The Spectrum Astro/Northrop Grumman
Corporation team displayed its innovative solutions while
successfully completing the System Design Review (SDR) for the U.S. Air
Force’s Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Low program.

The completion of the SDR is the seventh key event in the 38-month Program
Definition and Risk Reduction phase of the SBIRS Low contract awarded in
August 1999.
The team now moves to the next major milestone, the Preliminary
Design Review (PDR), scheduled for early 2002.

More than 170 members of the U.S. Air Force and the missile defense
technical and user community, which includes officials from the U.S. Army,
U.S. Navy, National Security Agency and the Ballistic Missile Defense
Organization, were briefed at Spectrum Astro’s headquarters in Gilbert, Ariz.,
during the week of April 23.

During the SDR, the Spectrum Astro/Northrop Grumman team successfully
demonstrated its ability to effectively transfer a set of defined requirements
into the most cost-effective system design architecture capable of meeting the
SBIRS Low mission user needs.
The SDR highlighted the team’s unique structure
and demonstrated how its combined experience in integrated space systems,
ground station development and innovative systems integration solutions
enables the companies to efficiently map each operational requirement to a
specific system design component.

“I am extremely delighted at the results of our System Design Review,
specifically the government reviewer’s response to our design concepts and
performance estimates,” said Scott Yeakel, Spectrum Astro vice president,
“Our team has once again demonstrated that bringing together
industry leaders, regardless of corporate size, with each member demonstrating
complementary skills and technical expertise, is the future of the defense
business and provides our nation with the most innovative space systems at the
best value.
Clearly we showed that we are one seamless team, working without
barriers to develop this vital system for our future defenses against missile

With the completion of the SDR, the Spectrum Astro/Northrop Grumman team
now concentrates on the detailed designs, analysis, design verifications and
risk reduction events required for the PDR.
As an integral part of the design
effort, the team continues its focus on risk management and mitigation.
program addresses areas of technical and programmatic risk and performs
hardware demonstrations and comprehensive modeling and simulation of the
design architecture that will ultimately comprise the SBIRS Low system.
effort will ensure that SBIRS Low will be ready to launch in 2006 and play an
important role in the U.S. missile defense system.

SBIRS, when deployed, will provide the nation with critical missile
defense and warning capability well into the 21st century.
SBIRS is intended
to be an integrated “system of systems” that includes multiple space
constellations and ground elements.

SBIRS Low is planned as a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit.
Using the advantage of a lower operational altitude, SBIRS Low will provide
acquisition and precise tracking of tactical and strategic ballistic missiles,
improving the performance of ballistic missile defenses.
SBIRS Low also
provides critical data, supporting a variety of missions including missile
warning, missile defense, battlespace characterization and technical

As the prime contractor, Spectrum Astro leads the team’s design effort and
is responsible for the spacecraft and overall system architecture.
Grumman leads the Mission Integrated Product Team that is responsible for the
overall mission sensor design, related ground system data processing and
ground segment integration.
Northrop Grumman also supplies the infrared
sensors for the SBIRS High program as part of the Lockheed Martin Corporation

Other team members include Litton TASC, Logicon, The Boeing Company,
Lockheed Martin, Analex Corporation, ITT Industries and the Space Dynamics
Laboratory of Utah State University.

Spectrum Astro is a privately held, rapidly growing high technology
company, specializing in the design, development, integration, and test of
high performance satellites, satellite systems, and related space based
systems and subsystems for sophisticated defense, science and commercial
The company maintains its headquarters in Gilbert, Ariz., with
additional offices in the Los Angeles, Colorado Springs, and Washington D.C.
For more information, visit Spectrum Astro’s website:

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $15 billion, global aerospace and
defense company with its worldwide headquarters in Los Angeles.
Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and
solutions in defense and commercial electronics, systems integration,
information technology and non-nuclear shipbuilding and systems.
80,000 employees and operations in 44 states and 25 countries, Northrop
Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial