Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

U.S. space-based missile alert system moves forward
by Staff Writers
Sunnyvale, Calif. (UPI) Jul 2, 2013

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

The United States' futuristic missile alert system operating from outer space moved forward with Lockheed Martin's delivery of the third "highly elliptical earth orbit" satellite payload system.

A further fourth HEO is due to complete the USAF order, which will be yet another step toward initiating the Space Based Infrared System. SBIRS is designed to give the U.S. military a global capability to detect and monitor a ballistic missile launch from anywhere.

"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," Lockheed Martin said.

The aerospace manufacturer said the system, in addition to enhancing global missile launch detection capability, would support the ballistic missile defense system, expand technical intelligence gathering capacity and bolster situational awareness for fighters on a battlefield.

SBIRS will include what Lockheed Martin calls "a resilient mix of satellites" in geosynchronous earth orbit, hosted payloads in HEO orbit and ground hardware and software. 

As an integrat­ed system it will support multiple missions simultaneously and provid­e robust performance with persistent coverage worldwide.

"Our full attention is now on completing HEO 4 and GEOs 3 and 4," Jeff Smith, vice president of Lockheed Martin's Overhead Persistent Infrared mission area." The focus, he said, was on "delivering unprecedented infrared surveillance capabilities to our warfighters."

SBIRS includes four HEO payloads, four GEO satellites, and ground assets to receive, process and disseminate the infrared mission data. 

The first two HEO payloads were delivered in 2004 and 2005 and have provided mission performance surpassing specifications. Prior to its delivery, the HEO 3 payload successfully completed rigorous environmental and functional testing to demonstrate performance in family with HEOs 1 and 2. 

"This is the third SBIRS HEO payload delivery and the first from the SBIRS Follow On Production Program," said Steve Toner, vice president of Northrop Grumman's Military and Civil Space business unit. "Its sensor will enhance the high quality of information being provided to our warfighters by the SBIRS constellation."

Air Force Space Command declared GEO 1 operational May 17 and recommended Integrated Tactical Warning and Attack Assessment certification of the asset to the U.S. Strategic Command. 

The second USAF SBIRS GEO satellite was launched May 19 and has been delivering "outstanding infrared data as part of on-orbit testing." Lockheed Martin has also received contracts to procure long-lead items for GEOs 5 and 6.

The new satellites will replace the existing Defense Support Program fleet, Defense Industry Daily said on its website. The new satellites' infrared sensors have thrice the sensitivity of DSP and twice the revisit rate, while providing better persistent coverage.

Unfortunately, it said, the program has been beset by massive cost overruns on the order of 400 percent, technical challenges that continue to present problems and uncertainties about performance.

Despite those problems USAF is proceeding with the program and has terminated potential alternatives and supplements, Defense Industry Daily said.


Related Links
Learn about missile defense at
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at
All about missiles at
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

NATO to declare missile shield without Putin: Rasmussen
Moscow (AFP) March 26, 2012
NATO will announce the completion of the first stage of a controversial missile defence shield at a May summit that will not include Russian leader Vladimir Putin, its chief said Monday. NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the Western military bloc intended to announce the deployment of the first "interim" phase of a missile defence shield for Europe at the summit in Chicago. ... read more

NASA Seeks Information on Commercial Robotic Lunar Lander Capabilities

Orbiting astronaut controls robot on Earth, testing feasibility of CU-Boulder project on far side of the moon

Metamorphosis of Moon's Water Ice Explained

Scientists use gravity, topographic data to find unmapped moon craters

Opportunity's Improbable Anniversary

Dry run for the 2020 Mars Mission

Opportunity Clocks Up 37 Kilometers Of Roving Mars

Mars Rover Opportunity Trekking Toward More Layers

Voyager 1 Explores Final Frontier Of Our Solar Bubble

NASA's Voyager 1 approaches outer limit of solar system

PayPal launches quest for intergalactic currency

NASA Bill Would 'End Reliance on Russia,' Nix Asteroid Capture Project

China plans to launch Tiangong-2 space lab around 2015

Twilight for Tiangong

China calls for international cooperation in manned space program

Shenzhou 10 Returns Safely To Earth

Russian cosmonauts conduct space station tasks in spacewalk

Accelerating ISS Science With Upgraded Payload Operations Integration Center

Strange Flames on the ISS

Europe's space truck docks with ISS

Russian Proton M Rocket Explodes Just After Blast Off

Arianespace takes delivery of its next Ariane 5 at the Spaceport

SpaceX Will Launch Turkmenistan Satellite For Thales Alenia Space

New Mexico Space Grant Consortium student experiments blast into space from Spaceport America

UCSB Astronomer Uncovers The Hidden Identity Of An Exoplanet

Gas-Giant Exoplanets Cling Close to Their Parent Stars

Astronomers Detect Three 'Super-Earths' in Nearby Star's Habitable Zone

Three planets in habitable zone of nearby star

Making hydrogenation greener

Inmarsat's First Fully Assembled Global Xpress Satellite Achieves Significant Testing Milestone

The quantum secret to alcohol reactions in space

Study refutes claims world is running out of copper

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - 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