The US Air Force’s Cape Canaveral Air Station has received the second of the two space tracking and surveillance system (STSS) demonstration satellites from Northrop Grumman.

Northrop Grumman Aerospace System’s STSS programme manager and vice-president Gabe Watson said that the US Missile Defense Agency was developing the STSS since terrestrial sensor systems have inherent limitations to acquire and track missiles around the curvature of the earth.

“STSS will provide persistent global tracking and support discrimination capabilities that significantly increase the effectiveness of the ballistic missile defence system,” he said.

The space-based sensors onboard STSS will send accurate and timely missile tracking data to missile defence interceptors to intercept targets.

The satellite with capability to detect infrared and visible light will become part of land, sea, air and space-based sensors for the US ballistic missile defence system.