The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded a contract to Raytheon to support the department with the update of its missile-warning architecture.

Under the five-year, $197m contract, the modernisation work will involve providing a new system dedicated to collect and integrate data from various sensors.

This fusion of data will provide the military with a broader view of the launch activity.

As part of this, Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services (IIS) has developed an open framework to provide advanced processing capabilities to the USAF.

Called the Future Operationally Resilient Ground Evolution (FORGE) Mission Data Processing Application Framework (MDPAF), the ground system can process data from the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) missile-warning satellite constellation and the future Next Gen OPIR constellation.

The capability of the framework encompasses the processing of overhead persistent infrared (OPIR) satellite data from the USAF’s constellations, as well as civil and environmental sensors.

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Raytheon IIS president Dave Wajsgras said: “The US Government’s global satellite network produces a constant flood of data, petabytes and petabytes of it every day.

“The airforce wants to open that network up so they can use as much of that data as possible. That’s a huge transformation not just for the service, but for the whole government.”

Wajsgras added: “Essentially, this is a smartphone model. We’ve built an operating system that everyone can build applications for, from Raytheon, to the airforce, to universities, to small companies. These applications allow the system to process specific types of data.”

The company took less than a year to build a prototype system, which can also process real data.

In order to speed-up the design and development work of the system, Raytheon used its expertise and experience using DevSecOps and Agile software development processes and Advanced Weather Integrated Processing System among other programmes.

According to the company, the new system can be integrated with an application that would allow civil agencies to leverage the satellite data in identifying forest fires, volcanic activity and electric power consumption surge.