Lockheed Martin establishes new Space Vehicle Integration Laboratory

  • 15-May-2009 02:04 EDT
The XSS-11 (Experimental Satellite System-11), launched in 2005, is one of the small spacecraft built by Lockheed Martin’s Surveillance and Intelligence Systems mission area.

Lockheed Martin recently established a Space Vehicle Integration Laboratory (SVIL) at the Lockheed Martin Space Systems facility in Denver, CO, to create a more efficient and reliable process for space vehicle component and flight software integration. The laboratory will have applications for large, small, existing, and future satellite development.

The SVIL uses computer hardware and software technologies to allow users to more thoroughly understand how space vehicles, at various stages of development will eventually operate on-orbit. This allows for less complex development and fosters close customer partnerships, with more transparency and long-term predictability.

The laboratory is designed to reduce risk associated with flight software-space vehicle hardware integration. It allows flight software developers to test and integrate early models of software in “flight-like” conditions prior to the time flight-qualified hardware is available.

With the SVIL, hardware and software models are integrated at an earlier stage, allowing identification and troubleshooting of issues at the beginning of the development cycle. This will allow Lockheed Martin to build satellites more rapidly, at lower costs, and with a higher confidence of mission success.

“The ability to field both large and small satellites quickly and reliably is a critical capability supporting the warfighter,” said Rick Ambrose, Vice President and General Manager of Surveillance and Navigation Systems at Lockheed Martin. “Through innovations like the SVIL, Lockheed Martin is eliminating cost, schedule, and weight drivers to provide mission-focused solutions with a commitment to operational excellence and mission success.”

The SVIL is remotely accessible and can be utilized by engineers across the company via a virtual login. Lockheed Martin’s Surveillance and Intelligence Systems (S&IS) mission area maintains a team of more than 40 engineers devoted to small spacecraft development. Since 2000, the team has worked on the XSS-11, Mitex, and internally funded programs.

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