L3Harris satellite missile detector and tracker passes design reviews
Missile detection and tracking satellites manufactured by L3Harris, which form part of part of the US Space Development Agency’s (SDA) Tranche 1 Tracking Layer (T1TRK) programme, have passed major design reviews.
The company announced on 20 December that it had completed its Critical Design Review (CDR) and Production Readiness Review (PRR) for 16 missile tracking satellites, milestones that move the programme closer to achieving the SDA’s Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA).
PWSA is a resilient, layered network of military satellites in low-Earth orbit and key to L3Harris’s involvement have been infrared sensors and advanced algorithms that detect, track and fuse threat data which is provided in real time to the warfighter across a meshed network using both optical and RF communications.
Planned for launch in 2025, the satellites feature advanced technology designed to counter the fastest most manoeuvrable hypersonic missiles.
The company stated that it began ‘fabrication of critical sub-assemblies well before the CDR and with the CDR and PRR in the rearview, the team has successfully transitioned to the assembly and integration phase’.
L3Harris’ director of programme management Bob De Cort said: ‘The SDA takes a fundamentally fresh and different approach than traditional defense contracting.
‘Rather than investing schedule and funds in single point solutions, the SDA acquisition plan breaks from tradition to use spiral development leveraging interoperable commercial technologies to deploy tranches of satellites every couple of years,’ he said.
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