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Posted 1/7/2014 Printable Fact Sheet
Infrared Space Systems Directorate
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The Infrared Space (IS) System Directorate mission is to develop, acquire, and sustain space-based infrared surveillance, tracking and targeting capabilities for missile early warning and defense, battlespace awareness, and technical intelligence.

IS contributes to the Department of Defense mission to deter war and protect the security of the U.S. by providing timely and accurate missile warning/defense information. The IS Overhead Persistent Infrared family of systems are critical for protection against global and theater ballistic missile attacks against the U.S., its deployed forces and its allies.


The IS program is the follow-on capability to the highly successful Defense Support Program. DSP has provided early warning for Intercontinental Ballistic Missile launches for more than 30 years. The goal is to provide a seamless transition from DSP to IS and meet the jointly defined requirements of the defense and intelligence communities.

Currently the IS program consists of multiple Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites, Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO) payloads riding on host satellites, and associated world-wide deployed ground systems.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company is the prime contractor responsible for program management, systems engineering, and spacecraft development. LM Integrated Systems and Solutions is the ground systems developer and supports systems engineering. Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems is the payload subcontractor and supports systems engineering and ground mission processing development.

The work locations of the IS Systems Directorate include, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Sunnyvale, and Azusa, Calif.; Boulder, Denver, and Colorado Springs, Colo.; Gaithersburg, Md.; Stennis, Miss. and Valley Forge, Pa.


The IS Systems Directorate, located at the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base is home to more than 450 government, military, aerospace and contractor personnel. The $17.8 billion portfolio of space and ground systems includes IS OPIR family of systems and DSP. 

IS Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) Division

The IS Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) Division is responsible for acquiring and delivering two GEOs, two HEOs, and associated ground systems. EMD provides capabilities to support transition, launch, and mission operations for both the GEO satellites and HEO sensors, and supports on-orbit operations for the DSP satellites.

The IS strategy is to progressively develop and field increased capabilities in block deliveries until the 1996 ORD requirements are met using the final operating capability Ground system (Increment 2). The current focus is to achieve USSTRATCOM certification for the first GEO satellite, followed by the integration and launch of the second GEO satellite, and transitioning operations to a permanent operational facility (Block 10). The final EMD delivery is Block 20 which enables final system performance to meet the 1996 ORD requirements and the delivery of Increment 2 into operations.

The SBIRS EMD deliveries consists of four major components: two fixed operational sites, relay ground stations that send data back to the fixed sites, nine Multi-mission Mobile Processors (M3Ps) which are not currently funded, six sets of DSP Mobile Ground System  vehicles and associated communications links.

Key capabilities within the ground system include detection, tracking, characterization, and reporting of missiles and other mission events of interest; mission planning and satellite constellation tasking; tracking, telemetry, and command; and system monitoring, management and configuration. The MGS generates launch reports that include missile type, launch point, time and azimuth; and predicted impact point. Data from multiple satellites is fused to improve reports.

Production Division (ISF)

The IS Production Division directly oversees the production of the nation's next-generation space-based infrared systems (SBIRS) for 24/7 global surveillance. The division is responsible for the production, acquisition, integration, launch, and early orbit operations of the geostationary (GEO) satellites GEO-3 through GEO-6, the highly elliptical orbit (HEO) payloads HEO-3 and 4; and operational sustainment of the Defense Support Program (DSP) satellite constellation. These systems are critical for protection against global and theater ballistic missile attacks against the U.S., its deployed forces and its allies.

The Production Division is also responsible for the IS Operating Location that resides at the Lockheed Martin facility in Sunnyvale, Calif. The OL is the focal point for the Infrared Space Systems Directorate's spacecraft integration efforts. They support the directorate in the integration, test, delivery, launch/early orbit operations, and anomaly resolution for all the GEO satellites.

Replenishment and Advanced Capability Division (ISR)

The IS Replenishment Division is assigned full responsibility to lead and execute all replenishment activities to provide affordable, resilient, and capable Overhead Persistent Infrared systems beyond the current program of record. The Division conducts advanced planning, architecture analysis and studies, evolved affordability design and modification studies, and hosted payload demonstrations for future OPIR systems. The Division is tasked to advance the current OPIR enterprise for the non-Strategic Missile Warning mission areas through test support, data analysis, data exploitation, and data dissemination initiatives. Interaction with senior leaders in OSD, HAF, AFSPC, and the Intelligence Community on future OPIR architectures, studies requirements and related budgets is critical to mission success.

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