ORS-1 Satellite Completes Second Year in Space

Jul 01, 2013, 08:00 ET from UTC Aerospace Systems

CHARLOTTE, N.C., July 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- UTC Aerospace Systems announced today that the ORS-1 satellite has celebrated its second anniversary in space.  ORS-1, the first Operationally Responsive Space satellite specifically designed to support combatant command operations was launched from Wallops Island Flight Facility aboard a Minotaur I launch vehicle on June 29, 2011, at 11:09 p.m. EDT. UTC Aerospace Systems is a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).

"The ORS-1 satellite has been meeting or exceeding expectations since its launch and continues to provide daily support to US Central Command and to those tasked to protect our troops and efforts overseas," said Andreas Nonnenmacher, general manager, ISR Systems. "This anniversary marks the satellite's second year of service, and the team is very pleased that ORS-1 has exceeded its mission design life."

Designed, manufactured, integrated and tested by ISR Systems in Danbury, CT, ORS-1 is a 500Kg class satellite that is providing a warfighting advantage.  In recognition of its importance, ORS-1 has garnered numerous commendations, including:

  • C4ISR Journal - one of the nation's 25 most important concepts
  • Aviation Week - one of four finalists nominated for the prestigious Laureate Award in the Space category
  • AIAA - nominated for the Space Systems Award
  • National Space Club - nominated for the General Bernard Schriever Award
  • AOC – earned 2012 Mission Sustainment Integrated Product Team Award

Initiated to fulfill requirements from the Commander of US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) to support US Central Command (USCENTCOM), the satellite went from the drawing board to delivery in 30 months.  Less than 90 days after launch, ORS-1 earned early COCOM acceptance and has been satisfying the mission needs of USCENTCOM and others ever since.

Rapidly developing and fielding ORS-1 was an important step in demonstrating the in-theater value of low-cost tactically focused EO/IR satellites to meet emerging and persistent warfighter needs in operationally relevant timelines.  Moreover, ORS-1 has demonstrated an alternative to the normal acquisition process for space programs and its lower cost, when compared to more traditional space-based ISR platforms, makes it an affordable contributor to the ISR "force mix" in this fiscally constrained environment.

The ISR Systems' payload features a modified version of its SYERS-2 multispectral sensor, the primary imaging sensor on the U-2 reconnaissance plane.  A ground segment that formats the satellite's data products to be compatible with existing Processing, Exploitation and Dissemination (PED) infrastructure was also developed and provided by ISR Systems.  ATK (Alliant Tech Systems) was ISR Systems' subcontractor for the spacecraft bus, derived from its TacSat-3 bus.

The ORS-1 Program is managed by the Space Development and Test Directorate located at Kirtland Air Force base on behalf of the Operationally Responsive Space Office (ORS Office) at the same location. The ORS Office is a joint initiative within the DoD responsible for integrating joint ORS capabilities and for applying ORS resources to the development, acquisition and demonstration of capabilities to meet specific responsive space needs as established by global combatant command joint force commanders and users.

UTC Aerospace Systems designs, manufactures and services integrated systems and components for the aerospace and defense industries. UTC Aerospace Systems supports a global customer base with significant worldwide manufacturing and customer service facilities.

United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Connecticut, is a diversified company providing high technology products and services to the building and aerospace industries.


SOURCE UTC Aerospace Systems