SBIRS (Space-Based Infrared System)

SBIRS (High)

SBIRS (High). Credit: Lockheed-Martin.

SBIRS (Space-Based Infrared System) is a successor to the DSP (Defense Support Program) system of satellites. SBIRS is intended as a new generation of space-based satellites providing missile warning, missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness to commanders on the ground. The SBIRS Wing at the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is developing and acquiring the system, and the 460th Space Wing, headquartered at Buckley AFB, Colorado, will operate SBIRS.


The initial ground phase of SBIRS, called Increment 1, became operational in 2001, using a new consolidated ground architecture that processes data from current on-orbit DSP satellites. The first component of the Increment 2 constellation, which will ultimately including two HEO (high Earth orbit) payloads and multiple satellites in geosynchronous Earth orbit, was launched in 2006.