US Air Force Controls SBIRS Satellites with new Ground System – Satellite Today


Radomes at Buckley Air Force Base. Photo: Airman Emily E. Amyotte/USAF

[Via Satellite 03-02-2015] The United States Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) completed a three-day test of the Increment 2 ground system for the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS). SMC and the 460 Space Wing, operator of the SBIRS missile warning satellites demonstrated transmit and receive to and from each of the satellites individually.

The Increment 2 system consolidates control of all SBIRS satellites under one primary Mission Control Station (MCS) with a single backup control station. The previous Increment 1 ground system, in use since 2001, controlled the three satellite types — Defense Support Program (DSP), Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO), and Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO) — using separate ground software systems at different locations. In addition to streamlining control, Increment 2 boosts the performance capability of the constellation.

“The system will increase the warfighter’s ability to better characterize world-wide threats, more accurately determine their launch point and impact points, and alert the [Combatant Commands] COCOMs to an impending attack in time for them to respond appropriately,” said Colonel Mike Guetlein, director of remote sensing systems program office, USAF.

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