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Second SBIRS satellite successfully completes panel integration

10/21/2010 - LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- The U.S. Air Force's second geosynchronous Space-Based Infrared Systems satellite successfully completed the integration of its two equipment panels onto the spacecraft core module on Oct. 6 at the development site in Sunnyvale, Calif. This is a major milestone in the GEO-2 program and represents the first instance of a fully assembled and integrated GEO-2 space vehicle.

Over the last 34 days, the GEO-2 team executed the precise mechanical operations necessary for completion of panel integration. This included 134 connector mates between the equipment panels and spacecraft. The equipment panels are responsible for holding the individual electronics components which provide the satellite's communications, attitude control, power distribution, commanding and payload data processing. The team capitalized on their knowledge gained from GEO-1 integration to complete GEO-2 nine days ahead of schedule.

"The team has worked tirelessly, meeting each challenge head on." said Lt Col Jack Allen, commander of the SBIRS Space Squadron. "Their mission focus has been inspiring and the performance truly outstanding."

The GEO-2 team now will proceed with preparations and execution of Baseline Integrated System Test 2. BIST 2 is a series of tests that will provide a baseline of the fully integrated satellite's characteristics prior to environmental testing. GEO-2 is scheduled for launch in 2012.

SBIRS is the nation's next generation early missile warning system replacing the legacy Defense Support Program satellite with unrivaled missile warning capability, delivering a new generation of missile warning, missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness space-based satellites to combatant commanders. SBIRS is revolutionizing space based infrared monitoring of the earth with its high sensitivity, fast revisit rate and persistent presence.

The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center's Space Based Infrared Systems Wing manages the SBIRS program to develop both the geosynchronous orbiting satellites, and the highly elliptical orbiting payloads, as well as the ground systems to support mission operations.

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