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SBIRS Payload Working Well: Ronald Sega, Air Force undersecretary and DOD Executive Agent for Space, announced Friday at AFA's Space Symposium in Los Angeles that the first Space-Based Infrared System Highly Elliptical Orbit-1 payload successfully passed its initial early on-orbit checkout. SBIRS is the successor to the Defense Support Program satellites. HEO-1 is the first segment of SBIRS Increment 2, which will include two HEO payloads and multiple satellites in geosynchronous Earth orbit. Increment 1, the ground segment, became operational in 2001. The SBIRS team, comprising personnel from the Air Force and prime contractor Lockheed Martin and payload developer Northrop Grumman, completed the on-orbit checkout. Sega told attendees that HEO-1 is "meeting or exceeding performance expectations" and should be fully operational in summer 2008.