Boeing is using 3D printing to accelerate production of the WGS-11+ satellite »

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Boeing has begun building the latest version of the Wideband Global SATCOM satellite system, WGS-11+, using advanced techniques to efficiently integrate the latest commercial technology while enabling a high-paced, five-year schedule that will deliver years faster than similar white sheets designs. The satellite is used by the US Space Force for military communications.

“We are moving at record speed to deliver the unparalleled resiliency, efficiency and throughput that WGS-11+ delivers to our warfighters,” said Col. Matt Spencer, Space Systems Command Geosynchronous Earth Orbit Hardware Manager. and polar division. “Boeing’s ability to quickly integrate the latest commercial technologies into our infrastructure gives us a competitive edge on the battlefield.”

Boeing and the US Space Force completed the critical design review of the system in late 2021, officially launching the production phase of the program. Leveraging additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping, agile development and other advanced techniques, Boeing has created cost and time advantages while improving system performance.

“We print over a thousand parts for WGS-11+, which gives us the ability to introduce customization in a way that improves system performance, without requiring significant integration times or tooling. personalized,” said Troy Dawson, vice president of Boeing Government Satellite Systems. President. “We understand how important speed is to the mission. This speed of production translates into effectiveness against threats. As we continue to invest in our technology and processes, we know that a satellite with similar capabilities could be delivered even faster.

A rendering of the Wideband Global SATCOM satellite system.

WGS-11+ presents an evolution of phased array technology. Based on Boeing’s advancements in its 702X software-defined satellite payload, it is capable of simultaneously generating hundreds of electronically steered beams, providing users with more than twice the mission capability compared to satellites in the existing WGS fleet. .

Like the 702X, each individual beam is shapeable and can be uniquely tailored to any operation, allowing for increased mission flexibility and responsiveness. Narrower beamwidths with dual polarization unique to WGS-11+ help protect against jamming and interference while allowing for greater frequency reuse.

When it joins the constellation of ten WGS satellites, WGS-11+ will dramatically increase the throughput capacity of critical communications services for the US government and its allies. Delivery is scheduled for 2024.

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