Keeping Track

Northrop Grumman has completed acoustic testing of the two space tracking and surveillance system demonstration satellites that it is building for the Missile Defense Agency, the company announced yesterday. The testing, which took place at the company’s acoustic test facility in Redondo Beach, Calif., simulated their planned tandem launch configuration on a Delta II booster. Gabe Watson, vice president and STSS program manager for the company’s Space Technology sector said completion of the tests is a “key milestone” en route to having the satellites ready for shipment to the launch site later this year. Once on orbit, MDA will assess the satellites’ ability to detect and track ballistic missiles and function as part of a multilayered missile defense architecture. The company validated performance of the STSS ground segment last year.