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Raytheon Delivers Missile Warning Sensor Prototype Ahead Of Schedule

"The RR-AIRSS sensor is an important part of the evolution of our nation's missile warning capabilities," said Brian Arnold, vice president for Raytheon's Space Systems organization.
by Staff Writers
El Segundo CA (SPX) Mar 14, 2008
Raytheon has successfully demonstrated a fully integrated, high-performance infrared sensor ahead of schedule for the Risk Reduction Alternative Infrared Satellite Systems program.

The RR-AIRSS program is sponsored by the U.S. Air Force Space and Missiles Systems Center and managed by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate in Albuquerque, N.M. The program aims to prove that wide- field-of-view infrared sensors can maintain persistent full-earth surveillance for missile warning in a relatively small, low-risk and easily manufactured payload.

The sensor represents a major technology advance compared with the current Defense Satellite and Space-based Infrared System programs. Both rely on complex scanning mechanisms to perform full-earth surveillance of missiles and other infrared targets. Initial tests and analysis indicate the RR-AIRSS sensor will outperform both significantly.

"The RR-AIRSS sensor is an important part of the evolution of our nation's missile warning capabilities," said Brian Arnold, vice president for Raytheon's Space Systems organization. "When potential missile threats can come today from anywhere on earth, a persistent, whole-earth-staring capability provides the enhanced detection sensitivity and responsiveness our warfighters need to make critical decisions."

Having successfully completed in fewer than 18 months the integration and demonstration of a novel sensor able to monitor the entire earth, Raytheon is preparing to finish environmental testing. The company already has collected test pattern images that demonstrate telescope image quality and focal plane functionality. After environmental testing, the sensor will go to the Air Force Research Laboratory for further evaluation.

"This achievement is the result of innovative thinking, tightly managed program execution, and close coordination between Raytheon and our partners at the laboratory and the Space and Missile Systems Center," Arnold said. "We're proud to continue our tradition of developing the most advanced sensor technology for military and civil space applications."

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