The Air Force accepted control of the fourth Boeing Co.-built wideband global satellite communications satellite Wednesday, the company announced Thursday.
After several on-orbit tests, the Air Force assumed control of the WGS military communications satellite, which was launched Jan. 19.
Boeing said the spacecraft is the first in the program’s upgraded block II series and includes new radio frequency bypass that supports quicker airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance imagery and data transmissions.
Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager for Boeing space and intelligence system, said the satellite is intended to improve the resiliency of the WGS constellation, used for warfighter communications.
The satellite’s on-orbit testing demonstrated communication payloads functionality, passing signals through each of the satellites 19 antenna beams and verification of the system’s beam-steering functions.
The testing was performed at Boeing’s El Segundo-based mission control center and from central California-based government facilities.
Colorado-based Schriever Air Force Base is conducting additional tests to prepare the satellite to reach its operational position, which is expected to be complete this summer.
In March, Boeing helped launch the Intelsat 22 satellite from Kazakhstan carrying a government payload and received first on-orbit signals 40 minutes after the satellite launch.