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Satnews Daily
March 15th, 2020

SMC Speeding the Delivery of WGGS-11+ to Warfighters

The Space and Missile Systems Center Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) program is using Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) to speed delivery of their latest satellite.

WGS-11+ will provide double the operational utility over legacy WGS satellites while allowing greater operational flexibility to our warfighters. The satellite uses narrower spot beams to deliver power exactly where it is needed, which will enhance satellite resiliency, performance and support to disadvantaged users. Leveraging MBSE, SMC is executing to an aggressive schedule for satellite production to deliver the state-of-the-art satellite in less than 5 years.

MBSE encourages systems engineering best practices through the use of models. The models are often represented digitally, and may describe requirements, analysis, design, and verification of a complex system or architecture. Digital models enable computers to identify system interdependencies in real time, such that modifications to one subsystem are immediately recognized in another.

Additionally, users can more efficiently prototype and explore system behavior at a very low cost compared to traditional, paper-based systems engineering. As a SMC Pacesetter for the rapid application and fielding of commercial techniques, WGS 11+ is using MBSE to realize acquisition efficiencies – a directive embraced by SMC to accelerate delivery times to the warfighter at reduced cost.

Artistic rendition of a U.S. Air Force Wideband Global Satcom communications satellite.

Image is courtesy of Boeing.

WGS 11+ is using a collaborative MBSE environment tool to drive end-to-end and payload systems engineering decisions on the road to Preliminary Design Review. The digital engineering tool allows teams to holistically evaluate designs and requirements across the modeled system and quickly identify impacts.

WGS 11+’s current MBSE objectives include capturing the top-level physical and functional architecture, assessing use-cases against the functional architecture, and identifying requirement gaps and deriving requirements. Lessons learned in these early endeavors will be applied to future efforts as MBSE becomes standard practice.

WGS satellites are the backbone of the U.S. military’s global satellite communications. WGS provides flexible, high-capacity communications for the Nation’s warfighters by providing worldwide, high data rate and long-haul communication for marines, soldiers, sailors, airmen, the White House Communication Agency, the US State Department, international partners and other special users.  SMC definitized a $600 million firm-fixed-price contract with Boeing for the procurement of WGS-11+ satellite on Feb. 10, 2020 with delivery expected by March 2024.

Capt. Adam Lemmenes, WGS Systems Engineering, Integration and Test chief, said these efforts are expected to lower the overall systems engineering costs while allowing for real time requirement management, verification and validation.