The US Air Force (USAF) Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) geosynchronous (GEO-1) spacecraft has delivered the first infrared image to the SBIRS ground station.

Lockheed overhead persistent infrared (OPIR) mission area vice-president Jeff Smith said, “SBIRS GEO-1 is performing flawlessly thus far, and the first image sent from the satellite is outstanding.”

The satellite, built by Lockheed, is performing as expected, and is currently undergoing early orbit testing.

SBIRS GEO-1 spacecraft is the most technologically advanced military infrared satellite, equipped with sophisticated scanning and staring sensors which will enhance the military’s ability to detect missile launches around the globe.

The satellite supports the nation’s ballistic missile defence system with greater technical intelligence gathering capability, and provides enhanced battlefield situational awareness for warfighters.

The USAF SBIRS Space Command will operate the SBIRS system.