US: Northrop Grumman has delivered a plug and play satellite system that can be quickly assembled as needed to meet changing battlefield requirements. The system called MSV, is the first open systems spacecraft bus that supports a top priority of launching smaller, less expensive satellites in a matter of weeks for short-term missions – a capability commonly referred to as responsive space. A Northrop Grumman-led team designed and built MSV in 30 months under a task order valued at approximately USD 50 million. The company delivered the MSV to the Operationally Responsive Space Office at Kirtland Air Force Base, which leads US military efforts to shorten satellite development time."Because MSV is the first to implement space plug-and-play standards with simplified, standard hardware and software interfaces, the bus is loaded with flexibility," said Doug Young, Vice President, Missile Defense and Advanced Missions, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.
The MSV bus has the flexibility to: operate in several orbits (Low Earth, Medium Earth and Geosynchronous); be launched from a variety of launch vehicles – the Minotaur I and IV, Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles (EELV) and the Falcon 9. MSV also is compatible with the EELV Secondary Payload Adapter-Grande; Perform on orbit anywhere from one to seven years or more. “MSV provides ways for future development of rapid response space capabilities that will be timely, cost-efficient and flexible. A satellite bus contains the support structure and control subsystems that allow the payload to perform its mission,” said Young. The open systems design approach has numerous other advantages, such as: standard plug-and-play interfaces that allow payloads to be fully checked out prior to integration with the spacecraft using common test equipment for all missions. The same interfaces mean common test equipment can be used across all missions; a flexible power subsystem that can be tailored for multiple missions by adding or subtracting batteries and solar arrays, compared with traditional manufacturing methods requiring changes to baseline hardware designs.
Source: Northrop Grumman