Space

March 20, 2013

Lockheed Martin-built infrared surveillance satellite launched successfully

The U.S. Air Force’s second Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO-2) spacecraft, built by Lockheed Martin, was successfully launched today at 5:21 p.m., EDT, March 19 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

The SBIRS program delivers timely, reliable and accurate missile warning and infrared surveillance information to the President of the United States, the Secretary of Defense, combatant commanders, the intelligence community and other key decision makers. The system enhances global missile launch detection capability, supports the nation’s ballistic missile defense system, expands the country’s technical intelligence gathering capacity and bolsters situational awareness for warfighters on the battlefield.

“We are proud to partner with the U.S. Air Force on the SBIRS program to deliver highly reliable infrared surveillance capabilities for strategic and tactical users across the defense and intelligence community,” said Jeff Smith, Lockheed Martin’s vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Overhead Persistent Infrared mission area. “Thanks to the unmatched expertise of the entire government and industry SBIRS team, we are confident this satellite will meet or exceed expectations and play a pivotal role in our national security for years to come.”

The SBIRS architecture includes a resilient mix of satellites in geosynchronous orbit, hosted payloads in highly elliptical earth orbit, and ground hardware and software. The first two GEO satellites and HEO payloads have now launched.

SBIRS GEO-2 includes highly sophisticated scanning and staring sensors that will deliver improved infrared sensitivity and a reduction in area revisit times over the current constellation. The scanning sensor will provide a wide area surveillance of missile launches and natural phenomena across the earth, while the staring sensor will be used to observe smaller areas of interest with superior sensitivity.

“Today’s successful launch of the GEO-2 satellite marks another milestone in the evolution of infrared surveillance from space,” said Dr. Stephen Toner, Northrop Grumman’s vice president of the Military and Civil Space business area. “The team played a significant role ensuring that the sensors on GEO-1 are performing beyond specification, and we are confident that the GEO-2 sensors will exhibit similar performance.”

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.

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.




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


 
 

 
nasa-commercial-crew

Commercial Crew milestones met; partners on track for 2017 missions

NASA has taken another step toward returning America’s ability to launch crew missions to the International Space Station from the United States in 2017. The Commercial Crew Program ordered its first crew rotation mission fro...
 
 
boeing-space

Boeing awarded first-ever commercial human spaceflight mission

NASA issued a task order as part of Boeing’s $4.2 billion Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract recently to include the company’s first-ever service flight to the International Space Station. The award ...
 
 
Photograph courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Europa mission begins with selection of science instruments

Photograph courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech Bizarre features on Europa’s icy surface suggest a warm interior. This view of the surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa was obtained by NASA’s Galileo mission, and shows a color...
 

 
Photograph courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin

NASA begins testing Mars lander in preparation for next mission to Red Planet

Photograph courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin Engineers and technicians at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, run a test of deploying the solar arrays on NASA’s InSight lander. Photo taken April 30, 2015. Te...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s WISE spacecraft discovers most luminous galaxy in universe

Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech This artist’s concept depicts the current record holder for the most luminous galaxy in the universe. The galaxy, WISE J224607.57-052635.0, is erupting with light equal to more than 300 ...
 
 

Air Force launches hush-hush mini-shuttle into space

A mysterious space plane rocketed into orbit May 20, carrying no crew but a full load of technology experiments. The Air Force launched its unmanned mini-shuttle late morning, May 20. An Atlas V rocket lifted it up and out over the Atlantic. This is the fourth flight for the military research program, which is shrouded...
 




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>