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  Natl Museum of the US Air Force: DSP satellite

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Author Topic:   Natl Museum of the US Air Force: DSP satellite
Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-05-2010 11:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Northrop Grumman release
Northrop Grumman Defense Support Program Satellite Model Slated for Display at U.S. Air Force Museum

To commemorate 40 years of exceptional reliability and on-orbit performance of its Defense Support Program (DSP) satellites, Northrop Grumman Corporation has configured a full-size model of a DSP satellite for display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

The 35-foot-long model is the only full-size representation of the satellite. It consists of the Structural Test Model (STM) mated to the Infrared Sensor Trailblazer component without the associated electronics. Crews completed work in May and the model was shipped in July to the museum aboard a C5 aircraft, in the same shipping container used for the actual satellite.

The configuration of the satellite model was performed as part of the company's closeout of DSP production contracts for the Air Force.

"We are honored the Air Force has accepted our model to celebrate the 40-year history of DSP's robust performance as one of the nation's vital missile early warning systems," said David DiCarlo, sector vice president and general manager, Space Systems Division. "The DSP constellation continues to provide outstanding mission analysis data from its infrared sensor."

"We are proud to have produced the payload for the primary DSP mission at our facility in Azusa, Calif.," noted John Johnson, sector vice president and general manager, ISR Systems Division, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems. "A display in the Wright-Patterson Museum is a fitting tribute to one of the most successful programs in the history of the U.S. Air Force."

In 2008, the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center awarded a contract to the company to provide technical support for the operational DSP spacecraft, primary infrared sensor and mission analysis. The cost-plus award fee contract is valued at $206 million, which includes the initial year followed by four one-year options. The company is in the second year of the contract.

Northrop Grumman built the DSP infrared sensors in Azusa, Calif., and integrated them with the DSP spacecraft in Redondo Beach, Calif. DSP support and sustainment work will continue at both sites.


DSP satellite deployment during STS-44. Credit: NASA

The first DSP was launched in 1970 and the final DSP was orbited in 2007. Several times throughout production, the spacecraft and sensor were upgraded to protect against evolving worldwide threats. DSP satellites have demonstrated exceptional reliability, providing an extra 184 satellite-years beyond their required life on-orbit to date.

Photos of the full-scale replica will be available after it is goes on public display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in approximately two weeks time.

kr4mula
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From: Cinci, OH
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 08-06-2010 12:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe the Museum can display the orbiter deploying the DSP diorama-like in a couple of years!

randy
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From: West Jordan, Utah USA
Registered: Dec 1999

posted 08-07-2010 01:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for randy   Click Here to Email randy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is another reason I'm proud to work for Northrop Grumman!

Byeman
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posted 08-07-2010 05:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Byeman   Click Here to Email Byeman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is the DSP container. It was used for STSS Demo mission. This is what the base of the container looks like and the test model will be displayed on it.

To replicate a DSP deployment would require a non=existent mockup IUS with ASE.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-03-2010 09:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force release
DSP satellite now on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

A structural test vehicle from the Defense Support Program, which helped provide the Air Force with early warning of ballistic missile launches or above ground nuclear detonations, was recently donated to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force by Northrop Grumman.

This 35-foot-long structural test vehicle, which is now on display in the museum's missile & space gallery, includes the infrared sensor Trailblazer component without the associated electronics. Structural test vehicles are full-sized units used to verify that all the components fit together correctly.

In response to the growing threat from nuclear armed Soviet and Chinese ballistic missiles in the 1960s, Air Force officials developed the DSP in secrecy to replace the space-based infrared Missile Defense Alarm System. A Titan IIIC rocket carried the first DSP satellite, built by TRW (now Northrop Grumman), into orbit Nov. 6, 1970. Weighing 2,000 pounds, it contained 2,000 infrared detectors that could identify the thermal radiation from rocket engine exhaust plumes of intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

For nearly 40 years, DSP satellites underwent numerous advancements to improve their survivability and accuracy, and added the capability to identify nuclear explosions in support of test ban monitoring.

After the Cold War ended, DSP satellites detected Iraqi Scud missile launches during Operation Desert Storm, and scientists used their infrared sensors as part of an early warning system for natural disasters like volcanic eruptions and forest fires.

Air Force officials placed a total of 23 DSP satellites into orbit using a variety of launch platforms. The first satellites went atop Titan III and IV launch vehicles. The sixteenth satellite was carried into space aboard NASA's Space Shuttle Orbiter Atlantis in November 1991. The 23rd and final DSP satellite was launched in December 2007. It weighed almost 5,300 pounds and could accommodate 6,000 detectors.

Editor's note: Still no photos released by the museum but Jeff Foust published a shot he took on The Space Review.

kr4mula
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Posts: 599
From: Cinci, OH
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 09-07-2010 11:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll see if I can venture over there and snap a few pictures to upload later in the week.

canyon42
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From: Ohio
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posted 09-11-2010 06:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for canyon42   Click Here to Email canyon42     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are a few photos of the satellite as it was displayed at the museum last Sunday.

Nothing fancy as of yet, just sitting on a sort of mobile pallet next to a Minuteman in the missile gallery.

The first two photos are from ground level, the last two are from the catwalk above. I have to admit, it would look really cool suspended from a ceiling floating above Atlantis!

kr4mula
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Posts: 599
From: Cinci, OH
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 09-13-2010 10:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Aw, you beat me to it. But great pics -thanks!

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