Raytheon Company has built two small, Polar Scout satellites for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in partnership with Millennium Engineering and Integration. The satellites have flexible radio frequency receivers to help search and rescue teams locate emergency beacons in remote areas, such as the Arctic.
Raytheon assembled the small satellites at the company's advanced missile production facility in Tucson, Arizona. The smallsats are part of a project led by the U.S. Air Force Operationally Responsive Space program to show how they can be built efficiently and cost effectively.
"With our automated production lines, Raytheon can produce highly reliable, small satellites quickly and affordably," said Dr. Thomas Bussing, Raytheon Advanced Missile Systems vice president. "Because our advanced manufacturing facilities are flexible, we can build small satellites or satellite components designed by Raytheon or another company."
Small satellites are less expensive and can be produced more quickly than large geostationary satellites. Operating from lower orbits, the smallsats apertures and sensors can meet mission requirements normally accomplished by larger satellites.
"Because of its innovative technology and advanced production facilities, Raytheon has been the ideal partner for this program," said George Moretti, Millennium Engineering and Integration executive director.
In addition to Millennium, Raytheon worked with Rincon Research and Space Dynamics Laboratories to develop and produce the Polar Scout satellites. The smallsats are scheduled to be launched into lower Earth orbit later this year.