Jument nanosatellite

Lockheed Martin is building mission payloads for a Space Engineering Research Center at University of Southern California (USC) Information Sciences Institute small satellite program called La Jument, which enhance Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) space technologies.

Render of La Jument nanosatellite (Courtesy: University of Southern California)

For the program, four La Jument nanosatellites – the first launching later this year – will use Lockheed Martin’s SmartSat software-defined satellite architecture on both their payload and bus. SmartSat lets satellite operators quickly change missions while in orbit with the simplicity of starting, stopping or uploading new applications.

The system is powered by the NVIDIA Jetson platform built on the CUDA-X capable software stack and supported by the NVIDIA JetPack Software Development Kit (SDK), delivering powerful AI at the edge computing capabilities to unlock advanced image and digital signal processing.

SmartSat provides on-board cyber threat detection, while the software-defined payload houses advanced optical and infrared cameras utilized by Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Center (ATC) to further mature and space qualify Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies. The La Jument payloads are the latest of more than 300 payloads Lockheed Martin has built for customers.

«La Jument and SmartSat are pushing new boundaries of what is possible in space when you adopt an open software architecture that lets you change missions on the fly», said Adam Johnson, Director of SmartSat and La Jument at Lockheed Martin Space. «We are excited to release a SmartSat software development kit to encourage developers to write their own third-party mission apps and offer an orbital test-bed».

 

Powering Artificial Intelligence at the Edge

La Jument satellites will enable AI/ML algorithms in orbit because of advanced multi-core processing and on-board Graphics Processing Units (GPU). One app being tested in orbit will be SuperRes, an algorithm developed by Lockheed Martin that can automatically enhance the quality of an image, like some smartphone camera apps. SuperRes enables exploitation and detection of imagery produced by lower-cost, lower-quality image sensors.

«We were able to design, build and integrate the first payload for La Jument in five months», said Sonia Phares, Vice President of Engineering and Technology at Lockheed Martin Space. «Satellites like this demonstrate our approach to rapid development and innovation that lets us solve our customers’ toughest challenges faster than ever».

 

Bringing Four Satellites Together

The first of the four La Jument nanosatellites is a student-designed and built 1.5U CubeSat that will be launched with a SmartSat payload to test the complete system from ground to space, including ground station communications links and commanding SmartSat infrastructure while in-orbit. The second is a 3U nanosat, the size of three small milk cartons stacked on top of each other, with optical payloads connected to SmartSat that will allow AI/ML in-orbit testing. Finally, two 6U CubeSats are being designed jointly with USC that will be launched mid-2022. The pair will launch together and incorporate future research from USC and Lockheed Martin, including new SmartSat apps, sensors and bus technologies.

Lockheed Martin has a long history of creating small satellites, having launched more than 150. More recent nanosat projects include Pony Express 1, Linus, NASA’s Lun-IR, Janus and Grail. Additionally, Lockheed Martin will be the prime integrator for DARPA’s Blackjack small sat constellation.

Minotaur IV Rocket

Northrop Grumman Corporation successfully launched its Minotaur IV space launch vehicle and placed a National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) spacecraft into orbit at 9:46 a.m. EDT on July 15. The Minotaur IV was launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0B at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

Northrop Grumman’s Minotaur IV Rocket successfully launched from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility this morning

«This mission marks the 27th consecutive successful launch for the company’s Minotaur product line which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year», said Kurt Eberly, director, launch vehicles, Northrop Grumman. «Minotaur’s record of success along with its ability to responsively launch from multiple spaceports continues to be a valuable asset for our customers».

The NROL-129 launch (L-129) was the seventh Minotaur IV flight. The Minotaur IV is capable of launching payloads of up to 4,000 pounds (or 1,800 kilograms) to low earth orbit. This mission’s Minotaur IV configuration included three decommissioned Peacekeeper stages and a Northrop Grumman manufactured Orion 38 solid fuel upper stage. The Minotaur rockets are manufactured at Northrop Grumman’s facilities in Chandler, Arizona; Vandenberg, California; and Clearfield and Magna, Utah.

The Minotaur family of launch vehicles is based on government-furnished Peacekeeper and Minuteman rocket motors that Northrop Grumman has integrated with modern avionics and other subsystems to produce a cost-effective, responsive launcher based on flight-proven hardware. Minotaur rockets have launched from ranges in Alaska, California, Florida and Virginia.

The vehicle used to launch the L-129 mission was procured under the OSP-3 contract administered by the U.S. Space Force Space and Missile Systems Center’s Launch Enterprise Small Launch and Targets Division at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. Minotaur vehicles are currently available to customers under the OSP-4 contract.

Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever-evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 90,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services.

Northrop Grumman successfully launched its Minotaur IV Rocket into orbit this morning, at 9:46 a.m. ET

Orbital Outpost

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), the global aerospace and national security leader owned by Eren and Fatih Ozmen, was awarded a contract to repurpose SNC’s Shooting Star transport vehicle as a proposed commercial solution for an Unmanned Orbital Outpost – essentially a scalable, autonomous space station for experiments and logistics demonstrations – by the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU). SNC’s Shooting Star transport vehicle serves as the core structure for the proposed design.

Ozmens’ SNC Selected by the Department of Defense to Design, Develop Unmanned Orbital Outpost Prototype

The versatility of the Dream Chaser spaceplane and Shooting Star technologies and subsystems allow for greater flexibility and modularity both internally and externally for orbital outpost mission requirements. For DIU, this design leverages commercial programs and private investment at a fraction of the cost and schedule of building government-owned and operated systems. Repurposing space hardware reduces the time to achieve a minimal operating capability, orbital debris and the cost of launching dedicated buses to support subsequent mission requirements.

«We’re excited by the multi-mission nature of Shooting Star», said SNC CEO Fatih Ozmen. «It was originally developed for NASA resupply missions to the International Space Station, and since then we keep identifying new capabilities and solutions it offers to a wide variety of customers. The possible applications for Shooting Star are really endless».

Shooting Star is a 16-foot attachment to Dream Chaser developed for NASA Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) missions to provide extra storage for payloads and to facilitate cargo disposal upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. However, the transport vehicle’s unique design also offers free-flyer and satellite capabilities for large payloads with high-power capacity. It can also support logistics services to Low-Earth orbit (LEO) and cislunar destinations.

«The current Shooting Star is already designed with significant capabilities for an orbital outpost and by adding only a few components we are able to meet Department of Defense (DoD) needs», said former NASA space shuttle commander and retired USAF pilot Steve Lindsey, now senior vice president of strategy for SNC’s Space Systems business area. «We are proud to offer our transport vehicle to DoD as a free-flying destination for experimentation and testing, expanding beyond its current payload service capabilities for Dream Chaser cargo missions».

The proposed orbital outpost will be initially established in LEO with guidance, navigation and control for sustained free-flight operations to host payloads and support space assembly, microgravity, experimentation, logistics, manufacturing, training, test and evaluation. Future outposts may be based in a variety of orbits including, medium-Earth orbit, highly elliptical orbit, Geosynchronous Earth Orbits (GEO) to include GEO transfer orbits, and cislunar orbits.

OneSat

Airbus Defence and Space has won a contract for a fully reconfigurable telecommunications satellite from Australia’s second largest telecommunications company and leading satellite operator Optus. The satellite will be based on Airbus’ new standard OneSat product line and is Airbus’ first contract from the Australian operator.

Airbus signs contract with Optus for OneSat

Airbus will deliver an end-to-end solution, including design and manufacture of the Optus 11 spacecraft, as well as an advanced digital suite to manage the digital payload and operate the end-to-end satellite resources, providing Optus with a turnkey system and the ability to add hosted payloads such as SBAS.

What sets Optus 11 apart is its ability to adjust its coverage, capacity and frequency, through on board processing and active antennas with beam forming capability. It will deliver power and bandwidth dynamically to strengthen capacity and resilience of Optus fleet and enable Optus to configure and adapt the payload mission to end-user needs, taking advantage of the latest innovations in payload and resource management.

Optus 11 will deliver a combination of broadcast and broadband VHTS missions in Ku band over Australia and New Zealand, to improve Direct to Home broadcasting over the Australasia region, increase reach in the Antarctic and Pacific zones and support growth into mobile markets, helping eliminate connectivity black spots through the Australian Government’s Mobile Black Spot programme.

Airbus’ Head of Space Systems, Jean-Marc Nasr said: «We are grateful to Optus for their trust in Airbus in a region where we have ambitions to work with local industry to support space technology development in both the civil and defence sectors. OneSat is a truly disruptive product, both from a manufacturing, and operational point of view, and gives customers the flexibility they need to serve their markets. This contract from Australia’s leading satellite operator, Optus, is a ringing endorsement that our R&D strategy in developing innovative products is the right one. OneSat’s high flexibility, very compact design and accelerated production should see the satellite in orbit for Optus in 2023».

Airbus’ ‘ready-made’ OneSat satellite builds on the company’s heritage from its highly reliable Eurostar telecommunications satellites, which have clocked up more than 800 years of successful operation in orbit.

This order further strenghtens Airbus’ leadership in new generation reconfigurable telecommunications satellites and enables Optus with the option to add additional spacecraft in the near future.

The investments made by Airbus and its partners in very innovative OneSat developments are supported by the European Space Agency and national agencies, in particular the UK and French space agencies.

Radiation-Hardened
Radios

BAE Systems has delivered its first shipment of next-generation radiation-hardened software defined radios (SDR) enabled by its RAD5545 computer to Lockheed Martin Space. The radios provide spacecraft with the performance, availability, reliability and on-board signals processing capacity needed to support future space missions – from planetary exploration to communications, national security, surveillance, and weather missions.

RAD5545 software defined radios are on their way to Lockheed Martin to support future space missions

«Our RAD5545 software defined radios are ideal for any mission requiring reconfigurable radio processing», said Ricardo Gonzalez, director of Space Systems at BAE Systems. «The radios can be easily modified to address various reconfigurable processing solutions».

BAE Systems’ software defined radio is anchored by the RAD5545 Single Board Computer (SBC), providing the most advanced radiation-hardened quad core general purpose processing solution available today to address future threats on a variety of missions. The system leverages modular and standard building blocks including a SpaceVPX chassis and backplane electrical connectors, Serial RapidIO and Spacewire interfaces, and a fully supported expansion port for a custom interface card.

Adhering to industry standards, this flexible and adaptable architecture supports reconfiguration for other missions by simply swapping out SpaceVPX modules, a highly desirable feature in today’s space hardware.

BAE Systems’ next-generation software defined radios, centered around the RAD5545 computer, represent a significant advance in high reliability reconfigurable electronics systems. Increased processing power, and a radiation-hardened design combine for a product line that can enable increased mission flexibility.

The RAD5545 SBC delivers exponential improvements in size, speed, and power efficiency over its predecessor single board computers. BAE Systems also offers a suite of radiation-hardened Serial RapidIO network products that complement the RAD5545 SBC and allow the user to efficiently manage and route data through a system. Products include the RADNET 1848-PS, an 18-Port RapidIO Packet Switch, the RADNET 1616-XP Crosspoint, a protocol agnostic SerDes signal circuit switch and replicator, and the RADNET SRIO-EP, a Serial RapidIO endpoint.

The RAD5545 SDR was developed at BAE Systems’ sites in Merrimack, NH, and Manassas, VA, and is produced in Manassas.

On Its Own Power

After a successful launch this afternoon, June 30, 2020, the third Lockheed Martin-built GPS III satellite is now headed to orbit under its own propulsion. The satellite has separated from its rocket and is using onboard power to climb to its operational orbit, approximately 12,550 miles above the Earth.

Lockheed Martin’s GPS III Space Vehicle 03, launched on June 30, 2020, as it appeared in the company’s cleanroom GPS III Processing Facility

GPS III Space Vehicle 03 (GPS III SV03) is responding to commands from U.S. Space Force and Lockheed Martin engineers in the Launch & Checkout Center at the company’s Denver facility. There, they declared rocket booster separation and satellite control about 90 minutes after the satellite’s 4:10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

«In the coming days, GPS III SV03’s onboard liquid apogee engines will continue to propel the satellite towards its operational orbit», said Tonya Ladwig, Lockheed Martin’s Acting Vice President for Navigation Systems. «Once it arrives, we’ll send the satellite commands to deploy its solar arrays and antennas, and prepare the satellite for handover to Space Operations Command».

After on-orbit testing, GPS III SV03 is expected to join the GPS constellation – including GPS III SV01 and SV02, which were declared operational in January and April – in providing positioning, navigation and timing signals for more than four billion military, civil and commercial users.

Lockheed Martin designed GPS III to help the Space Force modernize the GPS constellation with new technology and capabilities. The new GPS IIIs provide three times better accuracy and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities over any previous GPS satellite. They also offer a new L1C civil signal, which is compatible with other international global navigation satellite systems, like Europe’s Galileo, to improve civilian user connectivity.

GPS III also continues the Space Force’s plan to field M-Code, a more-secure, harder-to-jam and spoof GPS signal for our military forces. GPS III SV03 brings the number of M-Code enabled satellites to 22 in the 31-satellite GPS constellation.

«As a nation, we use GPS signals every day – they time-stamp all our financial transactions, they make aviation safe, they make precision farming possible, and so much more. GPS has become a critical part of our national infrastructure. In fact, the U.S. economic benefit of GPS is estimated to be over $300 billion per year and $1.4 trillion since its inception», added Ladwig. «Continued investment in modernizing GPS – updating technology, improving its capabilities – is well worth it».

Lockheed Martin is proud to be a part of the GPS III team led by the Space Production Corps Medium Earth Orbit Division, at the Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base. The GPS Operational Control Segment sustainment is managed by the Enterprise Corps, GPS Sustainment Division at Peterson Air Force Base. The 2nd Space Operations Squadron, at Schriever Air Force Base, manages and operates the GPS constellation for both civil and military users.

Thermal Vacuum Testing

The world’s most advanced missile defense satellite recently and successfully came out of almost two months of harsh simulated space environmental testing.

Lockheed Martin’s SBIRS GEO-5 satellite, the first military space satellite built on a modernized LM 2100 bus, recently completed Thermal Vacuum (TVAC) environmental testing

On June 9, the U.S. Space Force’s fifth Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit satellite (SBIRS GEO-5) successfully completed Thermal Vacuum (TVAC) testing at Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, California satellite manufacturing facility.

Completing TVAC was a significant milestone for the first military space satellite to be built on one of Lockheed Martin’s modernized LM 2100 satellite buses. During TVAC testing, the satellite – with its sophisticated electronics performing full operations – faced waves of heat and cold in a depressurized atmosphere similar to the drastic environmental changes experienced in space.

«The completion of TVAC can be attributed to a tremendous effort from the Air Force, Lockheed Martin, Aerospace Corporation, and supporting contractor teams», said Tucker White, SBIRS GEO-5 Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations Lead from the Government Program Office. «The teams worked around the clock and finished on schedule to their original projection. This test phase is vital to any space vehicle test regime and takes GEO-5 one step closer to providing enhanced missile detection to our warfighters».

SBIRS GEO-5 will join the Space Force’s constellation of missile warning satellites equipped, with powerful scanning and staring infrared surveillance sensors, which protect our nation 24-7. These sensors collect data that allow the U.S. military to detect missile launches, support ballistic missile defense, expand technical intelligence gathering and bolster situational awareness on the battlefield.

«In SBIRS GEO-5, and our next satellite GEO-6, we’re introducing game-changing enhancements to address the needs of our nation’s space warfighting force going forward», said Tom McCormick, Vice President for Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) Missions at Lockheed Martin Space. «The threat posed by ballistic missile technology continues to spread exponentially around the world. In 2019, SBIRS detected nearly a thousand missile launches globally, which is about a two-fold increase in two years».

 

No «Ordinary» Missile Defense Satellite

SBIRS GEO-5 is the first of two new SBIRS missile defense satellites and the fourth satellite built on Lockheed Martin’s new, modernized LM 2100 satellite bus. A major investment by Lockheed Martin, the LM 2100 purposefully focuses on increasing production speed, reducing costs, adding resiliency and building in more mission flexibility. The LM 2100:

  • Drives efficiency and cost savings into satellite design and production by leveraging common components, processes and production practices across the entire satellite production line.
  • Features 26 improvements that add more power and flexibility to the company’s proven A2100 satellite platform.
  • Increases satellite resiliency, eliminates older components and utilizes modern electronics to add new capability and increase reliability.
  • Offers a configurable payload module that provides more flexibility for military missions, accommodating mass, power, propellant and volume.
  • Allows easy implementation of additional modernized sensor suites and mission payloads thru its modular design.

«As we build more military LM 2100 satellites, we gain schedule efficiencies both from suppliers and the ability to enable concurrent bus and payload testing, which shortens the single line manufacturing flow», McCormick explained.

LM 2100 is currently slated to be the baseline bus of SBIRS GEO-5, and SBIRS GEO-6, expected to be launched in 2021 and 2022 respectively; three next Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared System (Next Gen OPIR) Block 0 GEO satellites expecting to launch starting in 2025; and the future GPS III Follow On (GPS IIIF) satellites, which are expected to launch starting in 2026.

 

Upgraded SBIRS Ground

The sophisticated SBIRS ground control system has had significant upgrades. SBIRS receives and processes large amounts of data from the global coverage of the satellites’ powerful sensors and converts this data into actionable reports for defense, intelligence and civil applications.

In August 2019, the U.S. Air Force operationally accepted Lockheed Martin’s Block 20 upgrade to the SBIRS ground control system, which improves its overall performance allowing better mission planning and processing for the full constellation, as well as enhanced cyber security defenses.

The upgrade also formally completed SBIRS’ Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) Phase. This let the Air Force transition their focus to SBIRS’ operations and sustainment, as well as further enhanced capabilities that will be offered by the Next Gen OPIR system, and the Future Operational Resilient Ground Evolution (FORGE) ground system.

The SBIRS development team is led by the Production Corps, Geosynchronous Earth Orbit Division, at the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. Lockheed Martin Space, Sunnyvale, California, is the SBIRS prime contractor, with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Azusa, California, as the payload integrator.