SUNNYVALE, Calif., October 27th, 2008 -- Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] has successfully completed acoustic testing of the first geosynchronous orbit (GEO-1) spacecraft in the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) program.
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.
During the test, the fully integrated spacecraft was subjected to the maximum sound and vibration levels expected during launch into orbit. Acoustic and pyroshock testing are among several critical environmental test phases that validate the overall satellite design, quality of workmanship and survivability during space vehicle launching and on-orbit operations.
Thermal vacuum testing of the completed GEO-1 space vehicle, which will validate its performance at temperature extremes greater than those expected during on-orbit operations, is on track for March 2009 in preparation for delivery to the Air Force for a planned launch in fiscal year 2010.
"Successful acoustic testing represents a major milestone for the team and another important step toward our delivery of this first-of-its-kind satellite," said Dave Sheridan, Lockheed Martin's SBIRS GEO program director. "We look forward to our sustained progress and successfully executing this critical national program for our customer."
Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Sunnyvale, Calif., prime contractor for the SBIRS program, has enhanced the SBIRS flight software architecture to enable robust command and data handling, fault management and safe-hold capabilities on the GEO satellite system.
Lockheed Martin is currently under contract to provide two HEO payloads and two GEO satellites, as well as ground-based assets to receive and process the infrared data. Both HEO payloads are on-orbit and performance meets or exceeds specifications.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, Calif., and Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Azusa, Calif., the payload integrator, are developing SBIRS for the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Air Force Space Command operates the SBIRS system.