Los Angeles Air Force Base   Right Corner Banner
Join the Air Force

Library > Fact Sheets > Remote Sensing Systems Directorate


Posted 6/5/2015 Printable Fact Sheet
Remote Sensing Systems Directorate
Remote Sensing Systems Directorate
Download HiRes


Provide global, persistent, infrared surveillance and environmental monitoring capabilities to our warfighters, and the nation.

The Remote Sensing Systems Directorate's (RS) mission is to develop, deploy, and sustain surveillance capabilities in support of missile warning, missile defense, battlespace awareness, technical intelligence, and environmental monitoring mission areas.

RS contributes to the Department of Defense (DoD) mission to deter war and protect the security of the U.S. by providing timely and accurate missile warning/defense information. The RS Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) family of systems are critical for protection against global and theater ballistic missile attacks against the United States, allies, and combat forces.

RS supports planning and execution of aerospace, ground, and naval operations through its family of sensors, satellites, and ground stations used to detect, track, and report space and terrestrial weather in near real time. 

RS leverages its diverse infrared and weather systems to enhance Combatant Commanders' warfighting options and maximize application of mission area capabilities to combat operations around the world.   


The RS Directorate is responsible for the OPIR family of systems and the DoD Weather System.  OPIR programs include the Defense Support Program (DSP), the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS), SBIRS Follow-on, Wide Field of View (WFOV), data exploitation initiatives, and international programs.  Weather system programs include the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP), Weather System Follow-on (WSF), numerous technical demonstrations, and large civil/international/commercial stakeholders and engagements. 

First launched in 1970, DSP has provided early warning for Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) launches for 45 years.  A total of 23 DSPs built by prime contractor Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, formerly TRW, have launched beginning with the first in 1970 and the final DSP satellite in 2007.  Still operational, DSP satellites continue to serve as the backbone of the United States' ballistic missile early warning system.   

As the follow-on capability to the highly successful DSP, the SBIRS program consists of multiple Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites, Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO) sensors riding on Host satellites, and associated world-wide deployed ground systems. In addition to Missile Warning, the SBIRS program supports the Missile Defense, Technical Intelligence, and Battlespace Awareness mission areas. Lockheed Martin (LM) Space Systems Company is the prime contractor responsible for program management, systems engineering, and spacecraft development. LM Information Systems and Global Solutions is the ground systems developer and supports systems engineering. Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems is the infrared payload subcontractor and supports systems engineering and ground mission processing development.

Initially launched in 1962, the DMSP is currently in its sixth decade of service as the sole DoD operational weather satellite system and is the longest running production satellite program to date. Initially, DMSP was highly classified, ran by the National Reconnaissance Program (NRP), in support of the CORONA program and its first reconnaissance satellites.  DMSP today provides strategic and tactical weather data to aid the U.S. military in planning operations at sea, on  land, and in the air.  Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman are the spacecraft and sensors' prime contractors for DMSP, respectively. 


RS is part of the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, CA, and is home to, or supported by, more than 722 government, military, aerospace and contractor personnel at multiple locations in the United States supporting today's operational and future remote sensing systems.

Current as of April 2015

Space and Missile Systems Center
Office of Public Affairs
483 N. Aviation Blvd.
Los Angeles Air Force Base
El Segundo, CA 90245

 Inside LA AFB

ima cornerSearch

ima cornerOrganizations


tabConnect With Us
Los Angeles AFB on Facebook  Los Angeles AFB on Twitter  Los Angeles AFB on YouTube  Los Angeles AFB on Flickr
Los Angeles AFB on Pinterest  Los Angeles AFB on Instagram  Los Angeles AFB on Vimeo  Los Angeles AFB on Google+
tabFeatured Links
tabImportant Numbers and E-mails
Los Angeles AFB Operator:
(310) 653-1110
LAAFB Base Locator:
(310) 653-3080
ID Card Customer Support:
(310) 653-6556 
(310) 653-5114

61st Security Forces Squadron61st Security Forces Squadron
(Law Enforcement desk):
(310) 653-5787 
(310) 653-5664

Space and Missile Systems Center Public AffairsMedia Queries:
(310) 653-2369
(310) 653-2367 or smcpa.media@us.af.mil

Public Queries or Event Requests:
(310) 653-2368 or smcpa.outreach@us.af.mil
Straight Talk Line

Site Map      Contact Us     Questions     USA.gov     Security and Privacy notice     E-publishing  
Suicide Prevention    SAPR   IG   EEO   Accessibility/Section 508   No FEAR Act