The U.S. Air Force’s SBIRS satellites provide the nation with missile warning capabilities while simultaneously supporting other critical missions, including missile defense and battlespace awareness. The fully integrated GEO-2 spacecraft was paced through the maximum sound and vibration levels expected during launch into orbit during the acoustic testing process. GEO-2 will now undergo thermal vacuum testing, which will validate its performance at more extreme temperatures than those expected during on-orbit operations.
“SBIRS GEO-2 is progressing very smoothly on the path to delivery, and successful acoustic testing of the space vehicle is indicative of the team’s increasing expertise in fielding SBIRS spacecraft,” said Col Scott Larrimore, Chief of the U.S. Air Force’s SBIRS Space Division. “Our dedicated government and industry SBIRS team is focused on executing an efficient and thorough environmental test phase and ultimately delivering the much needed capabilities SBIRS GEO-2 will bring to our warfighter.”
The first geosynchronous (GEO-1) SBIRS satellite waslaunched May 7 and has sincereached orbit, deployed its instruments and activated its sophisticated infrared sensors. GEO-1, performing as expected, is now undergoing early orbit testing. GEO-2 is on track to be delivered and available for launch in spring 2012.