Lockheed Martin Achieves Key Integration Milestone On First-Of-Its-Kind Missile Warning Satellite
Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] announced today that it has successfully mated the spacecraft bus and the payload for the first Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) geosynchronous orbit (GEO-1) satellite.
SBIRS will provide early warning of ballistic missile launches and support other missions simultaneously, including missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness.
The GEO-1 bus is the structural foundation of the satellite and includes an integrated propulsion system as well as other critical subsystems for communications, attitude control, thermal control, command and data handling.
The GEO payloads feature a scanning sensor that will provide for short revisit times over its full field of view and a staring sensor that can be tasked for step-stare or dedicated stare operations over smaller areas. The GEO scanner and other payload components such as the focal plane assembly, and processing algorithms are identical to those used on SBIRS highly elliptical orbit (HEO) payloads, the first of which has completed initial on-orbit deployment and checkout and demonstrated that its performance meets or exceeds specifications.
“The integration of this technically complex hardware is a major milestone for the team that moves this critical national security program another step closer to delivering unprecedented new capabilities for the warfighter,“ said Mark Crowley, Lockheed Martin’s SBIRS vice president. ”We are on track to sustain our momentum in the remaining integration and test work ahead and look forward to the ultimate deployment of this first-of-its-kind satellite"
The successful mate of the payload and spacecraft allows the team of Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Sunnyvale, Calif., the SBIRS prime contractor, and Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Azusa, Calif. , the payload subcontractor, to begin system level environmental and acceptance testing in preparation for launch in 2009.
Lockheed Martin is currently under contract to provide two HEO payloads and two GEO satellites, as well as the ground-based assets to receive and process the infrared data to its customer, the SBIRS Wing, located at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. Air Force Space Command operates the SBIRS system.
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