3/27/2013 - BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- In support of the Buckley missile warning and awareness mission, the second Space-Based Infrared System geosynchronous earth orbit launched into space March 19 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
The satellite, called GEO-2, provides more advanced space-based
capabilities than Defense Support Program satellites, which are being
replaced by the GEO satellites after more than four decades in
"While DSP has been the workhorse for missile warning and missile
defense for the last 40-plus years, SBIRS GEO takes us into the next
generation with a revolutionary increase in detection capability," said
Col. DeAnna Burt, 460th Operations Group commander. "The successful
launch of GEO-2 continues to bring greater detection capability to the
Overhead Persistent Infrared enterprise. GEO-2 will allow the 460th to
provide near real time, high fidelity OPIR data to warfighters around
The capabilities of the GEO-2 involve a new era of overhead infrared
surveillance that will deliver unprecedented global, persistent and
actionable infrared surveillance. Such resources enable the U.S. and its
allies to continuously maintain global situational awareness.
SBIRS persistent surveillance capabilities enable detection and
reporting of missile launches around the globe, support the nation's
ballistic missile defense system, expand technical intelligence, and
gather and bolster situational awareness for warfighters on the
The GEO-2 was carried by a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The
launch team consisted of military, government civilians and contractors
from the 45th Space Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.
"The successful launch of GEO-2 is a testament to the partnership
between industry, the SBIRS Space Program Office and the 460th Space
Wing," Burt said.
The U.S. Air Force Infrared Space Systems Directorate at the Space and
Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., leads the
SBIRS development and acquisition. Lockheed Martin Space Systems
Company, Sunnyvale, Calif., is the SBIRS prime contractor; Northrop
Grumman Electronic Systems, Azusa, Calif., is the payload integrator;
and the 14th Air Force operates the SBIRS system.
Information from Los Angeles Air Force Base and United Launch Alliance news releases was used in this article.