By John Liang / April 2, 2010 at 5:00 AM

The Missile Defense Agency plans to brief potential contractors next week on its nascent space-based, missile-launch-tracking system, envisioned as a follow-on to the experimental, dual-satellite Space Tracking and Surveillance System.

The unclassified industry day on the Precision Tracking Space System will take place on April 9 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Eastern time at the National Conference Center in Lansdowne, VA, According to an April 1 Federal Business Opportunities notice.

The agency plans to incorporate lessons learned from the two STSS demonstration satellites currently in orbit to inform its decisions while it develops the PTSS capability, according to MDA's fiscal year 2011 budget documents. Consequently, MDA is asking Congress for $67 million in FY-11 to fund the PTSS effort, reported in February.

The agency's objective for the PTSS program "is to deliver an operational space-based system to address the ascent phase midcourse tracking challenge facing the MDA," the notice states, adding:

To meet this objective, MDA plans to first develop a prototype system, followed by an operational PTSS. The PTSS prototype and operational system are planned to consist of a constellation of spacecraft and associated ground control and processing equipment that is integrated with the developed Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) elements to support command and control, track generation, fusion, and transfer of data through the entire fire-control loop. The operational PTSS will integrate into the BMDS.

As for the industry day itself, MDA has four goals, according to the notice:

(1) to familiarize participants with MDA’s efforts in the Precision Tracking Space System,
(2) share the acquisition approach for the prototype and operational PTSS,
(3) discuss the planned timing and content of solicitations related to PTSS, and
(4) answer questions.