SBIRS-LOWSpace-Based Infrared Surveillance-Low Orbit
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SBIRS-Low, placed in low-Earth elliptical orbits, would not only pick up the missile launch, but track the rocket after it lost its heat signature when its engines ceased firing and all the way to the moment of impact.
The low orbit system was called SBIRS-Low, but was renamed the Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS) in 2002.
Up to eight additional X-band radars were to be added later, along with Space-Based Infrared System--Low Earth orbit (SBIRS-Low) satellites to track objects in space with LWIR sensors.
Modernization of the missile warning system is underway with the space based infrared radar system (SBIRS) comprising two programs referred to as SBIRS-high and SBIRS-low. The first constellation, responsible for alerting officials of missile launches around the world, will consist of payloads in geosynchronous and highly elliptical orbits.