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SBIRS GEO-2 completes acoustic testing

Aug. 17, 2011 at 12:33 PM   |   Comments

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Aug. 17 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force's second Lockheed Martin geosynchronous spacecraft has successfully completed acoustic testing.

The SBIRS satellites provides significantly improved missile warning capabilities and simultaneously support other critical missions, including missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness.

During acoustic testing, the fully integrated GEO-2 spacecraft was paced through the maximum sound and vibration levels expected during launch. Acoustic and pyroshock testing are among several critical environmental test phases that validate the satellite design, quality of workmanship and survivability during space vehicle launching and on-orbit operations.

GEO-2 will undergo thermal vacuum testing, which will validate its performance at temperature extremes greater 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 SBIRS satellite was launched May 7 and has since reached orbit, deployed its instruments and activated its sophisticated infrared sensors. GEO-2 is on track to be delivered by Lockheed Martin and available for launch next spring.

The SBIRS team is led by the Infrared Space Systems Directorate at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Lockheed Martin is the SBIRS prime contractor, with Northrop Grumman as the payload integrator.

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