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Lockheed Martin has achieved a major milestone with the completion and delivery of a sophisticated, high performance communications subsystem integral to the infrared payload of the first Space-based Infrared System High (SBIRS High) geosynchronous orbit (GEO) satellite. SBIRS High, the nation’s next-generation missile warning system and a critical element of missile defense, will feature a communications subsystem successfully developed and tested at Lockheed Martin’s facilities in Newton, PA, and delivered to its Space Systems Co. in Sunnyvale, CA. The communications subsystem will serve a key role in the SBIRS mission by delivering anti-jam survivable communications from the infrared payload to the war fighter and provide worldwide coverage of missile launch detection and defense data. The subsystem also provides secure command and control of the satellite by continuous interaction with ground stations. “We share our customer’s sense of urgency to deploy SBIRS High and delivery of this communications panel is an important step in making that a reality,” said Myles Crandall, Lockheed Martin’s SBIRS High vice president. “Our team continues to make tangible progress on flight hardware and software development and risk reduction activities as we work expeditiously to deliver the unprecedented capabilities that this critical national program will provide to our military.” Over the next several months, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Sunnyvale, CA, the SBIRS High prime contractor, and Northrop Grumman Electronics Systems, Azusa, CA, the payload provider, will integrate the subsystem into flight configuration and continue component installation and preparation activities leading to the start of final assembly, integration and test later this year. When fully operational, SBIRS High will comprise two payloads in highly elliptical orbit (HEO), four satellites in geosynchronous orbit (GEO), as well as fixed and mobile ground-based assets to receive and process the infrared data. The SBIRS program is led by the US Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, CA.
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