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GEO-1 Payload Readied For Delivery For Start Of Integration With Spacecraft

File image of the SBIRS bus at Lockheed Martin.
by Staff Writers
Sunnyvale CA (SPX) Jul 26, 2007
Lockheed Martin reports that the payload for the first Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) geosynchronous orbit (GEO) spacecraft has successfully completed thermal vacuum testing, a key milestone in preparation for launch of this first-of-its-kind satellite. SBIRS will provide early warning of ballistic missile launches and support other missions simultaneously, including missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace characterization.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, Calif., the SBIRS prime contractor, and Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Azusa, Calif., the payload subcontractor, are developing SBIRS for the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles, Calif. Air Force Space Command operates the SBIRS system.

The successful test, conducted at Northrop Grumman's Azusa facilities from March 11 to June 15, demonstrated the function and performance of the fully integrated GEO-1 payload in vacuum conditions at temperatures bounding the environments expected when the SBIRS satellite is on orbit.

Key aspects of the test included radiometric performance, simultaneous tasking of both sensors against moving IR targets, on-board target processing against cluttered backgrounds, data downlink formatting and spacecraft interface verification. Test evaluation shows the GEO sensor will perform in family with the SBIRS HEO payload sensor now on orbit.

The GEO payloads feature a scanning sensor that will provide for short revisit times over its full field of view and a staring sensor that can be tasked for step-stare or dedicated stare operations over smaller areas. The GEO scanner and other payload components such as the focal plane assembly, and processing algorithms are identical to those used on SBIRS highly elliptical orbit (HEO) payloads, the first of which has completed initial on-orbit deployment and checkout and demonstrated that its performance meets or exceeds specifications.

"This test, performed over a three-month period, is testimony to the team's drive to attain operational excellence and mission success on this vital national security program," said Mark Crowley, Lockheed Martin's SBIRS vice president. "Our team has completed a series of major milestones and is poised to begin final assembly, integration and test following delivery of the critical payload."

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Czech Opposition To Radar Plans Grows As Russia About Consequences
Prague (AFP) July 19, 2007
The number of Czechs opposed to siting a radar in their country as part of a US missile defence shield has risen to nearly two thirds, according to a poll published on Thursday. Some 65 percent of Czechs are opposed to the tracking radar, according to the CVVM poll of 1,013 people between June 4 and 11, up from 61 percent in a similar poll in May. Forty percent of those questioned in the latest survey said they were "decisively opposed" to installing the US radar in their country, compared to only six percent who said they were "decisively in favour" of the move.







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