Lockheed Martin announced this week that it has begun thermal vacuum testing of the first Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) geosynchronous (GEO-1) satellite. Being built for the U.S. Air Force, SBIRS is intended to provide a constant global early warning for missile launches, based on the infrared profile of the a launch.
Conducted inside Lockheed Martin’s Dual Entry Large Thermal Altitude (DELTA) chamber, the test will verify spacecraft functionality and performance in a vacuum environment where the satellite is stressed at the extreme hot and cold temperatures it will experience in space. The extensive test is designed to validate the overall satellite design, quality and workmanship and survivability during space vehicle launching and on-orbit operations.
“The entire team has worked extremely hard throughout our rigorous process of risk reduction and subsystem and baseline testing leading up to this critical test,” said Dave Sheridan, Lockheed Martin’s SBIRS GEO program director. “We look forward to executing a disciplined and thorough test and delivering this revolutionary satellite that provides vastly improved surveillance capabilities for the warfighter.”