A second Space-Based Infrared System satellite is now operational in geostationary earth orbit, according to manufacturer Lockheed Martin. Air Force Space Command accepted the SBIRS GEO-2 satellite on November 25, eight months after its March 19 launch.
Lockheed Martin is under contract to provide four highly elliptical orbit satellites and four GEO satellites. The company delivered HEO-3 in June. GEO-3 has passed functional integration testing with its spacecraft bus and scheduled for delivery in 2014. Lockheed Martin has been contracted to procure long-lead parts for GEO-5 and GEO-6.
“The certification of GEO-2 just eight months after launch validates the performance advances we expected to start seeing as the SBIRS program moved into full production,” said Jeff Smith, vice president of Lockheed Martin's Overhead Persistent Infrared unit. “Our team is focused on providing the Air Force with improved affordability and resiliency, as well as evolving SBIRS to new capabilities as we exploit the unprecedented detailed data received from the system.”