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The WFOV Testbed satellite is demonstrator for a next-generation space-based sensor designed to detect rocket launches and provide early warning of a missile attack.

Built in El Segundo, California, by Millennium Space Systems, a subsidiary of Boeing, the WFOV Testbed satellite carries an optical staring instrument to detect the exhaust plumes from missile launches, demonstrating the wide-area sensor for future use in the military’s operational early warning systems.

The WFOV mission will demonstrate the optical sensor technology for use on future missile warning missions in the Space Force’s Overhead Persistent Infrared, or OPIR, program. The next-generation OPIR missions will replace the Space Based Infrared System, or SBIRS, missile warning satellites that currently provide missile detection and early warning coverage.

The Space Force is partnering with the Space Development Agency and the Missile Defense Agency on a next-generation fleet of missile warning satellites in low Earth orbit and geosynchronous orbit.

Alternate Names

  • 52940
  • USA332

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2022-07-01
Launch Vehicle: Atlas V
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 3000 kg

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (United States)


  • Other

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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