Lockheed Martin has enclosed a missile warning satellite the company built for the U.S. Air Force in a protective launch vehicle fairing in preparation for a scheduled Jan. 19 launch.
The third Space-Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit satellite went through encapsulation at Cape Canaveral, Florida, where it will be deployed aboard a United Launch Alliance-made Atlas V rocket, Lockheed said Tuesday.
David Sheridan, vice president of Lockheed’s overhead persistent infrared systems mission area, said the delivery and encapsulation of GEO Flight 3 concludes a manufacturing process that Lockheed led under the SBIRS program.
Lockheed built, integrated and tested GEO Flight 3 at the company’s Sunnyvale, California-based facility as the program’s prime contractor.
GEO Flight 3 will join a constellation of satellites designed to aid missile launch detection, ballistic missile defense and situational awareness of the U.S. military.
SBIRS’ infrared data will also support authorized military and civilian uses at the Air Force’s new Tools, Applications and Processing Lab in Boulder, Colorado.
The SBIRS GEO Flight 4 satellite is scheduled for final assembly, integration and test ahead of a planned 2017 launch while GEO-5 and GEO-6 are currently under production, Lockheed added,
The remote sensing systems directorate of the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center leads the SBIRS development team while Northrop Grumman‘s aerospace systems business serves as payload integrator in the program.