Press Release

Air Force decommissions last legacy ground station for missile warning; Transition to new ground architecture, including emergency backup, completed

By SpaceRef Editor
December 20, 2002
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In a move that signals full
confidence in the missile warning capabilities of the Space-Based Infrared
System (SBIRS) consolidated ground architecture, also known as SBIRS
Increment 1, the Air Force recently decommissioned the last of four legacy
ground centers that had been used to process data from Defense Support
Program satellites. The new Mission Control Station (MCS) at Buckley Air
Force Base in Aurora, Colo., began serving as the primary missile-warning
site in December 2001. An interim mission control station backup is also
ready for service in an emergency. The consolidation is projected to save
the Air Force $18 million per year.

A Lockheed Martin/Northrop Grumman team developed the SBIRS Increment 1
architecture, which includes the MCS, the interim backup, and remote ground
stations overseas. Key features include more accurate characterization of
missile launch events, improved user interfaces, and consolidated satellite
constellation management. An integrated training suite for crew training and
certification is under development and a permanent backup MCS at Schriever
Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colo., is planned.

“The decommissioning of the last DSP control center and Air Force operations
acceptance of the interim backup control station are important steps for the
SBIRS High program. SBIRS Increment 1 has been established as an operational
system and we are looking forward to delivering Increment 2 payloads and
satellites,” said Myles Crandall, vice president SBIRS High Program,
Lockheed Martin Space Systems.

Increment 2 of the SBIRS High program will build on the Increment 1
foundation and add new satellites and sensors to ultimately replace the DSP
constellation. Increment 2 performance, with more timely and accurate launch
reports, will enhance support to missile surveillance, missile defense,
technical intelligence, and battlespace characterization.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, headquartered in Denver, Colo., is
one of the major operating units of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Space
Systems designs, develops, tests, manufactures and operates a variety of
advanced technology systems for military, civil and commercial customers.
Chief products include a full-range of space launch systems, including
heavy-lift capability, ground systems, remote sensing and communications
satellites for commercial and government customers, advanced space
observatories and interplanetary spacecraft, fleet ballistic missiles and
missile defense systems.

For more information about Lockheed Martin Space Systems, see our website.

SpaceRef staff editor.