Missile Warning Satellite "SBIRS GEO Flight 4" Ready for January Launch

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U.S. Air Force's SBIRS GEO Flight 4 Missile Warning Satellite Ships to Cape Canaveral for January Launch
SBIRS' infrared surveillance provides the U.S. with critical early missile warning
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SBIRS GEO Flight 4, the next Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellite to join the U.S. Air Force’s Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS), at Lockheed Martin’s satellite manufacturing facility in Sunnyvale, California.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Nov. 28, 2017 -- The U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) delivered the next Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellite for the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on October 31.

SBIRS enhances the military's ability to detect missile launches, supports ballistic missile defense, expands technical intelligence gathering, and bolsters situational awareness on the battlefield. The Air Force's next SBIRS satellite -- GEO Flight 4 – is slated to launch in January aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

The Air Force's SBIRS includes a combination of satellites in GEO orbit and hosted payloads in Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO). A robust, new ground control system serves as the nerve center for the entire constellation, collecting large amounts of data from the satellites' powerful sensors and converting it into actionable reports for defense, intelligence and civil applications.

"SBIRS provides our military with timely, reliable and accurate missile warning and infrared surveillance information," said Tom McCormick, vice president of Lockheed Martin's Overhead Persistent Infrared systems mission area. "We look forward to adding GEO Flight 4's capabilities to the first line of defense in our nation's missile defense strategy."

Lockheed Martin manufactured the SBIRS GEO Flight 4 satellite at its Sunnyvale, California, facility. For its trip to Florida, the satellite rode in a Lockheed Martin-built C-5 Galaxy aircraft from nearby Moffett Federal Air Field in Sunnyvale.
SBIRS GEO Flight 4 follows the Air Force's GEO Flight 3 satellite, which launched on January 20, 2017, and in March sent its first images back down to Earth, a milestone known as "first light."

The next SBIRS satellites, GEO-5 and GEO-6, currently in production, incorporate Lockheed Martin's new, modernized LM 2100 spacecraft to dramatically reduce costs and cycle times, while improving resiliency and increasing the potential to incorporate future, modernized sensor suites.

The SBIRS development team is led by the Remote Sensing Systems Directorate at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Sunnyvale, California, is the SBIRS prime contractor, with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Azusa, California, as the payload integrator. The 460th Space Wing, Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado, operates the SBIRS system.

http://news.lockheedmartin.com/2017...te-Ships-to-Cape-Canaveral-for-January-Launch
 

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SPACE BASED INFRARED SYSTEM (SBIRS)
Published February 22, 2016
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Mission

The SBIRS program is the follow-on capability to the highly successful Defense Support Program (DSP). The SBIRS program was designed to provide a seamless operational transition from DSP to SBIRS and meet jointly defined requirements of the defense and intelligence communities in support of the missile early warning, missile defense, battlespace awareness, and technical intelligence mission areas.

Description

The SBIRS program consists of the space segment of Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites and Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO) sensors riding on Host satellites, with the associated world-wide deployed ground systems. Air Force Space Command's 460th Operations Group is responsible for conducting HEO, GEO and DSP operations at all fixed ground sites. Air National Guard Unit, 233rd Space Group, operates the SBIRS Mobile Ground System (MGS) currently, providing survivable and endurable mission support. The SBIRS program is managed by the Remote Sensing Systems Directorate (RS) at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Lockheed Martin (LM) Space Systems Company is the prime contractor responsible for program management, systems engineering, and spacecraft development, while LM Information Systems and Global Solutions is the ground systems developer. Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems is the payload subcontractor for the infrared sensors.

Two HEO sensors and GEO satellites have launched and were certified for mission operations. The first and second GEO satellites were launched on United Launch Alliance's (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex (SLC) 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station< Florida. Using updates to the Increment 1 ground system, the SBIRS Mission Control Station (MCS) manages the constellation of HEO sensors, GEO satellites as well as the legacy DSP satellites. Increment 2, the next major SBIRS ground update, was divided into two software releases; Block 10.3 and Block 20. Block 10.3 is on track for transitioning to operations in the fall of 2016, replacing all the Increment 1 software and improving event detection. The SBIRS Survivable/Endurable Evolution (S2E2) program will replace the aging MGS, initially designed for support of DSP operations in the 1960s, supporting SBIRS survivability and endurability requirements.

System Features

The SBIRS sensors are designed to provide greater flexibility and sensitivity than the DSP infrared sensor and detect short-wave and mid-wave infrared signals, allowing SBIRS to perform a broader set of missions. These enhanced capabilities result in improved prediction accuracy for global strategic and tactical warfighters. The on-going evolution of the ground system uses improved mission processing software, resulting in increased event message accuracy, and reduced manpower for support and operations of the DSP and SBIRS portfolio.

The GEO spacecraft bus consists of a militarized, radiation-hardened version of the Lockheed Martin A2100 spacecraft, providing power, attitude control, command and control, and a communications subsystem with five separate mission data downlinks to meet mission requirements, including system survivability and endurability requirements. The GEO infrared payload consists of two sensors; a scanner and a step-starer. The scanning sensor continuously scans the earth to provide 24/7 global strategic missile warning capability. Data from the scanner also contributes to theater and intelligence missions. The step-staring sensor, with its highly-agile and highly-accurate pointing and control system, provides coverage for theater missions and intelligence areas of interest with its fast revisit rates and high sensitivity. Similar to the GEO scanning sensor, the HEO sensor is a scanning sensor, with sensor pointing performed by slewing the full telescope on a gimbal. Both the GEO and HEO infrared sensors gather raw, unprocessed data that are down-linked to the ground, so that the same radiometric scene observed in space will be available on the ground for processing. The GEO sensors also perform on-board signal processing and transmit detected events to the ground, in addition to the unprocessed raw data.

Features
- Dimension
o HEO sensor: approximately 7 ft x 4 ft x 3 ft
o GEO satellite: approximately 49 ft x 22 ft x 20 ft with all appendages deployed on-orbit

- Weight (all weights approximate)
o HEO sensor: 530 lbs
o GEO satellite: on-orbit, 5,525 lbs, including a 1,100 lb two-sensor payload and 430 lbs of fuel

- GEO power source: 2 deployable, sun-tracking solar arrays

- First GEO satellite launch on May 7, 2011

- Most recent GEO satellite launch on January 20, 2017
- GEO Flight 4 is tentatively scheduled to launch in late 2017

http://www.losangeles.af.mil/About-Us/Fact-Sheets/Article/734550/space-based-infrared-system-sbirs/
 

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Sealed Up, Ready to Go: U.S. Air Force's SBIRS GEO Flight-4 Missile Warning Satellite Encapsulated for Launch

Current SBIRS' constellation continues to deliver outstanding infrared surveillance performance




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The U.S. Air Force’s SBIRS GEO Flight-4 satellite, built at Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, California satellite manufacturing factory, was encapsulated on Jan. 9.


CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., Jan. 11, 2018-- The U.S. Air Force's fourth Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellite built by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) was encapsulated on Jan. 9. The SBIRS GEO Flight-4 satellite is now ready for its planned Jan. 18 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.


During encapsulation, SBIRS GEO Flight-4 was sealed in its launch fairing, an aerodynamic, nose-cone shell that protects the satellite during launch. In the coming days, the fairing with the satellite enclosed will be mounted on top of the Atlas V rocket as launch preparations continue.


SBIRS GEO Flight-4 is the latest satellite to join the Air Force's orbiting network of satellites equipped with powerful scanning and staring infrared surveillance sensors. The sensors collect data for use by the U.S. military to detect missile launches, support ballistic missile defense, expand technical intelligence gathering and bolster situational awareness on the battlefield.


Back on the ground, a sophisticated new SBIRS ground control system serves as the nerve center for the entire SBIRS satellite constellation and receives large amounts of data from the satellites' powerful sensors. The SBIRS control system and its operators convert this data into actionable reports for defense, intelligence and civil applications.


"SBIRS provides our military with timely, reliable and accurate missile warning and infrared surveillance information," said Tom McCormick, vice president of Lockheed Martin's Overhead Persistent Infrared systems mission area. "We look forward to adding GEO Flight-4's capabilities to the first line of defense in our nation's missile defense strategy."


Lockheed Martin manufactured the SBIRS GEO Flight-4 satellite at its Sunnyvale, California, facility. The satellite was delivered to Florida on Oct. 31, 2017.


Building on SBIRS
The Air Force's SBIRS program continues to grow resilient, persistent, space-based infrared surveillance capabilities.


The planned launch of SBIRS GEO Flight-4 comes just 12 months after the launch of SBIRS GEO Flight-3, which in March 2017 sent its first images back down to Earth in a milestone known as "first light." These two satellites join SBIRS' GEO-1 and GEO-2, which received Air Force Space Command Operational Acceptance in 2013, and have performance that matches, and in some cases exceeds, requirements.


The next SBIRS satellites, GEO-5 and GEO-6, will bring increased resiliency, production efficiency and the ability to add new advanced sensor suites to the constellation using Lockheed Martin's modernized LM 2100 satellite bus. In September, a system Critical Design Review for the modernized design for GEO 5 and 6 was conducted with the Air Force, authorizing the satellites to enter into the manufacturing and integration phase.


At the center of SBIRS is its ground control system, which receives and processes a vast amount of satellite data. In late 2016, the Air Force operationally accepted "SBIRS Block 10," a new control system developed by Lockheed Martin, which includes enhancements like faster data collection times, improved threat detections, and improved target tracking and infrared information to enable troops to see dimmer targets faster.


SBIRS Block 10 also provides the Air Force with greater efficiency by consolidated ground control for the legacy Defense Support Program, as well as SBIRS satellites and payloads in GEO and Highly Elliptical Orbits.


For additional SBIRS information, photos and video visit: www.lockheedmartin.com/sbirs.

http://news.lockheedmartin.com/2018...ile-Warning-Satellite-Encapsulated-for-Launch

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Air Force, ULA prepare to launch missile defense satellite SBIRS GEO 4
"The satellite is part of an integrated architecture to allow us to be a bell ringer for the world," said Col. Dennis Bythewood.

By Brooks Hays
Jan. 16, 2018

(UPI) -- The modernization of the United States' missile monitoring and defense system is scheduled to meet another benchmark on Thursday with the launch of GEO-4, the fourth satellite in the Space-Based Infrared System, or SBIRS.

During a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, Tom McCormick, vice president for Lockheed Martin's overhead persistent infrared systems mission area, said the fourth satellite will complete the original baseline constellation, allowing SBIRS to finally offer worldwide coverage.

Lockheed Martin was responsible for the design and construction of GEO-4 and the United Launch Alliance will execute the payload's launch and deployment. The U.S. Air Force manages the missile defense system.

The newest SBIRS satellite is scheduled to launch at 7:52 p.m. ET on Thursday from Space Launch Complex-41 at Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The payload will be carried into space by ULA's Atlas V rocket.

According to Todd McNamara, delta weather officer at Cape Canaveral, weather over the next two days should be relatively good.

"The probability of violating weather constraints is currently at 20 percent," McNamara said. "The only concern we have are those cumulus clouds coming off the Atlantic and moving onshore on Thursday."

The Atlas V rocket has been equipped with an extra strap-on booster to help it conduct a reentry burn and deorbit the Centaur, the rocket's upper stage.

"It's our goal to mitigate leaving any excess debris in orbit," said Col. Christopher "Shane" Clark, launch mission director
 with the Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center in California.

Col. Dennis Bythewood, director of the remote sensing systems directorate
 at SMC, said the sensors on GEO-4 and the other SBIRS satellites are "leaps and bounds ahead" of the quality and capabilities of those used by the current monitoring system, the Defense Support Program.

The Air Force says the improved technology offered by SBIRS will help them identify dimmer targets -- Bythewood said the U.S. must continually improve the system's capabilities to detect missiles designed to have as small a heat signature as possible.

The constellation of satellites will collect data and relay it to an Air Force command center where it will be used to issue missile warnings and inform decisions related to missile defense systems, as well as improve battle space awareness and technical intelligence.

"The satellite is part of an integrated architecture to allow us to be a bell ringer for the world," Bythewood said.

Atlas V and GEO-4 are scheduled to separate 42 minutes after launch. After separation, the satellite will begin to circularize it's orbit. Once it has achieved a stable geostationary orbit, operators will deploy the satellite's appendices and turn on its systems. The systems will be tested over several weeks before GEO-4 is fully integrated into the SBRIS constellation.

https://www.upi.com/Science_News/20...IRS-GEO-4/9511516128821/?st_rec=5621516298214
 

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Under Control: U.S. Air Force's SBIRS GEO Flight-4 Missile Warning Satellite Responding to Commands
Satellites' accuracy and sensitivity for detecting infrared targets significantly exceed specifications.

The Lockheed Martin built-SBIRS GEO Flight-4 satellite was launched at 7:48 p.m. EST on Jan. 19.

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo., Jan. 19, 2018/PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Air Force's 460th Space Wing is now "talking" with the fourth Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellite after its successful launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, earlier this evening.

The Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT)-built SBIRS GEO Flight-4 satellite is responding to the Wing's commands as planned. Signal acquisition was confirmed approximately 37 minutes after the satellite's 7:48 p.m. EST launch aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket.

SBIRS GEO Flight-4 is the latest satellite to join the Air Force's orbiting missile warning constellation equipped with powerful scanning and staring infrared surveillance sensors. The sensors collect data for use by the U.S. military to detect missile launches, support ballistic missile defense, expand technical intelligence gathering and bolster situational awareness on the battlefield. The satellite also completes the initial constellation and allows SBIRS to provide global coverage.

Back on the ground at Buckley Air Force Base, a sophisticated new SBIRS ground control system – also designed by Lockheed Martin – serves as the nerve center for the entire SBIRS satellite constellation and receives large amounts of data from the satellites' powerful sensors. The SBIRS control system and its operators convert this data into actionable reports for defense, intelligence and civil applications.

"SBIRS is the nation's 24-7 global watchman, with infrared eyes ready to detect and deliver early warning and tracking of ballistic missiles. A cornerstone of the nation's missile defense system, SBIRS is proving even more precise and powerful than expected," said Tom McCormick, vice president of Lockheed Martin's Overhead Persistent Infrared systems mission area. "Space is a place to do great things, and we're already improving on SBIRS, upgrading our fifth and sixth SBIRS GEO satellites to our modernized LM 2100 satellite bus at no additional cost to the Air Force. On SBIRS 5 and 6 the Air Force saved $1 billion through improved production and management efficiencies."

In late 2016, Lockheed Martin also completed a major upgrade SBIRS' ground control system. The new "SBIRS Block 10" system includes enhancements like faster data collection times, improved threat detections, and improved target tracking and infrared information to enable troops to see dimmer targets faster. SBIRS Block 10 also provides the Air Force with greater efficiency by consolidating ground control for the legacy Defense Support Program, as well as SBIRS satellites and payloads in GEO and Highly Elliptical Orbits.

Next, the SBIRS GEO Flight-4 will begin transitioning to its final location in geosynchronous orbit, approximately 22,000 miles above the Earth. There, the satellite's solar arrays, light shade and antennas will be deployed to begin on-orbit testing. The satellite will join SBIRS GEO Flights 1, 2 and 3, which were launched in 2011, 2013 and 2017 respectively and continue to meet or exceed performance expectations.

Lockheed Martin manufactured the SBIRS GEO Flight-4 satellite at its Sunnyvale, California, facility. The satellite was delivered to Florida on Oct. 31, 2017.

The SBIRS development team is led by the Remote Sensing Systems Directorate at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. Lockheed Martin Space, Sunnyvale, California, is the SBIRS prime contractor, with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Azusa, California, as the payload integrator.

https://news.lockheedmartin.com/201...sile-Warning-Satellite-Responding-to-Commands