Northrop Grumman [NOC] has improved the design of the Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) Polar (NGP) satellites by leveraging digital technology called Highly Immersive Virtual Environment (HIVE), the company said on Tuesday.

The satellites, which are designed for the Space Force, are part of the Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared System (Next-Gen OPIR). The two NGP satellites are being built to provide precise, timely sensor coverage over the northern hemisphere to help deter and defend against ballistic and hypersonic missiles. In a recent test at a company facility in Redondo Beach, Calif., engineers validated the NGP design and will continue to use digital technology in the next stages of the satellites’ development.

In March 2022, Northrop Grumman announced its partnership with Ball Aerospace [BLL] to design and develop the two NGP satellite infrared payloads in the first phase of a $1.89 billion contract from the Space Force.