The world’s most advanced missile defense satellite recently and successfully came out of almost two months of harsh simulated space environmental testing. The U.S. Space Force’s fifth Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit satellite (SBIRS GEO-5) successfully completed Thermal Vacuum (TVAC) testing at Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, California satellite manufacturing facility.
Completing TVAC was a significant milestone for the first military space satellite to be built on one of Lockheed Martin’s modernized LM 2100™ satellite buses. During TVAC testing, the satellite – with its sophisticated electronics performing full operations – faced waves of heat and cold in a depressurized atmosphere similar to the drastic environmental changes experienced in space.
SBIRS GEO-5 will join the Space Force’s constellation of missile warning satellites equipped with powerful scanning and staring infrared surveillance sensors that protect our nation 24-7. These sensors collect data that allow the U.S. military to detect missile launches, support ballistic missile defense, expand technical intelligence gathering and bolster situational awareness on the battlefield.
SBIRS GEO-5 is the first of two new SBIRS missile defense satellites and the fourth satellite built on Lockheed Martin’s new, modernized LM 2100 satellite bus. A major investment by Lockheed Martin, the LM 2100 purposefully focuses on increasing production speed, reducing costs, adding resiliency and building in more mission flexibility.
LM 2100 is currently slated to be the baseline bus of SBIRS GEO-5, and SBIRS GEO-6, expected to be launched in 2021 and 2022 respectively; three next Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared System (Next Gen OPIR) Block 0 GEO satellites expecting to launch starting in 2025; and the future GPS III Follow On (GPS IIIF) satellites, which are expected to launch starting in 2026.