LM-Built SBIRS Satel­lite Suc­cess­fully Trans­mits First Light Im­ages

India Strategic - - INDUSTRY -

SUN­NY­VALE, CAL­I­FOR­NIA. From its fi­nal or­bit lo­ca­tion 22,000 miles above the equa­tor, the third Lock­heed Martin-built Space Based In­frared Sys­tem (SBIRS) satel­lite re­cently sent its first im­ages back down to Earth, a mile­stone known as "first light." The satel­lite was launched on Jan­uary 20 aboard a United Launch Al­liance At­las V rocket and is the third in a series of Geosyn­chronous Earth Or­bit (GEO) satel­lites that the US Air Force uses to pro­vide faster and more ac­cu­rate mis­sile warn­ing data to the na­tion and its al­lies. The satel­lite reached or­bit, where it suc­cess­fully com­pleted de­ploy­ments of its sun-track­ing so­lar ar­rays, an­tenna wing assem­blies and light shade.

"With the satel­lite suc­cess­fully on or­bit, we are now work­ing to en­sure GEO Flight 3 con­tin­ues the out­stand­ing per­for­mance trends demon­strated by its pre­de­ces­sors, in­clud­ing bet­ter-than-spec­i­fied sen­sor point­ing ac­cu­racy and the abil­ity to de­tect dim­mer tar­gets than ex­pected," said David Sheri­dan, vice pres­i­dent of Lock­heed Martin's Over­head Per­sis­tent In­frared sys­tems mis­sion area. The con­stel­la­tion is op­er­ated by the next-gen­er­a­tion SBIRS ground sta­tion at Buck­ley Air Force Base, Colorado. GEO Flight 4, the next satel­lite in the series, will un­dergo fi­nal as­sem­bly, in­te­gra­tion and test at Lock­heed Martin's satel­lite pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity in Sun­ny­vale, Cal­i­for­nia, prior to its launch planned for later this year.

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