Boeing's [NYSE: BA] current on-orbit fleet of 95 satellites has been providing services for a combined 887 years -- 156 years beyond their initial contract life. This longevity is a testament to the quality and value Boeing provides to customers in 19 countries on six continents.
Boeing has produced satellites for military, civil government and commercial customers for more than four decades. Boeing's on-orbit commercial satellite fleet is comprised of 27 Boeing 376 and other spin-stabilized satellites, 44 Boeing 601 satellites, 10 Boeing 702 satellites and two Boeing Geostationary Mobile satellites. Government customers own and operate the other 12 satellites.
Among the commercial satellites providing service beyond their contract life is the first Boeing-built 601 satellite, Optus B1, for Optus Communications Pty., Ltd. Optus B1, designed to provide a minimum of 10 years of service, introduced the first domestic mobile satellite communications network in Australia. The three-axis, body-stabilized 601 satellite was launched in 1992 and continues to provide specialized direct broadcast television, videoconferencing and other data services.
Another example of Boeing's satellite longevity is the Intelsat VI satellite fleet, introduced in 1980s. The five Intelsat VI spin-stabilized satellites that were launched from 1989 to 1991 exceeded their design life, and four of the five continue to provide international telecommunications services in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean regions. The satellites incorporate state-of-the-art spot beams that provide flexible coverage to meet Intelsat's changing business needs.
"Boeing engineers continue to design and manufacture spacecraft that change the way people live, work and play," said Stephen T. O'Neill, president of Boeing Satellite Systems International, Inc. "Our talented team has the knowledge and experience that only can be accumulated from Boeing's heritage of building the most advanced satellites in the world with a passionate vision for the future. Beginning with the historic 1963 launch of the Boeing-built Syncom by NASA -- the first geosynchronous satellite -- and continuing with the successful launch and engineering handover of GOES-N, the first of three next-generation Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boeing has been at the vanguard of satellite technology for customers all over the world."
Boeing's current backlog of unclassified satellites include three Boeing 601 satellites, nine of the industry's largest satellites -- the powerful Boeing 702 -- and four specialized Boeing Geostationary Mobile satellites.
In the four decades that Boeing has been building satellites, generations across the globe have reaped the benefits of these innovative space systems. Boeing has consistently implemented satellite technology that has shaped the industry. From the baseband processors of the early 1990s to today's broadband, multimedia processors that are equivalent to 10,000 modern personal computer processors, Boeing has increased satellite throughput capability by 20 times.
From the 1960s through the 1990s, users transmitted data from the ground to a satellite, which re-transmitted the same signals to specific locations on Earth. This "bent pipe" architecture limited the satellites' ability to process transmitted information. Today, Boeing is building satellites with efficient active array antennas. Coupled with improved processors, antennas onboard Boeing satellites now have the ability to receive information from large areas on the ground and transmit information into specific markets, using advanced beamforming, with the flexibility to manipulate bandwidth and power on demand.
Boeing designs and manufactures satellites in El Segundo, Calif. Covering approximately 1 million square feet, the state-of-the-art facility is the world's largest dedicated satellite factory. Boeing has manufactured a total of 240 satellites, excluding those built for targeted military applications.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing
Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $30.8 billion business. It provides network-centric system solutions to its global military, government, and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer; a foremost developer of advanced concepts and technologies; a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in sustainment solutions and launch services.