Microwave Journal

US Air Force Awards Harris Corp. Space-based Radar Payload Design

June 1, 2003

Harris Corp. announced that it is one of three companies awarded three-year contracts by the US Air Force to develop and demonstrate a prototype radar payload for Space-based Radar (SBR), a critical national defense program. The initial value of the contract is $8.6 M, with options that could bring it to $88 M over the three-year period of the prototype program. The final payload design, development, production and support program for all SBR spacecraft could reach $1 B by 2013 for the winning company, which will be selected at the conclusion of the prototype phase.

Under terms of the contract with the US Air Force Space and Missile System Center (SMC) and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Joint Program Office, Harris will lead the three-year study of SBR's radar payload, which is being designed to meet the government's need for real-time Ground Moving Target Indication (GMTI), Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Digital Terrain Elevation Data (DETD) information.

"We are delighted that the joint Air Force/NRO team has selected Harris to develop the key technologies needed for the SBR payload," said Bob Henry, president, Harris Government Communication Systems Division (GCSD). "The government's selection of Harris demonstrates its confidence in our ability to provide an integrated SBR payload solution that will meet the stringent requirements of our military, national security and intelligence customers for many years to come."

The Harris SBR radar payload concept includes state-of-the-art On-board Processing (OBP) technology and a large Electronically Scanned Array (ESA) that will enable each spacecraft to collect and process large amounts of data and imagery in near real time. The data collected and processed by SBR will then be used by personnel on the ground for the tracking of moving targets.