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Air Force Tests Ground Station for Full Missile Warning Constellation

Constellation of Defense Support Program satellites; geosynchronous-orbiting SBIRS satellites; and SBIRS sensors hosted aboard classified satellites in highly elliptical orbit. Credit: Lockheed Martin artist's concept

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force has, for the first time, simultaneously controlled all of its primary space-based missile warning assets with a single ground system, the service said in a Dec. 17 press release.

Currently, the Air Force relies on separate ground systems for the three main components of its missile warning constellation: the legacy Defense Support Program satellites; the geosynchronous-orbiting Space Based Infrared System satellites; and SBIRS sensors hosted aboard classified satellites in highly elliptical orbit.

Constellation of Defense Support Program satellites; geosynchronous-orbiting SBIRS satellites; and SBIRS sensors hosted aboard classified satellites in highly elliptical orbit. Credit: Lockheed Martin artist's concept
Constellation of Defense Support Program satellites; geosynchronous-orbiting SBIRS satellites; and SBIRS sensors hosted aboard classified satellites in highly elliptical orbit. Credit: Lockheed Martin artist’s concept

Once fully operational, the new Mission Control Station, or Block 10 Increment 2 of the SBIRS ground network development effort, will control all three components, the press release said.

The Air Force now will move the program into a formal test phase, with a transition to operations expected in 2016.

As prime contractor on SBIRS, Lockheed Martin Space Systems is responsible for the ground segment.

SpaceNews.com

Source: Space News

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Air Force Tests Ground Station for Full Missile Warning Constellation

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