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Northrop to maintain MDA space tracking satellites

Oct. 10, 2013 - 03:45AM   |  
By MICHAEL PECK   |   Comments
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The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has awarded a non-competitive contract extension to Northrop Grumman for satellites. The five-year contract, the value of which was redacted from MDA’s announcement, is for continued on-orbit operations and maintenance (O&M) and test events, data collection and analysis of MDA’s Space Tracking and Surveillance System-Demonstrators (SSTS-D) program.

“Although the STSS-D satellites have exceeded their planned mission life, they continue to provide vital research and development data to the MDA mission,” said MDA. “The STSS-D satellites are critical to MDA’s space systems mission because they provide a centralized, collaborative environment enabling on-orbit space operations and development to exploit and integrate space sensor capabilities and data into the Ballistic Missile Defense System.”

Northrop Grumman has several unique capabilities that justify the non-competitive contract, including knowledge of “payload design, command sequences and on-orbit settings for the infrared payload hardware, the payload flight software for both the on board processor and line of sight control module, and the 10,000-plus memory parameter settings.”

It also has expertise in the ground control software and its “1.2 million lines of code distributed across five software items and hardware,” said MDA.

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