The US space tracking and surveillance system (STSS) demonstration satellite has successfully transferred target track data from its acquisition sensor to its tracking sensor.

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) satellite acquired a ground laser operated and pointed by the US Air Force Research Laboratory from the Starfire Optical Range at Kirtland Air Force Base.

During the transfer, once the acquisition sensor acquired the ground laser, it formed a confirmed track which was passed to the track sensor.

The track sensor slewed and pointed to the coordinates reported by the acquisition sensor before detecting the ground laser and forming an on-board track of it.

The data was transmitted to the STSS ground systems, located at Schriever AFB in Colorado Springs.

The MDA is pursuing the STSS demonstration programme as a space-based sensor component of the ballistic missile defence system.

The STSS satellite will provide missile defence sensor risk reduction concepts to support development and fielding of a future missile defence operational satellite constellation.