Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Tracking Ballistic Missiles From 'Birth-to-Death'
by Staff Writers
Pacific Range HI (SPX) Apr 13, 2011

File image.

Two recent Ballistic Missile Defense System-wide (BMDS) tests involving the Northrop Grumman-built Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS) Demonstration satellites showed that the satellite system can successfully perform the ultimate mission for space-based missile defense sensors - full-course, or 'birth-to-death' tracking of a ballistic missile.

"This is the first time a space-based sensor has tracked a ballistic missile through all phases of its flight, from launch, through midcourse and re-entry," said Doug Young, vice president, missile defense and warning for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector in Redondo Beach, Calif.

"This birth-to-death tracking ability optimizes interceptor selection and enables the interceptor to compensate for maneuvering midcourse objects."

Young said the success came in two stages. Each time, the test target was an Aegis Readiness Assessment Vehicle. On March 9, one of the STSS satellites acquired and tracked its target until re-entry during a test designed to validate Aegis system software upgrades. The timing of the launch was coordinated between Aegis and STSS to assure visibility of the launch.

On March 15, both STSS satellites demonstrated full-course tracking once again during a portion of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) Aegis launch on remote campaign. Both satellites acquired the target through their track sensors and followed the missile through re-entry.

During this test, the Ground Mission Data Processing software, operating at the Missile Defense Experimentation Center, successfully produced a "stereo," 3-D track of the missile's flight path, predicting its impact point in advance.

"This is missile defense history in the making," said David Bloodgood, the company's STSS program manager.

"It's the first time a single set of sensors has followed a missile from launch through re-entry or intercept. Before now, it took a combination of sensors in space, on the ground, in the air and at sea to do what the two STSS demonstrators accomplished by themselves."

The STSS Demonstration program plays an integral role in MDA's long-term strategy to field a constellation of precision tracking satellites as a key element of the BMDS.

The STSS satellites are demonstrating the feasibility of a space sensor to provide high-precision, real-time tracking of missiles and midcourse objects, enabling simultaneous regional, theater and strategic missile defense.


Related Links
Learn about missile defense at
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at
All about missiles at
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Israel's missile shield makes history
Beersheba, Israel (UPI) Apr 11, 2011
The initial success of the Iron Dome anti-missile system built by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems in shooting down Hamas rockets fired at southern Israeli cities is a potential gamechanger against the Palestinians and probably against Hezbollah in Lebanon as well. The mobile system has downed at least nine 122mm Grad rockets aimed at Beersheba and the port of Ashkelon over the last few ... read more

BRP To Contribute To Canadian Moon And Mars Exploration Programs

Naveen Jain Co-Founder And Chairman Of Moon Express

Project Morpheus To Begin Testing At NASA's Johnson Space Center

NASA Announces Winners Of 18th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race

Several Drives This Week Put Opportunity Over 17-Mile Mark

Next Mars Rover Nears Completion

Mars In Spain

Study Of 'Ruiz Garcia' Rock Completed

"I See Earth! It Is So Beautiful!"

Report Provides NASA With Direction For Next 10 Years Of Space Research

Last legends of early space flight laud Gagarin

Spacelinq The First European Space Liner

Asia's star ever brighter in space

What Future for Chang'e-2

China setting up new rocket production base

China's Tiangong-1 To Be Launched By Modified Long March II-F Rocket

The MELFI Shuffle: Contingency Planning For Preserving Samples

Space Debris No Threat To ISS

Astronauts head to ISS on spaceship Gagarin

Station Fires Engines To Avoid Orbital Debris

Arianespace to launch ASTRA 2E Satellite

PSLV Launch On April 20

Russia Looks To Grab Half Of World Space Launch Market

Mitsubishi Electric's ST-2 Satellite Arrives In French Guiana

A New Way To Find Planets

Telescope Ferrets Out Planet-Hunting Targets

White Dwarfs Could Be Fertile Ground For Other Earths

NASA Announces 2011 Carl Sagan Fellows

WHO eyes 20 year nuclear health watch in Japan

Tissue Engineers Use New System To Measure Biomaterials, Structures

Finding May End A 30-Year Scientific Debate

Researchers Find Replacement For Rare Material Indium Tin Oxide

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement