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Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) High (U)

Overview (U):

(U) The Space Base Infrared System (SBIRS) program is a global satellite system designed to meet the United States' infrared space surveillance requirements over the next 20 to 30 years. It will provide an improved capability over the existing Defense Support Program (DSP). The system addresses critical warfighter requirements in the areas of missile warning, missile defense, technical intelligence, and battlespace characterization. SBIRS is a program designed to satisfy user requirements on a cost effective basis by using existing technologies and methods.

(U) The SBIRS program consists of high altitude (SBIRS High) and low altitude (SBIRS Low) components. SBIRS High includes satellites in Geosynchronous Earth Orbits (GEO) and Infrared (IR) sensors on satellites in Highly Elliptical Earth Orbits (HEO). SBIRS Low includes sensors on satellites in Low Earth Orbits (LEO). SBIRS will be controlled from the ground through a number of viable ground assets. Its ground assets include: a CONUS-based Mission Control Station (MCS); a backup MCS; overseas Relay Ground Stations; Relocatable Terminals; survivable and endurable facilities; and other associated communications links.

(U) An objective of the SBIRS program is to expand its IR sensor capability beyond current DSP levels to include the ability to detect a wider range of threats, capitalizing upon their unique signatures.

Description (U):

(U) On 3 Oct 1996, the SBIRS High program was approved by the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology (USD A&T), Dr. Paul Kaminski. The SBIRS High component, featuring a mix of Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites, Highly Elliptical Earth Orbit (HEO) payloads on host satellites, and a new consolidated Ground Processing station will incrementally replace the existing DSP infrastructure over FY99 - FY05. This element is the first of two planned iterations, which will provide an enhanced follow-on capability to the current DSP system. The second element, commonly known as SBIRS Low, is designated as a Major Defense Acquisition Program but is being developed as an integral part of the overall SBIRS system of systems development concept.

(U) SBIRS High consists of four satellites in GEO and two HEO payloads. The Lockheed Martin A2100 commercial satellite bus will be used as the basis for the GEO satellites, and has the advantage of making use of the existing bus production line facilities and practices. The HEO IR Payloads will each be hosted on a classified satellite. The GEO satellite weight and volume is consistent with the capabilities of the medium sized launch vehicle families, and is baselined to launch on a MLV class Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV). In addition, the IR sensors for the GEO and HEO satellites are based on a common design. The HEO satellites, supplied by the Classified Host organization, provides a platform for the SBIRS HEO IR sensors.

(U) SBIRS High is in the engineering, manufacturing, and development (EMD) acquisition phase after a two-contract pre-EMD competition. On 8 November 1996, Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space was selected as the prime contractor for the single SBIRS High EMD contract. Lockheed's team includes: Aerojet Electro Systems to provide payload integration and mission data processing; Lockheed Martin Federal Systems to provide satellite and ground system control and telemetry and tracking operations; Northrop Grumman to provide the primary infrared sensor payload and Focal Plane Assembly; and Honeywell for on-board data processing. The $1.8B contract spans the next decade. The SBIRS GEO satellites are designed to be placed in orbit by either medium-lift EELV or the Atlas IIA launch vehicle.

User Impact (U):

(U) SBIRS will incorporate new technologies that will enhance detection and improve reporting of ICBM, SLBM and tactical ballistic missiles.

Programmatics (U):

(U) Programmed.

(U) Organizations and Funding:
  • (U) AFSPC: Funding Source.
  • (U) SMC: Funding Source.

Images (U):

Added Value to the WarfighterAFSPC Vision
SBIRS HIGHSpace-based Infra-Red System (SBIRS) Geosynchronous
This Table Is Unclassified.

Related Initiatives (U):
AEOWSAdvanced Electro-Optical Warning Sensor (AEOWS)
DSPDefense Support Program (DSP)
EELV (MLV)Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Medium Lift Vehicle (MLV)
MSTIMiniature Sensor Technology Integration (MSTI)
Navy Theater-Wide TBMDNavy Theater Wide Theater Ballistic Missile Defense System (TBMD)
SBIRS-LowSpace-Based Infrared System - Low Earth Orbit (SBIRS-Low)
SCISSurvivable Communications Integration System (SCIS)
Space SensorsSpace Sensors
THAADTheater High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) System
This Table Is Unclassified.

Related Requirements (U):None.

Related Categories (U): None.

Road Map Placements (U):

Major DoD Space ProgramsEvolution of the Selected Space Programs
National Security Space Road MapIntegrated System Road Map
This Table Is Unclassified.

Requirements, Funding and Additional Hotlinks (U):

RDT&E Budget Item Project 616
1997 Force Enhancement STW
SBIRS-Fact Sheet
1998 Strategic Master Plan
SBIRS Homepage
Space & Missile Systems Center
1997 Space Surveillance Dev Plan
This Table Is Unclassified.

Lead Office (U):

(U) None..

(U) DoD: USD(A&T) and OASD(C3I), Pentagon, Washington, DC
(U) Service Staff: SAF/AQS,Pentagon, Washington, DC
(U) Major Command: HQ AFSPC, Peterson AFB, CO
(U) Program Management: HQ AFPEO/SP, Pentagon, Washington, DC; SBIRS Program Office, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles AFB, CA

Point of Contact (U):

(U) Maj Gregory Redick, SMC, Open Phone: (310) 363-5945.
(U) Lt Charlie Light, SMC, Open Phone: (310) 363-0020.
(U) Col Adrian Gomez, SMC, Open Phone: (310) 363-5751.

Date Of Information (U):

(U) 30 January 1999

(U) Road Map Production Date: 12 July 1999

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