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General Dynamics - Satellite Near Field Infrared Experiment

General Dynamics : 25 May, 2007  (New Product)
General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics, has successfully completed the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) of the Near Field Infrared Experiment (NFIRE) and has turned satellite control authority over to the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA).
The LEOP is a functional checkout of the spacecraft that demonstrates all the subsystems perform to meet NFIRE's mission. The MDA is now managingm daily operations of the satellite. NFIRE was launched on April 24, 2007.

General Dynamics is the system integrator for the NFIRE mission, responsible for the design and manufacture of the spacecraft, payload integration, full satellite system testing, configuration of the mission operation centers, and one year of on-orbit operations support.

'General Dynamics is now ten for ten in on-orbit success for the satellites we've built to date,' said David Shingledecker, vice president and general manager of integrated space systems for General Dynamics. 'We put a strong emphasis on mission management and mission assurance and NFIRE is another successful result of our processes.'

The purpose of the Missile Defense Agency's NFIRE mission is to collect scientific data that will be used to help with the development of future missile defense technology efforts. The primary payload is the Track Sensor Payload that will collect images of the exhaust plume from two rockets to be launched later this year from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

The secondary payload is a laser communications terminal, built by Tesat- Spacecom of Germany, that will be used to evaluate the utility of laser communications as part of a U.S./Germany cooperative scientific activity.
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