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Next Generation Missile Warning Satellite Successfully Reaches Orbit — Press Release

Next Generation Missile Warning Satellite Successfully Reaches Orbit

SBIRS GEO-1 Spacecraft to Deliver Unprecedented Infrared Surveillance for the Nation

DENVER, May 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The first Lockheed Martin-built Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) geosynchronous (GEO-1) spacecraft has successfully reached its intended orbit and is performing as required following its successful May 7 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

After launch, the U.S. Air Force/Lockheed Martin SBIRS ground team executed a series of six Liquid Apogee Engine (LAE) burns to propel the spacecraft to its geosynchronous orbital slot. The team then deployed the satellite’s solar arrays, light shade and antenna wing assemblies in preparation for activating its sophisticated infrared sensors and the start of early orbit testing.

SBIRS GEO-1 is the most technologically advanced military infrared satellite ever developed and will enhance early warning of missile launches around the globe, support the nation’s ballistic missile defense system, greatly expand technical intelligence gathering capability, and bolster situational awareness for warfighters on the battlefield.

“Successfully reaching orbit and conducting deployments is a tremendous milestone for the SBIRS GEO-1 spacecraft. Thanks to a very talented and dedicated team, this first-of-its-kind spacecraft has performed flawlessly,” said Brig Gen (select) Roger W. Teague, the director of the U.S. Air Force’s Infrared Space Systems Directorate. “We anticipate continued success as we progress towards payload activation in the near future.”

SBIRS GEO-1 includes highly sophisticated scanning and staring sensors that will deliver improved infrared sensitivity and a reduction in area revisit times over the current constellation. The scanning sensor will provide a wide area surveillance of missile launches and natural phenomena across the earth, while the staring sensor will be used to observe smaller areas of interest with superior sensitivity.

“We are very pleased with the performance of SBIRS GEO-1 and we are looking forward to delivering unprecedented infrared surveillance capabilities for the nation,” said Jeff Smith, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) mission area.

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.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s 2010 sales from continuing operations were $45.8 billion.

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Lockheed Martin-Built Missile Warning Satellite Encapsulated in Launch Vehicle Payload Fairing — Press Release

Lockheed Martin-Built Missile Warning Satellite Encapsulated in Launch Vehicle Payload Fairing

Team Prepares U.S. Air Force’s SBIRS GEO-1 for Early May Liftoff

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., April 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The first Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) – built Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) geosynchronous (GEO-1) spacecraft was encapsulated into its payload fairing April 20 in preparation for an early May liftoff aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

SBIRS GEO-1 will enhance the nation’s missile warning capabilities and improve other critical mission areas simultaneously including missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness.

The GEO-1 satellite includes highly sophisticated scanning and starring sensors that will deliver enhanced infrared sensitivity and a reduction in area revisit times over the current constellation. The scanning sensor will provide a wide area surveillance of missile launches and natural phenomena across the earth, while the staring sensor will be used to observe smaller areas of interest with enhanced sensitivity. When GEO-1 is launched, declared operational and its data is fused into the current constellation, SBIRS will deliver unprecedented, global, persistent, taskable infrared surveillance capabilities to the warfighter, nation and allies for decades to come.

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.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s 2010 sales from continuing operations were $45.8 billion.

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U.S. Air Force Modifies SBIRS Contract with Lockheed for More Flexibility

The U.S. Air Force has been working with Lockheed Martin (LMT) for several years on the development, production and deployment of the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS). This is a group of satellites that will be placed into orbit to detect and classify missile and other space launch vehicles as they are launched. It is replacing a Cold War era system.

The program will ultimately have six different satellites with two in a high orbit and four in geosynchronous orbit. Lockheed recently received a contract for the last of the geosynchronous satellites worth about $400 million. This follows work on the two high and the other three geosynchronous satellites.

All systems such as this also have a ground component that is used to control the satellites as well as receive data from them. Lockheed is also working on that aspect of the SBIRS system. As part of this Lockheed just received a contract modification for the Block 10 of the ground systems that is worth over $450 million. This will modify the contract to deliver a more flexible system that includes segregating the different mission areas as well as providing a means for delivering data to a variety of users. The new ground system will be deployed at at least two locations and will also be integrated with the legacy system the SBIRS is replacing.

The United States continues its investment in missile defense systems and part of this is a system that provides warning of potential threat launches. The SBIRS is one component of that and it makes no sense to develop programs like those deployed in Alaska and on Navy ships if you do not have good intelligence and support that allow you to detect, classify and engage enemy missiles. Programs like this are key to developing and maintaining that capability.

Photo from The U.S. Army flickr photostream.

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Lockheed Receives Contract for Latest SBIRS Satellite

The U.S. Government and military utilize satellites for a variety of missions. These include communications, intelligence collection, surveillance and other support functions. Due to their capabilities the U.S. has maintained a constellation of satellites for several decades whose role is to provide warning and detection of missile and rocket launches across the world.

The original system is being replaced by the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) managed by the Air Force and currently being built by Lockheed Martin (LMT). The SBIRS system will have six satellites with two in high orbit and four in geosynchronous. The Air Force just placed a contract worth a little over $400 million for the fourth satellite in the planned geosynchronous series for this program.

The two high orbit systems have already been delivered. They have been involved in demonstration and testing since 2008.

This award follows the successful Critical Design Review (CDR) for the program in August. The CDR reviewed the plans for satellites #3 and 4 and validated the designs before production starts.

The current SBIRS – High program as managed by Lockheed includes ground stations and also managing the pre-SBIRS system currently in use. The program is run out of their Space Systems Company in Colorado.

Satellites are expensive especially ones carrying complicated payloads. The SBIRS program has been going on for several years and represents and investment of several billion dollars.

Photo form Ryan Somma’s flickr photostream.

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Second Missile Warning Satellite Achieves Key Testing Milestone at Lockheed Martin

February 16, 2010 by · Comment
Filed under: Lockheed Martin, space, Syndicated Industry News 
Second Missile Warning Satellite Achieves Key Testing Milestone at Lockheed Martin
February 16, 2010

SUNNYVALE, Calif., -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) announced today that it has achieved a key integrated test milestone on the second Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) geosynchronous orbit (GEO-2) spacecraft at its facilities in Sunnyvale, Calif.

SBIRS is designed to provide early warning of missile launches, and simultaneously support other missions including missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace characterization.

The GEO-2 satellite, designed to provide new missile detection and surveillance capabilities for the nation, has completed its first phase of Baseline Integrated System Test (BIST-1), an extensive functional test that characterizes the overall performance of the satellite and establishes a performance baseline for the remainder of the test program.

With the completion of BIST-1, the team will proceed with final factory work on the satellite and prepare for the final, comprehensive BIST milestone prior to entering environmental testing. The spacecraft is planned for launch aboard an Atlas V launch vehicle in 2012.

"Concluding the first phase of BIST is another example of the entire government/industry team's commitment to operational excellence and successful execution of this critical national security program," said Dave Sheridan, Lockheed Martin's SBIRS GEO program manager. "We look forward to our continued positive momentum on SBIRS and achieving mission success for our customer."

The first SBIRS spacecraft (GEO-1) completed thermal vacuum testing and is now preparing for final integration and test activities that will culminate with final checkout and delivery to the Air Force later this year.

The SBIRS team is led by the Space Based Infrared Systems Wing at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, Calif., is the SBIRS prime contractor, with Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Azusa, Calif., as the payload integrator. Air Force Space Command operates the SBIRS system.

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New Missile Warning Satellite Built By Lockheed Martin Begins Major Environmental Test Phase

September 17, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: Lockheed Martin, space, Syndicated Industry News 
New Missile Warning Satellite Built By Lockheed Martin Begins Major Environmental Test Phase
September 17, 2009

SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has begun thermal vacuum testing of the first Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) geosynchronous (GEO-1) satellite, a major program milestone that will validate spacecraft performance in a complete test-like-you-fly environment.

The U.S. Air Force's SBIRS program is designed to provide early warning of missile launches, and simultaneously support other missions, including missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness.

Conducted inside Lockheed Martin's Dual Entry Large Thermal Altitude (DELTA) chamber, the test will verify spacecraft functionality and performance in a vacuum environment where the satellite is stressed at the extreme hot and cold temperatures it will experience in space. The extensive test is designed to validate the overall satellite design, quality and workmanship and survivability during space vehicle launching and on-orbit operations.

"The entire team has worked extremely hard throughout our rigorous process of risk reduction and subsystem and baseline testing leading up to this critical test," said Dave Sheridan, Lockheed Martin's SBIRS GEO program director. "We look forward to executing a disciplined and thorough test and delivering this revolutionary satellite that provides vastly improved surveillance capabilities for the warfighter."

The SBIRS team is led by the Space Based Infrared Systems Wing at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, Calif., is the SBIRS prime contractor, with Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Azusa, Calif., as the payload integrator. Air Force Space Command operates the SBIRS system.

The team is executing to a planned schedule that supports GEO-1 delivery and launch in the beginning of fiscal year 2011 aboard an Atlas V launch vehicle.

Lockheed Martin's SBIRS contract includes the two highly elliptical orbit (HEO) payloads now on-orbit, two geosynchronous orbit (GEO) satellites, as well as ground-based assets to receive and process the infrared data. The team was recently awarded a $1.5-billion contract for the third HEO payload, the third GEO satellite and associated ground modifications. A contract to include a fourth HEO payload and potential fourth GEO satellite is expected to be awarded later this year.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.

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