Gaining Control

Boeing said it successfully transferred control of the second wideband global satcom satellite to the Air Force on June 15. This came after the system was declared ready for operational testing upon completion of a thorough on-orbit checkout, the company said in a release yesterday. “The WGS-2 handover is another important step in our overall mission to supply a system that will provide a quantum leap in wideband satellite communications worldwide,” said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. The Air Force will monitor and control WGS-2 from Schriever AFB, Colo. The Air Force placed WGS-2 in orbit in April. It joined WGS-1, which has been operational since April 2008. Together, they will be capable of handling more than 25 times the communications throughput capacity of the entire defense satellite communications system satellite constellation that they will eventually replace. Boeing is already building six WGS satellites, but the Air Force is interested in procuring more than that.