SBIRS Satellite Programs: Aug/05 Developments
Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Sunnyvale, CA has received a pair of cost-plus award-fee contract modifications related to the SBIRS satellite programs from the Headquarters Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, CA. In related news, the spacecraft core structure and propulasion system for the SBIRS-HIgh satellite has just been delivered.
While SBIRS has had some successful tests and sub-program successes like the AMU, overall SBIRS-High is widely considered to be one of the most troubled satellite programs. It certainly features prominently in controversies and official reports regarding U.S. satellite efforts. Recent SBIRS-High developments include:
One $48.6 contract modification (F04701-95-C-0017, P00313) is for planning and execution for Launch and on-orbit checkout of the SBIRS Geosynchronous Elliptical Orbit (GEO) Satellites, while continually operating the High Elliptical Orbit (HEO) payload. The period of performance for this engineering and technical support is being extended through to June 2010. This contract action supports the SBIRS Combined Task Force located at Boulder, CO. Negotiations were completed July 2005.
An $11.6 million modification (F04701-95-C-0017, P00316), meanwhile, covers an engineering effort that will develop and qualify alternative drop-in single board computers for the SBIRS program. The work will be performed 47% by Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale, CA, and 53% by Honeywell International in Clearwater, FL. Solicitation began July 2005, and work will be complete by June 2008.
In addition, as noted above, Lockheed Martin has now delivered the spacecraft core structure with an integrated propulsion subsystem for the first Space-Based Infrared System High (SBIRS-High) geosynchronous orbit (GEO) satellite. In addition to housing the propulsion subsystem, the delivered SBIRS core provides the load-bearing structure for all other satellite components including the scanner and starer infrared payloads. It has arrived at Lockheed Martin’s facilities in Sunnyvale, CA, in preparation for spacecraft assembly, integration and test scheduled to begin later this year.
The SBIRS propulsion subsystem consists of 18 reaction engine assemblies, a fuel tank, two oxidizer tanks, and a liquid apogee engine. The design is based on Lockheed Martin’s flight-proven A2100 geosynchronous spacecraft series.
Developed and tested at Lockheed Martin’s Mississippi Space & Technology Center at the John C. Stennis Space Center, the propulsion subsystem is essential for maneuvering the satellite during transfer orbit to its final location as well as conducting on-orbit repositioning maneuvers throughout its mission life.
More than 95% of the flight components for the first SBIRS spacecraft have now been delivered. Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems in Azusa, CA is delivering the payload systems.
When fully operational, SBIRS-High will comprise 2 payloads in highly elliptical orbit (HEO), 4 satellites in geosynchronous orbit (GEO), as well as fixed and mobile ground-based assets to receive and process the infrared data. The Lockheed – Northrop Grumman team has completed the HEO payloads, and is on track to begin final integration and test of the first GEO satellite later this year in preparation for launch in FY 2008.
SBIRS will support missile defense by providing the earliest possible warning of ballistic and tactical theatre missile attacks, providing accurate warning and information that allows ABM systems to engage the threat as quickly as possible. In addition to providing early warning of missile launches, SBIRS will support other critical missions including missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace characterization.