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July 1, 2022

US SSC’s L3Harris-built infrared instrument set for launch

The instrument will support future space-based missile defence missions.

L3Harris Technologies ’ infrared instrument built for the US Space Systems Command (SSC) is set to be launched from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, US.

The infrared instrument was integrated into a Millennium Space Systems satellite, which will lift off on 30 June.

The 365lb, 6ft-tall payload was developed in Wilmington, Massachusetts.

The infrared instrument will enhance the ability to capture crucial battlefield information and high-resolution imagery from the space.

This ability will also support the future missile defence initiatives of the US.

L3Harris Space & Airborne Systems president Ed Zoiss said: “The L3Harris instrument can stare continuously at a theatre of interest to provide ongoing information about the battlespace, which is an improvement over legacy system.

“It also provides better resolution, sensitivity and target discrimination at a lower cost.”

The infrared instrument is part of a wide-field-of-view satellite, that will provide information related to future space-based missile defence missions.

The satellite will be positioned approximately 22,000 miles from the Earth.

It will allow the infrared system to capture a range of swath and will also enable patrolling a large area for potential missile launches.

According to L3Harris, it is focused on making investments in space-based missile defence programmes.

The company is working on the development of end-to-end resilient satellite solutions in spacecraft, payloads and ground software.

In 2019, L3Harris received a missile-tracking study contract from the Missile Defense Agency (MDA).

Following the initial stage, the company later secured a second phase contract for the hypersonic and ballistic tracking space sensor (HBTSS) programme in December 2019.

L3Harris completed the critical design review of the HBTSS prototype in December last year.

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