Space Test Program’s Standard Interface Vehicle 

Rapid & affordable access to space 

The U.S. Air Force Space Test Program’s Standard Interface Vehicle (STP-SIV) project has developed a common spacecraft bus with a standard payload interface that improves the nation’s ability to quickly and affordably launch satellites into space. 
The STPSat-3 spacecraft
Payload teams are able to design payloads and specific experiments to be compatible with the flexible standardized vehicle, resulting in lower spacecraft non-recurring costs and increased spaceflight opportunities. By providing such a vehicle, the Space Test Program can shorten acquisition timelines and decrease spacecraft build costs for its defense industry customers.

The first STP-SIV spacecraft, STPSat-2 launched Nov. 19, 2010 aboard a Minotaur IV from Kodiak, Ala. The satellite is carrying a relay transponder for data collected by ocean buoys and a space phenomenology sensor. STPSat-3, the second STP-SIV spacecraft, carried five payloads and was successfully launched Nov. 19, 2013 on a Minotaur I from Wallops Island, Va.

What we didRendering of the STPSat-3 spacecraft

Spacecraft provider, integration & test lead

As the prime contractor on the STP-SIV program, Ball Aerospace was responsible for the overall system including the spacecraft and standard payload interface design and build, payload integration, space vehicle environmental testing, and launch and mission support.

We built STPSat-2 in just 47 days. Construction of the satellite platform was completed before the final payloads had been selected, demonstrating the flexibility of the hardware.

The STP-SIV series of satellites is based on the Ball Configurable Platform (BCP) 100, which is ideal for a variety of science, technology development and risk reduction missions. Accommodating up to four separate instruments, the STP-SIV is easily adaptable for future missions with no design changes necessary for payloads that conform to the standard interface. Additionally, the STP-SIV maintains flexibility to launch on a large variety of vehicles, including the EELV Secondary Payload Adapter.