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SBIRS GEO-1 surpasses expectations

June 6, 2012 at 3:59 PM

SUNNYVALE, Calif., June 6 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin's first Space Based Infrared System, geosynchronous satellite for the U.S. Air Force is set to receive operational certification.

The SBIRS GEO-1 satellite was launched last year and is exceeding performance expectations, the company said.

"SBIRS GEO-1 is performing exceptionally well and its data is providing tremendous value to the user community," said Michael O'Hara, Lockheed Martin's SBIRS Systems Engineering, Integration and Test director.

"We are focused on fully certifying this spacecraft for operational use and delivering a true national asset protecting our homeland, allies, warfighters and citizens for decades to come."

The SBIRS, with enhance intelligence gathering capabilities, supports U.S. ballistic missile defense. The SBIRS GEO-1 has tracked hard-to-detect potential targets with an intensity measurement that is 60 percent more accurate than the specification requirement of its sensors and has demonstrated pointing accuracy in excess of Air Force requirements.

"The outstanding performance trends seen to date gives us confidence heading into our extensive integrated developmental and operational testing campaign," said Lt. Col. Ryan Umstattd, SBIRS lead for GEO-1 certification.

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