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TMD Critical Measurements Program (TCMP)

Understanding how potential targets appear to radar and infrared seekers is important because it allows TMD acquisition programs to limit their costs by concentrating their designs on narrow bands of key threat signature characteristics. The Theater Missile Defense (TMD) Critical Measurements Program (TCMP) - later simply Critical Measurements Program (CMP) - employs a sequence of flight tests executed at the Reagan Test Site (formally called the Kwajalein Missile Range) to provide IR and radar measurements that address critical TMD system-level issues. This program supports the risk mitigation efforts in TMD signatures. TCMP is a flight test program where threat representative targets are flown at the Kwajalein Missile Range (KMR) or other facilities to observe typical threat-like objects in flight with a sophisticated suite of sensors. These sensors give both target truth data and representative signature data as seen by TMD system sensors. The TCMP program performs the analysis on the data obtained in these flights. In all cases, the target and threat truth data and the analysis address the specific areas of discrimination, target object map handover and aim point selection. The hardware, flight instrumentation and data analysis of the TCMP flights are all included in the TCMP budget.

The Measurements Program conducts critical measurements tests to collect data for all components to support system engineering assessments/performance verifications and ground effects analysis, and to characterize potential or actual countermeasures. At this time, "measurements" includes counter-countermeasures characterization, lethality, kill assessment, discrimination data, phenomenology measurements (the observation, description and explanation of the visible appearance of a test), and other critical measurements.

The Measurements Program includes the Critical Measurements and Countermeasures Program (CM/CM), Countermeasure and Counter-countermeasure Program, and the Corporate Lethality Program. The CM/CM program is designed to address discrimination phenomenology, countermeasure performance, BMDS performance degradation, and potential mitigation options. The Countermeasure and Counter-countermeasure program attempts to characterize countermeasure signatures and to assess counter-countermeasure efficacy. Lethality, or the ability of the BMDS to prevent a ballistic missile threat from producing lethal effects, relies on kill assessment and other data gathered by BMDS component sensors and test sensors. Data are gathered through the Optical Data Analysis, Radar Data Analysis, and Radar Data Exploitation Programs.

On 28 January 1993 the first campaign of the TCMP - Theater Missile Defense Critical Measurements Program - was completed at USAKA.

On March 31, 1995 Orbital Sciences Corporation, Launch Systems Group, Chandler, Arizona, was awarded a $8,500,000 firm-fixed-price contract for design, development and payload integration for four launch vehicle systems based on the Castor IVB motor. This effort is in support of the Theater Missile Defense Critical Measurements Program, Campaign. Contract is expected to be completed . Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The solicitation was issued March 1995 and negotiations were completed August 1995. The Space and Missile Systems Center, San Bernardino, California, is the contracting activity (F04704-95-C-0003).

On June 26, 1996 Orbital Sciences Corporation, Chandler, Arizona, was awarded a $1,079,000 increment of a $12,350,992 cost plus incentive fee contract with a cumulative total of $30,667,375 (includes basic plus four options), for the Theater Missile Defense Critical Measurements Program (TCMP) Campaigns III and IV Booster Services. The objective of this program is to provide the design and development, modification, testing, fabrication, integration, and launch services for TCMP Campaigns III and IV. The effort supports the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) Consolidated Targets Program and includes all tasks necessary to prepare and launch TCMP sounding rockets from Wake Island into reentry points near the Kwajalein Missile Range. Campaigns III and IV consist of two launches each and three options are available for six additional launches. Work will be performed in Chandler, Arizona, and is expected to be completed by December 26, 2004. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. There were 18 bids solicited on November 13, 1995, and three bids received. The contracting activity is the U.S. Army Strategic Defense Command, Huntsville, Alabama (DASG60-96-C-0162).

The objective of the TCMP-2 flight test campaign was twofold: first, to collect sensor data

(IR and radar) to support resolution of TMD element critical issues and, second, to provide measurements to characterize and mitigate plausible countermeasures. TCMP-2 consists of three medium-range theater ballistic missile flights from Wake Island to Kwajalein Atoll, one scheduled for July 1996 and two for March 1997. Lincoln Laboratory is supporting TCMP-2 in four task areas during the current fiscal year: (1) mission planning and integration, (2) payload development, (3) fly-away IR sensor development, and (4) data analysis.

The fifth Theater Missile Defense Critical Measurements program flight test took place in September 1999. The Booster was launched from Wake Island to USAKA. Its payload consisted of a reentry vehicle, two science experiments and a Fly Away Sensor Package "as part of a mission designed to collect radar and infrared data to address critical system level issues for missile defense elements."

The TCMP-3B campaign was successfully completed in February 2001. The data collected are being used to develop new discrimination algorithms for the missile defense acquisition programs.

On 29 September 2004 the Missile Defense Agency and SMDC successfully launched the first in a series of sub-orbital rockets from Wake Island to Kwajalein. The test was designed to obtain extensive data collection as part of the Critical Measurements Program and will be used to improve missile defense interceptor and sensor systems. Shortly after the September CMP launch, Orbital conducted a second successful CMP target vehicle launch on 06 October 2004, completing both missions in a one-week period.

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