WGS launch ushers in new information: dominance era.
For the Army, as well as the other services, the WGS satellite will provide a quantum leap in communications bandwidth. It will augment and eventually replace the aging Defense Satellite Communication System which has been the Department of Defense's backbone for satellite communications over the last two decades. It will also replace the one-way Ka-band service provided by the Global Broadcast Service. Additionally, WGS will provide a new two-way Kaband service.
With its first launch into geosynchronous orbit in 2007, WGS became the DoD's highest capacity communications satellite. A constellation of five WGS satellites will provide service in both the X and Ka-band frequency spectrums. The second and third WGS satellites are planned for launch later in 2008. Both the Delta IV and Atlas V Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles will be used to boost the satellites to the correct orbit. Satellites 4 and 5 are anticipated for launch in 2011 and 2012.
These digitally channelized transponded satellites provide communications capacity, connectivity and flexibility for United States military forces, while maintaining interoperability with existing and programmed X- and Ka-band terminals. WGS will provide essential communications services for combatant commanders to command and control their tactical forces. Tactical forces will rely on WGS to provide high-capacity connectivity into the terrestrial portion of the Defense Information Systems Network.
WGS satellite general characteristics:
Primary Function: High-capacity military communications satellite
Primary Contractor: Boeing Satellite Systems Satellite Bus: Boeing 702
Weight: Approximately 13,000 lbs at launch, 7,600 lbs on-orbit
Orbit altitude: 22,300 miles
Payload: Transponded, cross-banded-X and Kaband communications suite
Antennas: eight beam, transmit and receive X-band Phased arrays and 10 Ka-band Gimbaled Dish Antennas, one X-band Earth coverage
Capability: 39 125-MHz Channels via digital channelizer/router
Launch vehicle: Delta IV and Atlas V EELVs
Inventory: three on contract, two more planned
Unit Cost: Approximately $300 million
Editor's note: The MILSATCOM Systems Wing, Space, and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is responsible for development, acquisition, and sustainment of the WGS Program and contributed to this article.
DISN--Defense Information Systems Network
DSCS--Defense Satellite Communication System
DSP--digital signal processor
EELV--Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles
GBS--Global Broadcast Service
MILSATCOM--Military Satellite Communications
PM DCATS--Program Manager Defense Communications and Army Transmission Systems
RAS--Remote Access System
TCM SNE--TRADOC Capabilities Manager Satellite Communications and Network Enterprise-Training and Doctrine Command
WGS--Wideband Global SATCOM
WGSMS--Wideband Global Spectrum Monitoring System
WSOC--Wideband SATCOM Operations Centers
Mr. Stein is a contractor for DRS Technologies supporting Program Manager Defense Communications ans Army Transmission Systems and TRADOC Capabilities Manager SATCOM and Network Enterprise.
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|Date:||Mar 22, 2008|
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