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Fourth Boeing-Built WGS Satellite Accepted By Air Force

[Techtaffy Newsdesk]

The U.S. Air Force has accepted control of the fourth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) military communications satellite on April 11, after the spacecraft passed several weeks of rigorous on-orbit tests, says Boeing.

WGS-4 was launched Jan. 19 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket. It is the first spacecraft in the program’s upgraded Block II series, which includes a new radio frequency (RF) bypass that supports the transmission of airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance imagery at data rates approximately three times greater than those currently available on Block I satellites, says the company.

On-orbit testing demonstrated the functionality of WGS-4’s communications payload features by passing test signals through each of the satellite’s 19 antenna beams. The tests also verified WGS-4’s beam-steering functions.

Boeing performed the on-orbit testing from the company’s Mission Control Center in El Segundo and from government facilities in central California. Air Force operations personnel at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado are conducting additional tests and preparing to move WGS-4 into its operational position. The satellite is expected to go into service this summer.

WGS satellites are built on the Boeing 702HP platform.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security a defense, space and security businesses and a manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $32 billion business with 62,000 employees worldwide.

[Image Courtesy: Air Force, Boeing]

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