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General Dynamics NFIRE Satellite Completes First Missile Defense Experiment

The NFIRE satellite employs a General Dynamics spacecraft design that is agile and flexible, thus capable of flying multiple and diverse mission payloads.
by Staff Writers
Gilbert AZ (SPX) Aug 24, 2007
The Near Field Infrared Experiment (NFIRE) satellite, built by General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, today successfully completed its first experiment for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA). In the experiment, NFIRE collected images of a boosting missile launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., that flew within 3.5 kilometers of the on-orbit satellite. Data collected during this experiment will be used to help with the development of future missile defense technology efforts.

"The success of NFIRE is important to the development of missile defense technologies that will be used to defend the United States," said David Shingledecker, vice president and general manager of integrated space systems for General Dynamics. "We're pleased that our flexible spacecraft design helps to enable this unique mission."

General Dynamics is the system integrator for the NFIRE mission, responsible for the design and manufacture of the spacecraft, payload integration, full satellite system testing, configuration of the mission operation centers, and one year of on-orbit operations support. The primary payload is the Track Sensor Payload, provided by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and SAIC-San Diego. A second, similar mission will be conducted by the MDA later this year

The NFIRE satellite employs a General Dynamics spacecraft design that is agile and flexible, thus capable of flying multiple and diverse mission payloads. Following these missile data collection experiments, NFIRE will conduct laser crosslink satellite-to-satellite and satellite-to-ground communication experiments with its secondary payload, called the Laser Communication Terminal, built by Tesat-Spacecom of Germany.

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