ATK (NYSE: ATK) announced today it was awarded a contract from the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) Defense Weather Systems Directorate to execute a study of Network-Centric Small Satellites as an element of SMC's Weather Satellite Follow-On Activities.
This study will provide comprehensive insight into the capabilities and characteristics of a 21st century weather data service that can systematically augment the legacy Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP). The study will focus on two aspects of such a mission system: 1) net-centric architectures, and; 2) small, agile, cost-effective heritage spacecraft buses that can be used to support a variety of future weather payloads.
Net-centric architectures can enable an orderly transition from historically stove-piped systems to a true 21st century system that provides for rapid processing and dissemination of key weather data directly to the warfighter. Systems engineering trade studies will define a distributed ground system that utilizes commercial infrastructure to the greatest extent possible to enable cost-effective, robust, faster data distribution for weather and other missions.
Small and agile spacecraft concepts based on the heritage ATK A200 spacecraft bus (previously used for both the TacSat-3 and ORS-1 spacecraft) will be developed to demonstrate ATK's ability to host candidate Weather Satellite Follow-on (WSF) instruments and to provide a path to affordable and reliable spacecraft. ATK has, through the success of NASA's EO-1 and THEMIS, and the military's TacSat-3 and ORS-1 programs, proven itself as an industry leader in the design, fabrication, integration, and test of innovative and cost-effective spacecraft systems.
"ATK is delighted to have this opportunity to play a key role with Space and Missile Systems Center in an early exploration of disaggregated, affordable, resilient architectures," said Tom Wilson, ATK Space Systems vice president and general manager. "We support the U.S. Air Force Space Command and SMC Space Modernization Initiative that could change the future of military space systems."
Source: Alliant Tech Systems, Inc (ATK) (NYSE: ATK)
Date: Jan 7, 2013