Lockheed Delivers Gear For Geosynchronous Orbit Satellite
Lockheed Martin Corp. delivered components for the first geosynchronous orbit (GEO) satellite in the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS), the missile warning system, according to the company.
The software will provide for the effective control and testing of the spacecraft Pointing and Control Assembly (PCA), both of which were delivered to Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems for payload integration and testing.
SBIRS is a multifaceted asset that can provide missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace characterization, simultaneously. It boasts both scanning and staring sensors.
The GEO PCA features a Lockheed Martin patented reaction-less gimbal system, which allows the satellite to scan an area of interest rapidly and repeatedly for infrared activity, while not interfering with the satellite’s ability to stare at another area simultaneously.
The completed payload is to be delivered to Lockheed Martin in mid-2007 for final spacecraft assembly, integration and test in preparation for launch in fiscal year 2008.
"The PCA and its associated software are essential to the vital capabilities that SBIRS will provide to the warfighter," said Mark Crowley, Lockheed Martin SBIRS vice president
"The team continues to perform with sustained momentum and a relentless focus on achieving mission success on this critical national program."
The team is also in the midst of an important spacecraft test phase at Lockheed Martin facilities in Sunnyvale, Calif.
Known as Spacecraft Functional Testing (SCFT), this major milestone will verify the functional requirements of the GEO spacecraft and further assure that the structure is assembled to specification, according to Lockheed. The spacecraft is tested at ambient conditions to verify correct operation of the electrical power, command and data handling, thermal management, guidance navigation and control, communication and propulsion subsystems.
Following successful completion of SCFT, the team will prepare the spacecraft for engineering thermal vacuum testing which will verify the spacecraft performance at temperature extremes greater than those expected during on-orbit operations.
Lockheed Martin currently is under contract to provide two payloads in highly elliptical orbit (HEO) and two GEO satellites, as well as fixed and mobile ground-based assets to receive and process the infrared data.
The team has delivered both HEO payloads and is on track to launch the first GEO satellite in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2008.
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