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USAF second SBIRS satellite completes panel integration

Artist's concept of the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS).

LOS ANGELES AFB, CALIFORNIA (BNS): The US Air Force's second geosynchronous (GEO-2) Space-Based Infrared Systems (SBIRS) satellite has successfully completed the integration of its two equipment panels onto the spacecraft core module earlier this month at the development site in Sunnyvale, California.

It is considered as a major milestone in the GEO-2 programme and represents the first instance of a fully assembled and integrated GEO-2 space vehicle, according to a Los Angeles air force base release.

Over the last 34 days, the GEO-2 team executed the precise mechanical operations necessary for completion of panel integration. This included 134 connector mates between the equipment panels and spacecraft.

The equipment panels are responsible for holding the individual electronics components which provide the satellite's communications, attitude control, power distribution, commanding and payload data processing.

The team capitalised on their knowledge gained from GEO-1 integration to complete GEO-2, which is nine days ahead of schedule.

"The team has worked tirelessly, meeting each challenge head on. Their mission focus has been inspiring and the performance truly outstanding,” Lt Col Jack Allen, commander of the SBIRS Space Squadron, said.

The GEO-2 team now will proceed with preparations and execution of Baseline Integrated System Test (BIST) 2. It is a series of tests that will provide a baseline of the fully integrated satellite's characteristics prior to environmental testing.

USAF has scheduled the launch of GEO-2 in 2012.

SBIRS is the nation's next generation early missile warning system replacing the legacy Defense Support Program satellite with unrivaled missile warning capability, delivering a new generation of missile warning, missile defence, technical intelligence and battle-space awareness space-based satellites to combatant commanders.

SBIRS is revolutionising space based infrared monitoring of the earth with its high sensitivity, fast revisit rate and persistent presence.


USAF  Satellite  

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