A sensor payload designed by Raytheon Technologies for the U.S. Space Force’s future missile warning constellation has fully undergone thermal vacuum testing conducted to simulate a payload’s exposure to a space-like environment.
The series of thermal tests for the Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared program’s sensor payloads concluded on Jan. 27, Raytheon Intelligence and Space said Wednesday.
The activities produced data that Raytheon can use to inform model correlation, flight hardware production and eventual delivery. The company employs model correlation data to help digital engineers simulate mission threads across design, launch and post-delivery phases.
“We’re pulling from our deep bench of technological expertise to support the urgent need for space-based early warning of existing and advanced strategic missile threats,” said Kristin Robertson, president of space and command and control at RI&S.
RI&S also employed a tabletop thermal vacuum chamber to validate the early design of key optical components for a critical design review in July 2021.
Lockheed Martin, which develops the Next-Gen OPIR GEO Block 0 satellites, tapped RI&S to design a sensor payload as one of two selected teams. The U.S. Space Force wants to launch the first Next-Gen OPIR satellite to geostationary Earth orbit in 2025.