The Air Force and Lockheed Martin have reached two key milestones with the ground systems segment of the Space Based Infrared System. The SBIRS team last fall completed thermal vacuum testing for the first SBIRS geosynchronous satellite, GEO-1, and expects to deliver the spacecraft to Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., late this year for launch preparation aboard an Atlas V booster. During a 17-day Combined-Day-in-the-Life Test, the team tested more than 1.5 million source lines of code and 133 ground support requirements, integrating several geographically separated sites, and followed that, on Jan. 12, with the System Integration Readiness Review, signaling the ground segment is ready for the next integration level. Col. Winthrop Idle, SBIRS Ground Systems Group commander, said, “The exceptional performance of the ground system is a true testament to the hard work and dedication put forth by our strong government and industry team.” (Release from Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles AFB, Calif.; Lockheed Martin release)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.