Wideband Gapfiller System
The Wideband Gapfiller Satellites program is the first near-commercial acquisition of a satellite by the Department of Defense. About 95 percent of satellite content will be commercial off-the-shelf products. The WGS Program proposes a "commercial-like" procurement as an option to DoD entering into a full development process. The concept of the "commercial-like" WGS satellites recognizes the ability of industry to lead the development of DoD satellite communications technologies. This allows DoD to take advantage of commercial technologies and manufacturing processes and achieve significant cost savings in system procurement. "Commercial-like" also recognizes that there are unique US military needs that must be considered in developing a military SATCOM system. The WGS Program is a new partnership between DoD and industry to determine how commercial technologies can provide affordable systems to provide satellite communications support to US military operations.
WGS marked the DoD's first use of Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 12 for satellite system procurement. Use of FAR Part 12 allowed the Government to obtain the best value for the warfighter by leveraging commercially available products to the greatest extent practical.
As the prime contractor and WGS integrator, BSS leads a team that includes several major subcontractors. Harris Corp., a leading provider of wideband satellite communications ground terminals, will supply the satellite's Ka-band antenna subsystem as well as system engineering support for satellite-to-ground terminal interface verification. ITT Industries is a principal supplier of wideband satellite communications network management and control systems and will develop and integrate the WGS payload command and control element for installation within the WSOCs. Northrop Grumman Information Technology is supplying wideband satellite communications network planning software under separate contract and is leading the WGS effort for system security engineering. SAIC has extensive satellite communications systems engineering capabilities and supports the overall WGS systems engineering effort.
A unique feature of the program is the collocation of the WGS program team, including BSS-led teammates and the government program office, who are all housed in BSS Building S5 in El Segundo. This collocation enhances communications and facilitates integrated product team operations.
As the leading provider of advanced satellite communications systems for Geomobile, broadcast and packet-switched satellite communications, BSS has been able to leverage a wealth of commercial experience and technology for WGS. This includes the company's extensive investments to develop the Boeing 702, as well as phased arrays and satellite digital processing. Together these developments helped to provide the enormous capacity and tremendous flexibility sought for the WGS space segment. They further allow WGS to evolve and satisfy additional transformational requirements of the warfighter, such as improved connectivity for intelligence, suveillance and reconnaissance from unmanned vehicles and network-centric communications architectures.
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