Boeing Building WGS-11+ Satellite System Amid Tight Deadline
Boeing’s satellite business announced that the construction of an upgraded version of its Wideband Global SATCOM satellite system has already begun. A decision was made to integrate the latest commercial technology in an almost 20-year old system instead of starting with a new design in order to meet a tight five-year deadline, Boeing said Tuesday.
In a statement, Boeing said that together with the Space Force, it completed the system’s critical design review in late 2021, officially launching the program’s production phase. The company explained that applying additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping, agile development and other advanced techniques has created cost and schedule benefits while boosting system performance.
Troy Dawson, Boeing Government Satellite Systems vice president, said his company understands the importance of getting the improved system operational as soon as possible amid rapidly emerging threats against the United States. He said Boeing engineers are 3D printing more than a thousand parts for WGS-11+.
For his part, Col. Matt Spencer, senior materiel leader of the Space Systems Command’s Geosynchronous Earth Orbit and Polar Division, said Boeing’s ability to rapidly integrate the latest commercial technology into the existing infrastructure gives the U.S. a competitive edge on the battlefield.
Boeing said the WGS-11+ system will showcase an evolution in phased array technology. Based on advances on its commercial 702X software-defined satellite payload, the spacecraft will be capable of generating hundreds of electronically-steered beams simultaneously, providing users with more than twice the mission capability compared to satellites within the existing WGS fleet.
In early 2001, a satellite communications industry team led by Boeing Satellite Systems was selected to develop the Wideband Gapfiller Satellite system as successors to the DSCS-3 series of communications satellites. In March 2007 the acronym WGS was changed to Wideband Global SATCOM.
Tags: Boeing Matt Spencer space Space Systems Command Troy Dawson WGS-11+ Wideband Global SATCOM