Jeffrey LewisMicrosatellite-based Space Targets for Missile Defense

General Obering and the Missile Defense Agency want to build microsatellites that look like warheads and decoys to help them practice looking dumbfounded when the interceptor fails to leave the silo.

Sorry, that was peevish. Let me try again:


… novel, advanced micro-satellite technology concepts for developing polymorphic ballistic missile target complexes that can provide on-orbit, daily testing and calibration opportunities for assets under development and in deployment in the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS).

SOH a must.

I just can’t help myself today. I get serious below this slide, which explains the Microsatellite-based Space Targets for Calibration and Test of Advanced Radar and STSS Technologies.

The idea is that Integrated Flight Tests (IFT) are too expensive, give aid and comfort to the enemy, and embarrass MDA. Hence the “development of on-orbit, polymorphic micro-satellites capable of changing optical, radar, and kinematics characteristics” to “provide the capability to develop and test advanced detection and discrimination technologies and concepts in near real time spirals.”

Must not exceed a 1 m3 volume and 100 kg mass. Must be willing to orbit between 500-900 km for at least one and, ideally, 3 years. WSF whatever SpaceDev comes up with.

More from the solicitation.