The Boeing [NYSE: BA] team that is building the Space Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) system has successfully passed the System Critical Design Review (CDR) as the U.S. Air Force authorized the program to proceed toward a December 2008 launch.
The CDR, a four-day event in Seal Beach, Calif., included more than 100 government and industry participants. The team reviewed the SBSS Pathfinder system's architecture, design, assembly, integration and test approach, and concept of operations.
"The successful on-time completion of the SBSS CDR shows our focus on program execution is paying off," said Howard Chambers, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. "We are committed to providing an on-time, high-quality system in support of this critical space situational awareness mission to support worldwide military operations."
The review was the culmination of more than 32 evaluations conducted over the last few months, including detailed reviews of the program's ground segment and space vehicle.
In his closing comments, Lt. Col. Steven Nessmiller, U.S. Air Force SBSS program manager, said, "Presentations, analysis and documentation have provided evidence of a complete detailed design, and the road to launch is well defined and achievable. This was a great team effort, and the fact that only one action item remained open at the conclusion of this four-day event is a great example of how working together, we were able to successfully accomplish such a major program milestone."
The SBSS Pathfinder will augment the existing space surveillance network and provide increased capacity and timeliness to detect and track orbiting space objects, including potential future threats to America's space assets. The Boeing team is developing the spacecraft with a visible sensor and ground segment, with an option to operate the system for up to one year prior to transitioning operations and maintenance to the Air Force.