Next Gen OPIR GEO missile warning payload completes environmental testingNews
December 16, 2021
FALLS CHURCH, Va. The Northrop Grumman Corporation and Ball Aerospace team announced the achievement of three milestones on production of its Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (Next Gen OPIR) Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) Engineering Development Unit (EDU) payload.
According to the companies, the missile warning sensor payload is being developed for the U.S. Space Force’s GEO missile warning satellites built by spacecraft prime contractor Lockheed Martin.
Officials claim that the team completed three rounds of tests in its production cycle including ambient functional testing, thermal vacuum chamber testing, and acoustic testing. These tests simulate life in orbit to ensure the payload is prepared for the harsh space environment. With these payload tests complete, the team is nearing the first GEO satellite launch in 2025.
The Next Gen OPIR GEO program is a space-based missile warning constellation designed to detect and track current and emerging threats from hostile entities around the globe. It is the latest evolution of the U.S. Space Force’s missile warning satellite constellation.