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LM Delivers Components For Missile Warning Satellite

Artist's conception of a SBIRS satellite in orbit. Image credit: Lockheed Martin
by Staff Writers
Sunnyvale CA (SPX) May 1, 2006
Lockheed Martin said Monday it has delivered a critical payload subsystem and associated software integral to the U.S. military's Space-Based Infrared System's first geosynchronous orbit satellite.

The SBIRS satellite array, consisting of scanning and staring sensors, is designed to provide significantly improved missile-warning capabilities and support other missions simultaneously, including missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace characterization.

LM said in a statement the software will provide effective control and testing of the spacecraft's Pointing and Control Assembly, which features the company's patented reaction-less gimbal system. The system allows a satellite to scan, rapidly and repeatedly, any area of interest for infrared activity while not interfering with its ability to stare at another area simultaneously.

The company delivered both systems to Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems in Azusa, Calif., for payload integration and testing.

The completed payload is scheduled to be delivered to Lockheed Martin's facilities in Sunnyvale in mid-2007 for final assembly, integration and tests in preparation for a launch during fiscal year 2008 which begins Oct. 1, 2007.

The Sunnyvale team is performing Spacecraft Functional Testing, which is designed to verify the functional requirements of the GEO spacecraft and assure the structure is assembled to specifications.

Technicians are testing the spacecraft at ambient orbital conditions to verify correct operation of the electrical power, command and data handling, thermal management, guidance navigation and control, communication and propulsion subsystems.

Following successful completion of SCFT, the team will prepare the spacecraft for engineering thermal vacuum testing, intended to verify the spacecraft's performance at temperature extremes greater than those expected during on-orbit operations.

Lockheed Martin is currently under contract to provide two SBIRS payloads in highly elliptical orbit and two GEO satellites, as well as fixed and mobile ground-based assets to receive and process the infrared data.

Related Links
SBIRS Satellite Array
Lockheed Martin

Orbital Launches Second Missile Defense Target Rocket
Dulles VA (SPX) May 1, 2006
Orbital Sciences has announced that it successfully launched the second of two medium-range target vehicles supporting the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's Critical Measurements and Countermeasures Program, Campaign 2.

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