Lockheed Martin unveils new line of tactical military satellites
Lockheed Martin has unveiled a new line of military tactical Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) satellites designed to provide battlefield forces with long-range tracking of moving targets in hostile environments in near-real-time.
The topic of space warfare brings up colorful images of spaceships blasting away at one another like a scene out of Star Wars, but the reality is very different. There may not be any TIE fighters, but space is becoming one of the most important military fields because this ultimate "high ground" is the place for not only increasingly sophisticated surveillance, but also for turning separate combat units on the land, sea, and air into a complex network that uses artificial intelligence to operate as a whole.
To achieve this, a constellation of satellites needs to be in orbit to provide the backbone for the entire system. Lockheed's latest contribution to this goal is its new line of ISR satellites. Based on the company's LM 400 mid-size satellite bus, these refrigerator-sized, solar-powered spacecraft use an open-architecture design that lends itself to being manufactured in large numbers to increase affordability. The goal is a constellation of satellites that can bring different assets to bear for a faster find-fix-finish kill outcome.
The tactical ISR satellites use the Open Mission System (OMS) and the Universal Command and Control Interface (UCI) to make them able to operate with different platforms and battle management systems. It's a software-defined platform so it can adapt quickly to changing threats, and boasts the ability to provide up to 14 kW to payloads weighing as much as 3,300 lb (1,500 kg). Also, it has a hardened data processing system supporting in-theater, low-latency sensor tasking, orbital data processing, protected communications, direct situational awareness downlinks, and targeting information transmission.
"Digital engineering and manufacturing are accelerating our ability to deploy robust, future-focused constellations that feature leading-edge technology for our customers’ missions," says Rick Ambrose, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space. "Our LM 400 is a highly adaptable, mid-sized satellite and yet can be produced at scale in a rapid and cost-effective manner."
Source: Lockheed Martin