U.S. Missile Defense Sensor System Surpasses Operational Standards

The first of four satellites to be deployed for the planned U.S. Space-Based Infrared System has surpassed operational benchmarks following its launch in May 2011, project contractor Lockheed Martin said on Tuesday (see GSN, July 8, 2011).

The GEO-1 orbiter has located objects of interest exuding 25 percent less light than demanded using an "intensity measurement" 60 percent more exact than mandated for the project, according to a company press release. In addition, the device's detection "pointer" precision exceeds the established standard by nine-fold.

“The outstanding performance trends seen to date gives us confidence heading into our extensive integrated developmental and operational testing campaign,” Lt. Col. Ryan Umstattd, SBIRS head for GEO-1 certification, said in released remarks.

The orbiter through midpoint project data has shown a capacity to satisfy over nine-tenths of all Air Force Space Command expectations for operation, Lockheed Martin said. Unmet standards are slated for fulfillment significantly ahead of the craft's anticipated approval in 2012 for use by U.S. Strategic Command.

The completed SBIRS satellite network would improve the nation's ability to spot potential enemy missiles, augment other U.S. antimissile mechanisms and provide significant new data collection capacities, the contractor said (Lockheed Martin release, June 5).

June 7, 2012
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The first of four satellites to be deployed for the planned U.S. Space-Based Infrared System has surpassed operational benchmarks following its launch in May 2011, project contractor Lockheed Martin said on Tuesday.

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