US Air Force Conducts Full Constellation Test with New SBIRS Ground System – Satellite Today


An artist’s depiction of DSP, SBIRS GEO and SBIRS HEO platforms in orbit around Earth. Photo: Lockheed Martin

[Via Satellite 12-21-2015] The United States Air Force Space Command’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) has passed a major milestone for the new ground system for the Space-based Infrared System (SBIRS) satellites. For the first time, the new system, Block 10 Increment 2, simultaneously commanded the full missile-warning constellation of Defense Support Program (DSP) satellites, SBIRS Geosynchronous Earth Orbiting (GEO) satellites and SBIRS Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO) sensors. Additionally, this full constellation test enabled the completion of the Capability Evaluation (CE) phase.

The Block 10 upgrade enables consolidation of operational control under one primary Mission Control Station (MCS) with a single backup control station. Block 10 will also introduce a significant increase in performance capability across its four mission areas: missile warning, missile defense, battlespace awareness, and technical intelligence.

Personnel from the 460th Operations Group conducted the full constellation test from the MCS at Buckley Air Force Base, Aurora, Colo. Completion of the CE phase marks the readiness of the Block 10 upgrade to proceed out of the development phase and into formal test activities. It also verified the Block 10 system’s performance against requirements and demonstrated the ground system’s readiness for operational use.

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