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The Leap To Space: Is this what astronauts saw
battling above Earth?
LEAP is a kinetic energy weapon that destroys its target
through high-velocity impact alone. This program is developing
and integrating technology for SDI related missions.
Lightweight projectile technology is essential to developing a
cost-effective SDI system and has application to both space
and ground based interceptors. The LEAP program will produce
multiple, fully integrated terminal homing test projectiles
for flight test by SDIO. Program accomplishments include
advanced composite structures, midwave infrared terminal
miniature homing seeker, Interferometric Fiber Optic Gyro
inertial measurement unit, high-throughput data and signal
processors, and alternative solid and liquid divert propulsion
systems for maneuver and attitude control.
Rocketdyne developed a lightweight kinetic vehicle with a
visible seeker, and successfully conducted a free flight hover
test in July 1990. Boeing is now testing the LEAP projectiles
in a hardware-in-the-loop environment (in space). The
government will use these test vehicles as pathfinders for
testing and conduct independent terminal homing simulations to
validate LEAP performance. These tests will demonstrate the
ability of LEAP to home on a simulated target.
Two test were planned for 1991. A free flight hover test was
conducted at the National Hover Test Facility, Phillips
Laboratory, Edwards AFB, CA. Space flight tests were conducted
near the end of 1991 at White Sands Missile Test Range. During
this test, LEAP was programmed to intercept and destroy a
boosting target vehicle (rocket).
This information is provided as a public service, but we cannot guarantee that the information is current or accurate. Readers should verify the information before acting on it.