The Waltham, Massachusetts defense contractor completed testing of the first-of-its-kind sensor at its space manufacturing facility in El Segundo, California, which simulated background noise, electromagnetic flux static and other conditions found in space.
The technology is the central feature of the third generation infrared satellite system program sponsored by the U.S. Air Force Space and Missiles Systems Center. The program’s goal is to confirm that so-called wide field of view sensors in a small, low-risk and easily manufactured systems can perform full-earth monitoring for missiles.
“This sensor is important to America’s missile-warning capability,” said Bill Hart, vice president for Raytheon’s space systems group, in a statement. “A persistent sensor that can cover the entire earth gives us the detection sensitivity and responsiveness our military forces need for time-critical decisions.”
Hart added that such a sensor could be delivered to the government in two years.
Raytheon generated $23.2 billion in sales to military and government agencies in 2008.