USAF and Lockheed Martin deliver first missile warning spacecraft
The U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin team has delivered the first geosynchronous (GEO-1) Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) spacecraft to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., where it will be prepared for an early May liftoff aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch vehicle.
SBIRS GEO-1, with its highly sophisticated scanning and staring sensors, will provide the nation with significantly improved missile warning capabilities and support other critical missions simultaneously including missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness.
SBIRS GEO-1 will now be prepared for launch at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's former Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) Processing Facility, which was upgraded significantly in preparation for GEO-1. Facility upgrades were made to the electrical power supply, communication networks, environmental control systems, and cleanroom processing areas. A new access road was also built from the landing strip directly to the processing facility, which significantly reduces transport time and risk moving through traffic areas.
Prior to launch, the GEO-1 spacecraft will undergo post shipment testing, fueling and payload fairing encapsulation while in the DSCS Processing Facility. Upon completion of processing, the spacecraft will be mated on top of the Atlas V launch vehicle and perform final integrated testing and closeout preparations for launch. Approximately 24 hours before launch, the Atlas V/SBIRS GEO-1 spacecraft will roll to the launch pad and perform the final countdown preparations for launch.
When GEO-1 is launched , declared operational and its data is fused into the DSP and HEO constellation, SBIRS will deliver global, persistent, infrared surveillance capabilities.