ITT Hopes Space Computer Acquisition Expands Business in Military Sectors

[Satellite News 07-03-12] Technology manufacturer ITT Exelis has completed its acquisition of Space Computer, a privately owned signal processing systems, software and algorithms developer, in an effort to strengthen its presence in military and intelligence sectors, the companies confirmed July 3. 

   Space Computer was founded in 1987 and has built a contract portfolio that includes NASA, the U.S. Department of Defense and other government, commercial and industrial firms. The California-based company specializes in the production of hyperspectral sensors that are designed to detect and locate hidden or obscured targets, cue other sensors for further verification and to transmit real-time data to analysts. Space Computer posted 2011 full-year revenues of $14.1 million 
   ITT Exelis Geospatial Systems Director of Emerging Offerings Danny Rajan said the company would integrate Space Computer and its 37 employees into its ITT Geospatial Systems business.
   “Space Computer’s solutions address the challenge of data processing, an area of concern for a wide variety of our existing customers, as well as the military and intelligence communities overall,” Rajan said in a statement.
   Rajan added that Space Computer has installed sensors on several satellites and manned and unmanned aircraft and the company was an attractive acquisition target because it had made technology for nearly every U.S. military hyperspectral sensor produced since 1996.
   The acquisition follows a corporate build-out plan that ITT Corp. initiated when it reorganized and renamed its defense segment in 2010. The company consolidated its ITT Defense and Information Solutions and its current organizational structure, comprising seven separate business units, into three larger operations.
ITT’s electronic and communications systems divisions, along with a portion of its intelligence and information warfare division was merged to form ITT Electronic Systems division, based in Clifton, N.J. ITT space systems and night vision divisions were merged to form ITT Geospatial Systems. ITT’s advanced electronics, sciences and systems divisions were combined with a portion of the intelligence and information warfare division to form ITT Information Systems, based in Herndon, Va.
   At the time, ITT said the reorganization aimed to better align the company with the needs of ITS increasingly integrated and network-centric global customer base.
   The company followed through on its strategy this past year with several development contracts and milestones.
   In April, ITT Exelis Geospatial Systems completed and delivered GeoEye’s next-generation commercial imaging system for the operator’s GeoEye-2 satellite to Lockheed Martin Space Systems.
   The ITT-built imaging payload for GeoEye-2 includes a telescope, sensor subsystem and outer barrel assembly that will enable the satellite to capture panchromatic ground sample distance imagery of the Earth’s surface at 0.34-meter, or 13.38-inch, ground resolution. GeoEye selected ITT Exelis to begin work on the GeoEye-2 imaging system in October 2007.
   “Exelis was instrumental in helping Lockheed Martin revolutionize the commercial remote sensing market by designing and manufacturing the imaging system for GeoEye’s Ikonos satellite,” said ITT Exelis Vice President and General Manager Rob Mitrevski. “More than a decade later, Exelis is proud to deliver the imaging system for GeoEye’s next-generation satellite.”
   In March, ITT Exelis was awarded a $32 million contract by Lockheed Martin to build the navigation payloads for the third and fourth Global Positioning System 3 (GPS 3) space vehicles. Four months earlier, ITT Exelis announced that it had integrated and performed the initial power up of the full-size payload prototype, which is also known as the GPS 3 Non-Flight Satellite Testbed (GNST) Navigation Payload Element.
   ITT Exelis and Lockheed Martin were selected by the U.S. Air Force in 2008 to build the next-generation GPS 3 program. The U.S. Global Positioning Systems Directorate at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center leads the GPS 3 team.
   The first GPS 3 satellites are scheduled for launch in 2014.
   “Exelis payloads have been onboard every GPS spacecraft — a period spanning nearly 40 years,” said ITT Exelis Geospatial Systems Vice President and General Manager Mark Pisani. “Together with Lockheed Martin, Exelis is committed to providing our warfighters and commercial and civilian users more accurate and reliable capabilities that improve interoperability and jam-resistance.”
   Rajan said that the Space Computer acquisition would quickly increase ITT’s capacity to take on a much larger and wider variety of projects. “This acquisition aligns well with both our business strategy to be the leading provider of data processing, exploitation and dissemination solutions and with our desire to grow our technical capability in helping customers collect critical data and expediently process it to support decision-making.”

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