On-orbit checkout of SBIRS payload confirmed

From: Ted Molczan (molczanseesat@rogers.com)
Date: Fri Nov 17 2006 - 22:10:02 EST

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    The appended report enables confident deduction that the first SBIRS-HEO is
    hosted by USA 184 (06027A / 29249), launched on 2006 Jun 28 UTC, from VAFB on a
    Delta IV.
    
    Here is the latest hobbyist elset:
    
    USA 184          5.0  2.0  0.0  3.7 v
    1 29249U 06027A   06317.06599667  .00000450  00000-0  83648-1 0    08
    2 29249  63.2600  28.3156 7179380 268.8551  91.1449  2.00642860    06
    
    Ted Molczan
    
    
    http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?storyID=123032285
    
    11/17/2006 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFPN) -- The Air Force successfully
    completed initial early on-orbit checkout of the first Space Based Infrared
    System payload. SBIRS will deliver a new generation of space-based satellites
    providing missile warning, missile defense, technical intelligence and
    battlespace awareness to combatant commanders.
    
    The SBIRS Wing at the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force
    Base, Calif., is developing and acquiring the system, and the 460th Space Wing,
    headquartered at Buckley AFB, Colo., will operate SBIRS.
    
    "SBIRS presents a new era of global surveillance with the ability to detect and
    report events that were previously beyond our capabilities, providing greatly
    improved support to our combatant commanders," said Gen. Kevin Chilton,
    commander of Air Force Space Command.
    
    The initial ground phase of SBIRS, called Increment 1, became operational in
    2001, using a new consolidated ground architecture that processes data from
    current on-orbit Defense Support Program satellites. The payload, operating in a
    highly elliptical orbit, or HEO, is the first component of the Increment 2
    constellation, ultimately including two HEO payloads and multiple satellites in
    geosynchronous earth orbit.
    
    The SBIRS team, composed of personnel from the Air Force as well as Lockheed
    Martin, the prime contractor, and Northrop Grumman, the payload developer,
    confirmed the deployment, checkout and testing of the HEO payload, focusing on
    calibration of the infrared sensors as well as line-of-sight testing.
    Performance is meeting or exceeding all specified mission requirements. The
    payload will be fully operationally certified by summer of 2008.
    
    "Launch and checkout of the first SBIRS HEO system is a critical step in
    demonstrating this important new operational capability," said Lt. Gen. Michael
    Hamel, SMC commander. "SBIRS will deliver revolutionary new ways to address some
    of the most serious threats the nation faces."
    
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