GEO-1 Satellite For SBIRS System Passes Milestone
Satellite To Provide New Missile-Launch Warning As China, Iran, North Korea, Increase Missile Capabilities
The GEO-1 satellite in the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) system passed a comprehensive baseline integrated test and is poised to enter environmental tests ahead of a planned launch late next year, Lockheed Martin Corp. [LMT] announced.
GEO-1, which will provide new missile detection and surveillance capabilities, finished its tests in early March.
They checked its overall performance and established a performance baseline for entering environmental testing.
Program workers now will integrate GEO-1 solar arrays, deployable light shade, and thermal blankets and then prepare for acoustic and pyroshock testing where the integrated space vehicle will be subjected to the maximum sound and vibration levels expected during launch into orbit.
Aside from giving early warning of missile launches, the satellite will support other missions including missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace characterization.
The SBIRS team is led by the Space Based Infrared Systems Wing at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, Calif., is the SBIRS prime contractor. Northrop Grumman Corp. [NOC] unit Electronic Systems, Azusa, Calif., is the payload integrator. The Air Force Space Command operates the SBIRS system.
Lockheed Martin’s current contract includes two highly elliptical orbit (HEO) payloads and two GEO satellites, as well as ground-based assets to receive and process the infrared data. The Lockheed Martin team has delivered both HEO payloads, and this would be the first GEO satellite.