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USSTRATCOM certification on second SBIRS HEO system

Lockheed Martin : 26 August, 2009  (New Product)
Lockheed Martin has announced that the second Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO-2) payload and associated ground systems have been certified for missile warning operations by U.S. Strategic Command.
SBIRS is designed to provide early warning of missile launches, and simultaneously support other missions including missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness.

'The certification of HEO-2 for missile warning operations is another major operational achievement for the SBIRS team,' said Col. Roger Teague, the U.S. Air Force SBIRS Wing Commander. 'The HEO system is delivering revolutionary new surveillance capabilities to combatant commanders and we look forward to continued strong progress on this critical national security space program.'

The formal certification by U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) completes the system development, operational activation and certification process, demonstrating the capability of the SBIRS HEO sensor and associated ground systems to provide timely, accurate and unambiguous warning data in support of USSTRATCOM missions.

'This achievement is the result of a strong government-industry partnership focused on operational excellence and mission success,' said Jeff Smith, Lockheed Martin's SBIRS vice president and program manager. 'This system is providing superior detection and reporting capabilities for the warfighter and we look forward to building upon the success of the SBIRS mission with the launch of the first geosynchronous spacecraft.'

The SBIRS team is now progressing through key integration and test activities on the first geosynchronous orbit (GEO) spacecraft, recently completing flight software subsystem development. The new flight software subsystem will enable the operation, control, and monitoring of the satellite's health, status, and safety while performing important functions such as telemetry, thermal control, power management, and fault detection and recovery activities.

The team is now gearing up for one of the most significant program milestones -- thermal vacuum testing -- which consists of testing the GEO-1 satellite in a flight-like environment where the heating, cooling and vacuum conditions of space are simulated while the spacecraft is operated as it will be on orbit.

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, with Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Azusa, Calif., as the payload integrator. Air Force Space Command operates the SBIRS system.

Lockheed Martin's SBIRS contract includes the two highly elliptical orbit (HEO) payloads now on-orbit, two geosynchronous orbit (GEO) satellites, as well as ground-based assets to receive and process the infrared data. The team was recently awarded a $1.5-billion contract for the third HEO payload, the third GEO-3 satellite and associated ground modifications. A contract to include a fourth HEO payload and fourth GEO satellite is expected to be awarded later this year.

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