A team led by USAF and Lockheed, developing the space-based infrared system (SBIRS) programme, has achieved two key milestones, paving the way for the System Integration Readiness Review.

Known as the combined day-in-the-life (CDITL) test, the testing milestone validated the functionality, performance and operability of the SBIRS GEO ground system for its planned operational use.

The 17-day CDITL test included more than 1.5 million source lines of code and 133 ground segment requirements.

During the test, high-fidelity spacecraft simulators were used to complete the launch and early-orbit test processes and products that will be used for the GEO-1 launch.

Several geographically separate sites, used for command and control, factory engineering support and direct interface to mission data users, were integrated during the CDITL test.

The new SBIRS ground system consists of software and hardware, required to perform activation, checkout and initial operations of the GEO-1 satellite after launch.

SBIRS uses DITL test events to validate the integrated ground system following successful verification at the segment level.

The SBIRS has been developed to provide early warning of missile launches, and support other missions including missile defence, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness.

The first SBIRS GEO spacecraft has recently completed thermal vacuum testing, and will be delivered to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, in late 2010.

The Air Force Space Command and Space and Missile Systems Center’s space-based infrared systems wing at Los Angeles Air Force Base leads the SBIRS team.