Miniature Sensor Technology Integration
The primary mission of the MSTI-3 sensor, built by SAIC, was to gather extensive background clutter statistics at medium wavelengths in the infrared at sufficient resolution to resolve whether tracking theater ballistic missiles (TBMs) in the coast phase against a warm earth background is achievable.
SDL was chosen by MDA to perform ground characterization of the MSTI-3 payload based on a proven capability in measuring out-of-band filter performance. SDL conducted spatial and radiometric calibration and used interferometric techniques to characterize the sensor spectral response down to 1x10-7 of the in-band transmission.
SDL modified a cryogenically cooled chamber to house the MSTI-3 payload in order to simulate on-orbit conditions. SDL's MIC 3 was attached to this chamber to provide characterization sources for the payload. The data quality from MSTI-3 exceeded expectations and was used to help design future space-based infrared systems to improve our nation’s missile warning and defense capability.