USAF SBIRS satellite achieves operational acceptance

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. U.S. Air Force officials announced the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Geosynchronous Earth Orbit satellite (GEO-3) successfully achieved Air Force Space Command operational acceptance.

The satellite is healthy and sending data to the Mission Control Station, operated by the 460th Space Wing located at Buckley Base, Colorado, officials add.

On January 2018, the SBIRS -3 launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 411 booster. Once separated from the booster, satellite operations personnel began a series of planned Liquid Apogee Engine transfer orbit maneuvers to safely place the spacecraft into its final orbit.

GEO-3 reached its intended orbit and began spacecraft checkout activities by deploying the satellite’s light shade, solar array wing assemblies, and antenna wing assemblies. With the spacecraft safely on orbit, sensor testing and checkout activities began, leading to a tuned and calibrated payload ready for warfighter use.

The Remote Sensing Systems Directorate at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles AFB in Los Angeles, California manages the SBIRS program. Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, California, is the SBIRS prime contractor, and Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Azusa, California, is the payload integrator. The 460th Space Wing at Buckley AFB in Aurora, Colorado, operates the SBIRS constellation.

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