Lockheed Martin, a global security company, has delivered the final block of a new flight software architecture. It’ll provide spacecraft command and control operations for the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) geosynchronous orbit (GEO) satellite constellation.

The SBIRS program is designed to provide early warning of missile launches, and simultaneously support other missions including missile defense, technical intelligence, and battlespace awareness.

The SBIRS flight software architecture will enable command and data handling, fault management, and safe-hold capabilities on the GEO satellite system.

The SBIRS GEO fault management system responds when an anomaly is detected during on-orbit operations, putting the satellite into a safe state while operators on the ground analyze the situation and take corrective action, explains the company.

The flight software architecture and implementation consists of two blocks that have been delivered incrementally to support the pre-launch integration and test schedule of the GEO satellite.

According to Lockheed Martin, the previous major increment was delivered in December 2008 to support Baseline Integrated Systems Test (BIST), which characterized the performance of the integrated GEO-1 satellite and established a performance baseline prior to entering thermal vacuum testing.

Delivery of the final flight software block will support thermal vacuum testing to validate spacecraft performance at temperature extremes greater than those expected during on-orbit operations. The spacecraft is planned for delivery to the Air Force in fiscal year 2010 in preparation for launch aboard an Atlas V launch vehicle.

The company says that the SBIRS contract includes the two highly elliptical orbit (HEO) payloads now on-orbit, two geosynchronous orbit (GEO) satellites, as well as ground-based assets to receive and process the infrared data.


About Rakesh Raman

Have extensive editorial, content management, and integrated communications experience and have worked as a senior tech journalist, analyst, and columnist with different newspapers, magazines, and Web/online properties in India.

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