SSC completes software upgrade for OPIR monitoring

April 30, 2024  - By
Photo: SSC

Photo: SSC

The Space Systems Command (SSC) Space Sensing program executive office, headquartered at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, California, has delivered the first of two future operationally resilient ground evolution (FORGE) software deliveries to operations in the Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) Battlespace Awareness Center (OBAC) at the Buckley Space Force Base in Colorado.

The integration of the FORGE framework into OBAC operations offers increased cyber resilience and enhanced mission applications to operators. OBAC operations on FORGE aim to boost OPIR battlespace awareness and technical intelligence missions with significant cyber-security improvements and enhanced missile detection and tracking.

Additionally, the operational trial period preparing for this delivery provided opportunities to stress the FORGE framework with real-world events. Notably, the framework performed in family with the legacy system, enabling the battlespace awareness and technical intelligence mission as the OBAC’s operational baseline.

FORGE provides OPIR data to operational warfighters and allows the U.S. Space Force to pivot toward a resilient missile warning, tracking and defense architecture. The FORGE ground system will support continued operations of legacy Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS), as well as the next generation of OPIR sensors including Next Gen OPIR GEO & Polar, and Resilient Missile Warning / Missile Track medium-Earth orbit (MEO) space systems. It has a cyber-resilient, flexible, scalable and government-owned open architecture to support the development, integration and delivery of OPIR processing applications for rapid response to emerging threats.

“Our nation’s ability to quickly sense and make sense of OPIR observations is crucial in maintaining decision-making advantage against adversarial threats and their advanced missile technologies,” said U.S. Space Force Col. Robert Davis, Space Force program executive officer for Space Sensing. “This effort enables target tracking earlier and for a longer duration, which significantly increases the event custody chain. Timely response to threats requires a modern architecture capable of hosting data from a range of new and legacy sensors that enables the development of applications to address these threats.”

The FORGE framework promotes open architectures designed to maximize the use of the OPIR constellation and allow for new capabilities to be added frequently and efficiently. It uses existing commercial off-the-shelf (COTS), government off-the-shelf (GOTS), and free or open-source software (FOSS) products to offer users a rapid pivot to new solutions depending on mission needs. This strategy enhances the opportunities for a broad range of vendors and strengthens the government’s access to the latest industry innovations, thereby increasing resiliency in the weapon system and industrial base, according to SSC.

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