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CHIPS Articles: WGS-11+ Leverages Commercial Technology to Deliver Twice the Capability

WGS-11+ Leverages Commercial Technology to Deliver Twice the Capability
By Space and Missile Systems Center Public Affairs - January 10, 2020
LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS)-11+ is a Space and Missile Systems Center Pacesetter for the rapid application and fielding of commercial technology. The SMC Production Corps and Portfolio Architect’s Mission System Integration team jointly championed a successful first-ever; cross-corps Systems Requirements Review (SRR) to help the government and Boeing reach a mutual agreement on a system performance specification to satisfy warfighter needs quickly.

The WGS program office, leveraging enterprise partnerships and a collaborative culture with Army, Navy, and Boeing systems engineers, worked closely together to ensure the system’s technical baseline will maximize value to the warfighter on an aggressive 5-year schedule. The WGS team, embedded at the Boeing facility, has been able to apply lessons learned from extensive testing performed by a similar commercial space program utilizing the same digital payload technologies. With SRR complete, the WGS-11+ team has initiated production and prototyping of Pathfinder hardware units to reduce risk for the final production build on its “Road to Preliminary Design Review” campaign.

WGS capability evolves significantly with each generation of spacecraft. WGS-11+ adapts innovative technologies to provide more coverage beams, more beam formed bandwidth and more frequency reuse than heritage systems. WGS-11+ will be capable of forming unique coverage areas anywhere within the field of regard — each sized optimally as mission needs demand. The satellite will have much greater inherent resilience to threats than prior vehicles.

“The resilient design will deliver Combatant Commanders twice the mission capability through contested environments — improving capacity and coverage to soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines.” said Col. John Dukes, chief of the Geosynchronous/Polar Division, SMC Production Corps.

The ability to provide seamless broadband interconnectivity for X-band and Ka-band users, and features to operate in a contested environment — provide the global responsiveness for U.S. and allied forces to support missions ranging from warfighting to humanitarian relief efforts.

“WGS-11+ enhances operational flexibility and performance to better serve the warfighter — the system will provide more coverage beams than the entire existing WGS constellation,” said Dr. Mark Peterson, WGS Aerospace Platform lead.

Additionally, the system remains a viable government host platform for rapid prototyping and additional enhancements with mission partners are being considered. “We’re excited to deliver this game-changing capability to the warfighter,” said Maj. Brandon Castillo, WGS-11+ program manager.

Space Force members, and those interested in joining this newest branch of service, can keep up with the latest news via social media and a new website dedicated to space news –, and

Space and Missile Systems Center News logo – # SPACESTARTSHERE Photo by SMC Art Services
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