Rapidly developing and fielding ORS-1 was an important step in demonstrating the in-theater value of low-cost tactically focused EO/IR satellites to meet emerging and persistent warfighter needs in operationally relevant timelines. Moreover, ORS-1 has demonstrated an alternative to the normal acquisition process for space programs and its lower cost, when compared to more traditional space-based ISR platforms, makes it an affordable contributor to the ISR "force mix" in this fiscally constrained environment.
The ISR Systems' payload features a modified version of its SYERS-2 multispectral sensor, the primary imaging sensor on the U-2 reconnaissance plane. A ground segment that formats the satellite's data products to be compatible with existing Processing, Exploitation and Dissemination (PED) infrastructure was also developed and provided by ISR Systems. ATK (Alliant Tech Systems) was ISR Systems' subcontractor for the spacecraft bus, derived from its TacSat-3 bus.
The ORS-1 Program is managed by the Space Development and Test Directorate located at Kirtland Air Force base on behalf of the Operationally Responsive Space Office (ORS Office) at the same location. The ORS Office is a joint initiative within the DoD responsible for integrating joint ORS capabilities and for applying ORS resources to the development, acquisition and demonstration of capabilities to meet specific responsive space needs as established by global combatant command joint force commanders and users.
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