Lockheed Martin has gained initial operational capability for its new space vehicle integration laboratory (SVIL) that will support its space programmes.

The SVIL will use innovative processes, procedures, products and services to enable more efficient and lower risk integration of space vehicle components and flight software.

The laboratory will allow a more thorough understanding of how space vehicles at various stages of their development life cycles, will eventually operate on-orbit.

Lockheed Martin Surveillance and Navigation Systems vice-president and general manager Rick Ambrose said the SVIL would help programmes reduce up-front systems engineering and costs.

“This will be done by focusing on complete traceability from early requirements to implementation in a single, integrated vehicle engineering framework,” he said.

The laboratory is configured in a plug-and-play framework to quickly develop, execute and test integrated modular space vehicle component simulations.

With the SVIL, users will be able to rapidly simulate and test space vehicle architectures, and component designs and interfaces in in-flight conditions before flight-qualified parts are available.

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The laboratory is expected to achieve final operational capability later in 2010.