The effects of any budget/program decisions made since the information was collected during 1997-98 are NOT reflected in the National Security Space Road Map (NSSRM).


-Road Map
-Text Version

Overview (U):

(U) COBRA BRASS is designed to demonstrate the utility of multi-spectral, fast-framing, staring sensor technology. It will provide space based multi-spectral data to the National Air Intelligence Center (NAIC). This data may also have some application to the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) missions of missile warning, missile defense, battlespace characterization, and technical intelligence. The system is divided into two major components, the COBRA BRASS payload and the COBRA BRASS Ground System (CBGS).

Description (U):

(U) COBRA BRASS is an experimental, multi-spectral, fast-frame, staring sensor on a classified host vehicle. The sensor employs three focal plane arrays, each featuring a multi-position filter wheel for viewing in various bands. This approach, combined with extremely high-frame rates and higher sensitivity than previous iterations, allows for a full characterization of a number of targets and backgrounds. COBRA BRASS will interface with the host spacecraft's power, thermal, structure, command, control, and telemetry subsystems. The COBRA BRASS Ground System (CBGS) is co-located with the host spacecraft mission ground site and interfaces with the existing site command and control uplinks, high-speed data downlinks, and high-speed LAN.

(U) The COBRA BRASS optical subsystem consists of a twelve-inch diameter, two-axis steerable telescope and associated transfer optics, beam splitters, filter wheels, flip mirror, and image forming optics. This telescope system has a 0.25 field-of-view (FOV) and is capable of pointing and tracking within its field-of-regard. The telescope design utilizes two motor driven gimbal systems mounted in an elevation over azimuth configuration. The sensor subsystem consists of three multi-element mosaic array sensors with associated filter wheels for band selection as well as scan, bias, and readout electronics to operate the sensor.

(U) The downlink subsystem collects real-time data feeds from the digital, processor, sensor, pointing, and state of health subsystems for transmission to the ground. Taken together, the payload subsystems are capable of producing data at aggregate burst data rates up to 192 Mbps. The downlink system collects, compresses, buffers, encodes, and transmits this information over two 12 MBPS synchronous data links. The payload design allows for periods of high data rate collection when the total data rate from all sensors greatly exceeds the downlink bandwidth. To meet this requirement, sensor data is buffered on-board prior to forwarding to the ground. Sufficient storage capacity is available to buffer all sensor data at a peak 192 MBPS rate for 100 seconds. Data buffering takes place in the payload solid state recorder (SSR). This memory also permits the storage of an equivalent number of single channel data collects.

(U) The COBRA BRASS program is a Defense Intelligence Agency/Central MASINT Office Research and Development program. The program was combined into the SBIRS Program Office as part of the February 1995 Defense Acquisition Executive Review. It is a pathfinder program for bringing SBIRS on-line because it is designed to demonstrate advanced capabilities to extract data from transient low-intensity infrared events and their applicability to battlespace characterization.

(U) The COBRA BRASS Ground System (CBGS) will collect and process data from, and provide command of the COBRA BRASS payload. Principal CBGS functions include payload command and status monitoring, telemetry de-commutation, mission data processing, data storage and display. Post-collection data review and analysis, and support for payload diagnostics and anomaly resolution are also included in the CBGS. Selected data will be sent to NAIC for further processing, analysis, and reporting. Selected data will be sent to Sandia National Labs (SNL) as needed to support diagnostics, troubleshooting, and evaluation. In order to minimize development and maintenance costs, as well as schedule and technical risk, the CBGS will use commercially available technologies, standards, hardware, and software to the extent practical while achieving mission objectives. Moreover, CBGS development and deployment will be evolutionary in nature with two defined development phases. Phase I will provide the core functionality needed to support initial payload operations and collect data for analysis and algorithm development. Phase II will augment those capabilities based upon on-orbit experience to enhance the utility of COBRA BRASS.

(U) Sandia National Laboratories, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, develops COBRA BRASS.

User Impact (U):

(U) COBRA BRASS, with state of the art sensing technologies, will add capability to the NAIC customer. Data and features such as phenomonology and clutter rejection techniques will be of interest to the SBIRS community as well.

Programmatics (U):

(U) Programmed.

Images (U):

(U) None.

Related Initiatives (U):
Radiant GOLDRadiant GOLD
SBIRS-LowSpace-Based Infrared System - Low Earth Orbit (SBIRS-Low)
This Table Is Unclassified.

Related Requirements (U): None.

Related Categories (U):
Space-Based WarningSpace-Based Warning Systems
This Table Is Unclassified.

Road Map Placements (U):

This Table Is Unclassified.

Requirements, Funding and Additional Hotlinks (U):

(U) None.

Lead Office (U):

Air Force.

(U) DoD: USD(A&T) and OASD(C3I), Pentagon, Washington, DC
(U) Service Staff: SAF/AQS, Pentagon, Washington, DC
(U) Major Command: HQ AFSPC, Peterson AFB, CO
(U) Program Management: HQ AFPEO/SP, Pentagon, Washington, DC; SBIRS Program Office, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles AFB, CA

Point of Contact (U):

(U) Capt Ann Wong-Jiru, SMC, Open Phone: (310) 336-6221, DSN 833-2282.

Date Of Information (U):

(U) 10 September 1998


(U) For comments/suggestions contact: Office of the National Security Space Architect (NSSA), 571-432-1300.

(U) Road Map Production Date: 23 June 2001

The effects of any budget/program decisions made since the information was collected during 1997-98 are NOT reflected in the National Security Space Road Map (NSSRM).