(USAF space-based infrared system (SBIRS)

Lockheed Martin has awarded a contract to Kratos Defense & Security Solutions to supply the enhanced multi-band modem (SEMM) for the US Air Force (USAF) space-based infrared system (SBIRS) for protected communication.

Under the initial contract, Kratos will provide an SEMM that incorporates the flexible Telemetrix 400XR (T400XR) software-defined receiver and digital processing unit. The advanced software-defined modem features integrated frequency hopped uplink, supplied by the Secure Satcom Systems division of Astrium, to provide protection against jamming, and also transmits and receives data from the SBIRS satellite on multiple radio links simultaneously.

The modem supports current requirements and future upgrades and enhancements through its rugged CompactPCI (cPCI) hardware and Telemetrix software-defined architecture.

The SBIRS satellite supports the nation’s ballistic missile defence system with increased technical-intelligence-gathering capability, and provides enhanced battlefield situational awareness for war-fighters. SBIRS will equip the USAF with superior infrared sensing capabilities as well as providing reliable, timely and accurate warnings about theatre and strategic missile launches.

The sensor payload consists of a scanning sensor for short revisit times over its full field of view and a staring sensor for focused operations over smaller areas. The system constellation includes three elliptical orbit payloads, three geosynchronous orbit satellites and ground-based assets to receive and process the infrared data.

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The SBIRS also simultaneously supports missile defence, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness missions. Lockheed Martin is the SBIRS prime contractor, while the team is led by the Infrared Space Systems Directorate at the US Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, US.

Image: Kratos will supply the enhanced multi-band modem (SEMM) for the US Air Force space-based infrared system (SBIRS).

Photo: US Air Force