by Staff Writers
Stennis MS (SPX) May 25, 2012
Lockheed Martin has received the core structure for the U.S. Air Force's fourth Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) geosynchronous satellite (GEO-4). The structure was delivered to Lockheed Martin's Mississippi Space and Technology Center, where engineers and technicians will integrate the spacecraft's propulsion subsystem.
Featuring a mix of GEO satellites, hosted payloads in highly elliptical earth orbit, and associated ground hardware and software, SBIRS delivers resilient and improved missile warning capabilities for the nation while simultaneously providing significant contributions to the military's missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness mission areas.
The GEO-4 structure, identical to the previous three SBIRS GEO spacecraft, is made from lightweight, high-strength composite materials designed to withstand the accelerations and vibrations generated during launch and support the spacecraft throughout on-orbit operations.
"Delivery of the SBIRS GEO-4 core structure is a major milestone indicating the program is continuing to meet its commitments," said Louie Lombardo, Director of Lockheed Martin's SBIRS Follow-on Production (SFP) program.
"Based on lessons learned from the first two SBIRS geosynchronous satellites, production of GEO-3 and GEO-4 is proceeding very well. In addition, we have a number of affordability initiatives in place jointly with the Air Force to continually reduce the cost of each follow-on SBIRS satellite."
Lockheed Martin engineers and technicians will now integrate the propulsion subsystem with the core structure, which is essential for maneuvering the satellite during transfer orbit to its final location, as well as conducting on-orbit repositioning maneuvers throughout its mission life.
The integrated core propulsion module will then be shipped to Sunnyvale, Calif., for final assembly, integration and test. SBIRS GEO-4 is on schedule to be available for launch in 2015.
Lockheed Martin's SBIRS contracts include four highly elliptical orbiting (HEO) payloads, four GEO satellites, and ground assets to receive, process, and disseminate the infrared mission data.
The team expects to receive funding to begin long lead parts procurement for the fifth and sixth GEO satellite by the end of the year. Additionally, under the Air Force's Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) Space Modernization Initiative (SMI), Lockheed Martin will evolve technologies to improve capability and affordability for future SBIRS spacecraft.
The SBIRS team is led by the Infrared Space Systems Directorate at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Lockheed Martin is the SBIRS prime contractor, Northrop Grumman is the payload integrator. Air Force Space Command operates the SBIRS system.
SBIRS at Lockheed Martin
Learn about missile defense at SpaceWar.com
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com
All about missiles at SpaceWar.com
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
NATO activates missile shield despite Russian anger
Chicago (AFP) May 20, 2012
NATO leaders launched Sunday the first phase of a US-led missile shield for Europe, risking the wrath of Russia which has threatened to deploy rockets to EU borders in response. A NATO official told AFP that US President Barack Obama and his allies "just decided" at a Chicago summit to put a US warship armed with interceptors in the Mediterranean and a Turkey-based radar system under NATO co ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|