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Wednesday, December 6th, 2023

NNSA to deliver next generation of nuclear detection capabilities

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The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) recently said that it will soon deliver the next generation of Global Burst Detector (GBD) payloads, the latest space-based nuclear explosion sensors, to the U.S. Air Force.

Following delivery to the U.S. Air Force, GBD payloads will continue integration and testing at the satellite production facility before shipping to the payload and launch processing facilities near Cape Canaveral, Florida. Following successful launch operations, the Department of Defense (DoD) and NNSA lab teams will complete deployment with early on-orbit testing.

The GBD payloads, which will be hosted on GPS satellites, are scheduled to launch this year.

The next Space and Atmospheric Burst Reporting System (SABRS) payload, which will be hosted on the U.S. Air Force Space Test Program satellite STPSat-6, is planned for launch in 2019.

The SABRS payload is undergoing the final stages of integration and testing at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). It is expected to be delivered to the STPSat-6 satellite production facility this summer. SABRS will then be transported to Cape Canaveral for integration with its rocket and deploy into geostationary earth orbit.

STPSat-6 also will also host an experimental NNSA payload called SENSER. The SENSER payload will test critical technologies in the space environment before production and integration into the next generation of systems to reduce the development risk for future nuclear explosion detection sensors.

“This long-range planning, combined with continued close collaboration among mission stakeholders and partners, is critical to ensuring the vital nuclear detonation detection capability is continuously ready to secure U.S. national security interests,” NNSA said.