US: Prime contracter Lockheed Martin and payload provider Northrop Grumman have delivered the payload for the fourth Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellite of the US Air Force’s Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS). The payload, delivered on September 30, will now be integrated with the SBIRS GEO-4 satellite bus in final assembly, integration and test. The SBIRS program delivers timely, reliable and accurate missile warning and infrared surveillance information to the President of the United States, the Secretary of Defense, combatant commanders, the intelligence community and other key decision makers. The system enhances global missile launch detection capability, supports the nation’s ballistic missile defense system, expands the country’s technical intelligence gathering capacity and bolsters situational awareness for warfighters on the battlefield.
According to the company, the SBIRS GEO-4 payload includes highly sophisticated scanning and staring sensors, which will provide the satellite with improved infrared sensitivity and a reduction in area revisit times over the legacy constellation. The scanning sensor will provide a wide area surveillance of missile launches and natural phenomena across the earth, while the staring sensor will be used to observe smaller areas of interest with superior sensitivity.
Source: Lockheed Martin