The Missile Defense Agency has retired a pair of Northrop Grumman-made experimental satellites after they finished demonstrating the ability to identify and track missile threats from boost phase through midcourse.
The Space Tracking and Surveillance System satellites exhibited capabilities to detect short-, medium-, intermediate- and intercontinental-range missiles, as well as to transfer gathered data to command and control systems, Northrop said Tuesday.
STSS satellites employed sensors to track ballistic missiles, discriminate threats, boost interceptor accuracy, assess interceptor strikes and gather launch and satellite data. MDA also used the satellites to support an integrated flight test of the Ballistic Missile Defense System.
“Launched in 2009 and expected to operate for four years, these demonstration satellites outlived their design life threshold three times over,” said Sarah Willoughby, vice president for overhead persistent infrared and geospatial systems at Northrop Grumman.
She added that the company is now applying lessons learned to future systems in support of national security.