EL SEGUNDO, Calif., June 16, 2009 – The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has successfully completed integration and testing of the space segment, as well as initial testing of the ground segments, of the Space Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) system under development for the U.S. Air Force. Completion of these milestones confirms that the space vehicle and ground segments meet requirements for the first SBSS mission.
When launched, the SBSS system will revolutionize the United States' space situational awareness by providing around-the-clock visibility to detect distant space objects without interference from weather, atmosphere or daylight.
"The SBSS space vehicle has proven its mission readiness and the ground segment has completed its performance and endurance tests," said Air Force Col. James Jordan, vice commander of the Space Superiority Systems Wing at the Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles. "The forward-looking technology of the SBSS system gives us a responsive, taskable space-based space situational awareness capability."
A Boeing-led team completed final integration and testing of the SBSS satellite, as well as initial verification of its ground segment and testing of mission operations for the entire system. The satellite, which was developed by teammate Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. using a Boeing onboard processor, was subjected to acoustic, thermal vacuum and electromagnetic interference environment testing. The space vehicle is now ready for final launch preparations.
Boeing's ground segment successfully demonstrated hardware and software operations during tests conducted at the SBSS Satellite Operations Center (SOC) at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo. In addition, the team completed scenario-based mission operations simulations with flight operators at the ground console.
The Boeing SBSS team also conducted an end-to-end mission functionality test on the space vehicle from the SOC, demonstrating around-the-clock nominal mission operations, on-orbit mission functionality and the ability to operate secure communications over the U.S. Air Force Satellite Control Network. These final tests were run by the integrated mission team, including members from Boeing, Ball Aerospace and the Air Force.
"We are firmly committed to the space situational awareness mission and are focused on delivering this critical capability on-orbit," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems.
Boeing will operate the SBSS system in partnership with the Air Force after the satellite is launched later this year.
Ball Corporation [NYSE: BLL] is a supplier of high-quality metal and plastic packaging products for beverage, food and household products customers, and of aerospace and other technologies and services, primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ more than 15,500 people worldwide and reported 2007 sales of $7.4 billion.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.
# # #
Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems