New Space and Tech

Space Force’s Wide Field Of View achieves First Light

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
Millennium Space Systems
November 29, 2022
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Space Force’s Wide Field Of View achieves First Light
Space Force’s Wide Field Of View
Millennium Space Systems

The United States Space Force Space Systems Command’s Wide Field of View Testbed transmitted its “First Light” mission data-product. Performing the satellite’s mission operations, Millennium Space Systems, a Boeing (NYSE: BA) company, secured the data beginning October 25.

“Achieving this major milestone is a huge accomplishment, and we are very excited to enter into the calibration phase of this program,” said Col Heather Bogstie, senior materiel leader for Resilient Missile Warning, Tracking and Defense Acquisition Delta, Space Systems Command. “After seeing the initial images, our team is pleased with how well this sensor is performing. Soon, we will be able to assess it for operations in the missile warning architecture against new and emerging threats.”

First Light is the focal plane’s first exposure in space and is a critical step toward demonstrating WFOV’s next generation large-format focal plane technology. The system can simultaneously stare at and scan an unprecedented 3,000-plus kilometers of the Earth at any one time.

Calibration is now underway and is scheduled to run through January 2023. Following calibration, SSC’s Tools, Applications and Processing Laboratory, or Tap Lab, in Boulder, Colorado will refine algorithms to exploit WFOV’s data, giving decisionmakers greater awareness over certain regions of the world.

“It’s all about the data now,” said Jason Kim, chief executive officer, Millennium Space Systems. “What we learn from this critical testbed will inform future overhead persistent infrared missions. At the same time, there are still so many ways in which this data can be exploited that we don’t know about and that we will learn about in the months and years to come.”

Millennium Space Systems was recently awarded a one-year operations and sustainment contract to continue supporting WFOV. The contract also includes two additional one-year option periods.

Sponsored by SSC and managed by the NASA Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley, the mid-sized geosynchronous spacecraft launched aboard USSF-12 July 1. WFOV reached its final operational phase in GEO August 31.

Media Contact:
Dana Carroll, vice president, Marketing
Millennium Space Systems

About Millennium Space Systems
Millennium Space Systems, a Boeing Company, delivers high-performing prototype and constellation solutions across advanced national security and environmental observation missions. Founded in 2001, the company’s small satellite missions support government, civil and commercial space customers’ needs across orbits.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.