Published on : Wednesday, January 15, 2014
The Boeing Space-Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) system has helped the U.S. Air Force cut the danger of satellites being lost by two-thirds in the past year by detecting potential threats more quickly and enabling operators to take earlier action if needed.
“Averaging 12,000 deep-space observations per day, SBSS provides a major advantage to satellite operators who need to protect these valuable space assets that we depend on every day,” said Craig Cooning, Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems vice president and general manager.
The Air Force declared SBSS fully operational in April 2013. The service’s data show that during the system’s first year of operation, it collected more than 3.8 million observations of objects in deep space. SBSS has a unique ability to swiftly move its onboard sensor, enabling it to observe multiple deep space objects across a broad range, in contrast to the narrow range used by ground-based sensors.
This capability results in a fivefold increase in observations and an estimated reduction in satellite loss of 66 percent, based on data from capabilities available prior to SBSS’s deployment.
SBSS provides around-the-clock, all-weather visibility, resulting in timely detection, collection, identification and tracking of space objects from low-Earth orbit to deep space.
Boeing teamed with Ball Aerospace to design and deliver the first SBSS Block 10 spacecraft and associated ground segment in December 2010. Boeing continues to enhance the system’s ground and onboard processing capabilities under a mission operations contract.