by Staff Writers
Sunnyvale CA (SPX) Aug 17, 2011
Lockheed Martin has successfully completed acoustic testing of the second Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) geosynchronous (GEO-2) spacecraft.
The U.S. Air Force's SBIRS satellites provide the nation with significantly improved missile warning capabilities and simultaneously support other critical missions including missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness.
During acoustic testing, the fully integrated GEO-2 spacecraft was paced through the maximum sound and vibration levels expected during launch into orbit. Acoustic and pyroshock testing are among several critical environmental test phases that validate the overall satellite design, quality of workmanship and survivability during space vehicle launching and on-orbit operations.
GEO-2 will now undergo thermal vacuum testing, which will validate its performance at temperature extremes greater than those expected during on-orbit operations.
"SBIRS GEO-2 is progressing very smoothly on the path to delivery, and successful acoustic testing of the space vehicle is indicative of the team's increasing expertise in fielding SBIRS spacecraft," said Col Scott Larrimore, Chief of the U.S. Air Force's SBIRS Space Division.
"Our dedicated government and industry SBIRS team is focused on executing an efficient and thorough environmental test phase and ultimately delivering the much needed capabilities SBIRS GEO-2 will bring to our warfighter."
The first geosynchronous (GEO-1) SBIRS satellite was launched May 7, and has since reached orbit, deployed its instruments and activated its sophisticated infrared sensors.
GEO-1 is performing as expected, and is now undergoing early orbit testing. GEO-2 is on track to be delivered and available for launch in spring 2012.
"Leveraging expertise gained from GEO-1, our SBIRS team executed a very smooth acoustic testing phase on GEO-2," said Dave Sheridan, Lockheed Martin's SBIRS deputy program director.
"We understand the importance of the SBIRS system and are committed to delivering GEO-2 efficiently and affordably for our customer."
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, with Northrop Grumman as the payload integrator. Air Force Space Command operates the SBIRS system.
Lockheed Martin's original SBIRS contract includes HEO payloads, two geosynchronous orbit (GEO) satellites, as well as ground-based assets to receive and process the infrared data.
The team is also under a follow-on production contract to deliver additional HEO payloads and the third and fourth GEO satellites, and associated ground modifications.
SBIRS at Lockheed Martin
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