Launch News Atlas V 401 launch with SBIRS-GEO 2, March 19, 2013

Cosmic Penguin

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America's newest missile-scanning eye in the sky is now ready for launch! The second of the Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous satellite series, the infrared sensors on top of the satellite is able to detect probably all ballistic missiles from any nation from launch, cruise till impact, by tracking the hot gas trailing any missile. The satellite has two telescopes - one scanning sensor that can move its field of view with pointing mirrors for regular scanning, and a staring sensor that allows for continuous monitoring over a longer period. These satellites in geosynchronous orbit forms part of the US ability for ICBM tracking, along with low Earth orbit satellites and sensors in high elliptical orbits.

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Launch date:​
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March 19, 2013​
Window open:​
| 21:21 UTC / 5:21 p.m. EDT
Window close:​
| 22:01 UTC / 6:01 p.m. EDT
Launch site:​
| SLC-41, CCAFS, Florida

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[highlight]L[eventtimer]2013-3-19 21:21;%c%%ddd%/%hh%:%mm%:%ss%[/eventtimer][/highlight]​
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Mission Insignia​
geo2_120120.jpg
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poster320415.jpg


Launch coverage: (starts 5:01 pm EDT / 21:01 UTC)



Payload:
SBIRS-GEO (Space Based Infra Red Sensor - Geostationary) is the geostationary component of the SBIRS-High program, which will replace the DSP system of early warning satellites in providing early warning for Intercontinental Ballistic Missile launches.


The SBIRS sensors are designed to provide greater flexibility and sensitivity than DSP and can detect short-wave and expanded mid-wave infrared signals allowing the system to perform a broader set of missions. These enhanced capabilities will result in improved prediction accuracy for global strategic and tactical warfighters.

The SBIRS-GEO spacecraft is a 3-axis stabilized A2100M platform with a scanning sensor and a staring sensor. Sensor pointing is accomplished with pointing mirrors within the telescopes. The GEO scanning sensor will provide a shorter revisit time than DSP over its full field of view, while the staring sensor will be used for step-stare or dedicated stare operations over smaller areas.


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Specifications
Type / Application:​
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  • Early Warning

Operator:|
  • USAF

Contractors:|
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Northrop Grumman

Equipment:|
  • 2 SBIRS sensors (scanning and staring)

Configuration:|
  • A2100M

Dimensions:|
  • 7 ft x 6.3 ft x 19.7 ft (stowed)
  • 48.6 ft x 22.4 ft x 19.7 ft (deployed)

Propulsion:|
  • LEROS-1C

Power:|
  • 2 deployable solar arrays
  • batteries
  • 2361 watts (end of life)

Launch Weight:|
  • 4833 kg (10656 lb) - max wet weight at launch

On-orbit Weight:|
  • 2547 kg (5603 lb) - initial on-orbit estimated wet weight

Orbit:|
  • GEO (transfer orbit: 185 * 35786 km, 22.19° inc.)

Photos:|



Launch Vehicle:
The Atlas 5 was developed by Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services as part of the US Air Force Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program. Each Atlas 5 rocket uses a Russian-built RD-180 engine burning kerosene and liquid oxygen to power its first stage and an American-built RL10 engine burning liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen to power its Centaur upper stage.

AV037-cutaway.JPG

The Atlas 5 launcher will fly in the so-called 401 configuration, denoting a 4-meter payload fairing, no strap-on solid rocket boosters and a single-engine Centaur upper stage.

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Specifications
Gross mass:​
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  • 338640 kg (746570 lb)
Payload:​
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  • 7095 kg (15641 lb) SSO
  • 4950 kg (10910 lb) GTO
Height:​
|
  • 58.30 m (191.20 ft)
Diameter:​
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  • 3.81 m (12.49 ft)
Span:​
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  • 3.81 m (12.49 ft)
Thrust:​
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  • 3827.00 kN (860343 lbf)


Launch Timeline & Ground Track:


Event|Time rel lift-off|Time UTC|Comment
RD-180 Engine Ignition|-0:00:02.7|21:20:59.3|
T=0 (Engine Ready)|0:00:00.0|21:21:00|
Liftoff (Thrust to Weight > 1)|0:00:01.1|21:21:01.1|
Begin Pitch/Yaw/Roll Maneuver|0:00:17.7|21:21:17.7|
Maximum Dynamic Pressure|0:01:30.6|21:22:30.6|
Atlas Booster Engine Cutoff (BECO)|0:04:03.1|21:25:03.1|
Atlas Booster/Centaur Separation|0:04:09.1|21:25:09.1|
Centaur First Main Engine Start (MES-1)|0:04:19.0|21:25:19|
Payload Fairing Jettison|0:04:27.1|21:25:27.1|
Centaur First Main Engine Cutoff (MECO-1)|0:15:20.9|21:36:20.9|1st Burn's Duration 00:11:01.9
Centaur Second Main Engine Start (MES-2)|0:24:07.5|21:45:07.5|
Centaur Second Main Engine Cutoff (MECO-2)|0:28:02.9|21:49:02.9|2nd Burn's Duration 00:03:55.4
SBIRS GEO-2 Separation|0:43:12.6|22:04:12.6|



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Last edited:

MattBaker

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45 minutes until launch, the Atlas V is filled with fuel and the weather odds are 80 percent.
Webcasts are in GP's launch report:thumbup:
 

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Live coverage has started.
 

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Replay of the launch

Separation successful.


Replay of the launch - recorded by Ronsmytheiii:
 

Cosmic Penguin

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Good solid launch with excellent rocket camera view! :thumbup:

 

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UnitedLaunchAlliance:
 

N_Molson

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4 successful launches in 4 months, nice ! :thumbup:
 
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