Space

January 16, 2013

U.S. Air Force, Lockheed Martin deliver nation’s next infrared surveillance satellite

The U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin have delivered the second Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO-2) Space Based Infrared System spacecraft to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., where it will be prepared for a March liftoff aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

Featuring a mix of satellites in geosynchronous orbit, hosted payloads in highly elliptical earth (HEO) orbit, and ground hardware and software, the SBIRS program delivers resilient and improved missile warning capabilities for the nation while also providing significant contributions to the military’s missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness mission areas.

On January 11, GEO-2 was safely transported from Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, Calif., facility to nearby Moffet Air Field. The 60th Air Mobility Wing of Travis Air Force Base, Calif., then loaded the satellite aboard a C-5 aircraft and successfully shipped the spacecraft to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

“We performed a disciplined integration and test campaign for GEO-2 and are now looking forward to successfully launching this spacecraft to ultimately help protect our nation and allies with unprecedented global, persistent infrared surveillance capabilities,” said Jeff Smith, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Overhead Persistent Infrared mission area. “As we continue to produce SBIRS assets, we expect to drive even greater efficiency into our operations to reduce costs for the government while still ensuring mission success.”

Prior to launch, engineers will complete post shipment testing, fuel the satellite’s propulsion system and encapsulate the spacecraft inside the launch vehicle’s payload fairing. The fairing will then be mated on top of the Atlas V launch vehicle for final integrated testing and closeout preparations for launch. Approximately 24 hours before launch, the Atlas V/SBIRS GEO-2 vehicle will roll to the launch pad for lift off.

Leveraging lessons learned from GEO-1, the SBIRS team was able to improve efficiency in the assembly, integration and test of GEO-2. From GEO-1 to GEO-2, the team reduced schedule time for similar activities by nearly 30 percent.

Lockheed Martin’s SBIRS contracts include four HEO payloads, four GEO satellites, and ground assets to receive, process, and disseminate the infrared mission data. The team has also begun initial work on the fifth and sixth GEO satellites. Two HEO payloads and GEO-1 have already launched into orbit.

The SBIRS team is led by the Infrared Space Systems Directorate at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. Lockheed Martin is the SBIRS prime contractor, Northrop Grumman is the payload integrator. Air Force Space Command operates the SBIRS system.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Image courtesy of NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T Pyle

NASA’s Kepler reborn, makes first exoplanet find of new mission

Image courtesy of NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T Pyle The artistic concept shows NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft operating in a new mission profile called K2. Using publicly available data, astronomers have confirmed K2&...
 
 
NASA illustration

NASA, planetary scientists find meteoritic evidence of Mars water reservoir

This illustration depicts Martian water reservoirs. Recent research provides evidence for the existence of a third reservoir that is intermediate in isotopic composition between the Red Planetís mantle and its current atmosphe...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Lockheed Martin-built MUOS-3 satellite encapsulated in launch vehicle fairing

Lockheed Martin photograph The U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System-3 satellite (above) is encapsulated in its payload fairings for a scheduled Jan. 20, 2015 launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. MUOS ope...
 

 
NASA photograph

NASA’s Orion arrives back at Kennedy

NASA photograph NASA’s Orion spacecraft returned to the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida Dec. 18, 2014. The spacecraft flew to an altitude of 3,600 miles in space during a Dec. 5 flight test designed to stre...
 
 

NASA launches new Micro-g NExT for undergraduates

NASA is offering undergraduate students an opportunity to participate in a new microgravity activity called Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams. The deadline for proposals is Jan. 28, 2015. Micro-g NExT challenges students to work in teams to design and build prototypes of spacewalking tools to be used by astronauts for spacewalk training in the...
 
 
launch1

Storm fails to quench liftoff of secret reconnaissance satellite

The fiery launch of an Atlas V (541), among the most powerful of the venerable Atlas family, briefly dispelled the gloom over Californiaís Central Coast on the evening of Dec. 12. A team of personnel from United Launch Allianc...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>