Master reference oscillators used in satellite programme

6th September 2016
Posted By : Daisy Stapley-Bunten
Master reference oscillators used in satellite programme

 

Microsemi Corporation has announced the company was chosen to supply its master reference oscillator for the US Air Force’s Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) satellite programme for which Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor.

SBIRS, considered one of the nation’s highest priority space programmes, provides global, persistent, infrared surveillance capabilities to meet 21st Century demands in four national security mission areas: missile warning, missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness.

SBIRS, the next gen programme replacing the 1970s Defense Support Program constellation, delivers timely, reliable and accurate missile warning and infrared surveillance information to the president, the secretary of defense, combatant commanders, the intelligence community and other key decision makers. The system enhances global missile launch detection capabilities, supports the nation's ballistic missile defense system, expands the country’s technical intelligence gathering capacity and bolsters situational awareness for warfighters on the battlefield.

The SBIRS satellite includes highly sophisticated scanning and staring sensors that will deliver improved infrared sensitivity and a reduction in area revisit times over the current constellation. The scanning sensor will provide a wide area surveillance of missile launches and natural phenomena across the earth, while the staring sensor will be used to observe smaller areas of interest with superior sensitivity.

“Microsemi has more than 40 years of space heritage with our space-grade crystal oscillators, which provide highly accurate performance as well as an unsurpassed combination of small size, low power and best-in-class offerings for applications where frequency, stability and phase noise are critical,” said Peter Cash, Director of space, defence and advanced technology for Microsemi’s Frequency and Time Division. “We are proud to extend our relationship with Lockheed Martin and continue our support of the company and the US Air Force on the fifth and sixth SBIRS satellites.”

In addition to providing Lockheed Martin with the ultra-stable master oscillator, Microsemi has supplied radiation-tolerant Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), custom power supplies and radiation-tolerant space-grade diodes, transistors and MOSFETs for the SBIRS satellite system. Microsemi is scheduled to begin delivery of production models of its master reference oscillators in late 2016, which will include a variety of the company’s discrete devices, as well as its radiation-tolerant RTAX-S FPGAs. 

Microsemi designs and manufactures an extensive portfolio of semiconductor products including highly stable and precise rubidium, cesium and quartz oscillators for instrumentation and satellite applications. Microsemi’s staff includes experienced technologists who thoroughly understand the unique requirements of military and space environments. According to Databeans, Inc.'s research report titled, "2014 Semiconductors in Military and Aerospace Electronics," Microsemi is the leading supplier to the military and aerospace semiconductor market with over 19% market share.

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