||United States Strategic Command, Joint Functional Component Command for Space.
||Launch Mass: 1031 kg (2277 lb.)
Solar Arrays: Fixed with ITJ cells, 840 W (EOL)
Large aperture with wide field of view.
Very low noise payload electronics.
Highly-agile 2-axis gimbal.
Reprogrammable on-board processor.
||Satellite Operations Center located at Schriever AFB.
SBSS Depot located at Boeing Colorado Springs, CO.
|Mission Data Products
||Metric (positional data on Earth orbiting objects).
Space Object Identification (SOI).
||September 25, 2010
||630 km, sun sync
||5.5 yrs mean mission duration; 7 yrs design life
Description and Purpose
The United States depends on space assets for a wide range of commercial, civil and military purposes, from communications to navigation to weather forecasting. To protect these assets, the ability to detect and track space objects is crucial -- especially those objects considered to be possible threats, whether real or accidental.
The Space Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) System provides the only space-based sensor in the U.S. Air Force Space Surveillance Network with the ability to detect debris, spacecraft or other distant space objects without interference from weather, atmosphere or time of day.
The SBSS system will revolutionize the nation's Space Situational Awareness by detecting and monitoring dimmer, most distant objects than ever before.
SBSS spacecraft features a visible sensor mounted on an agile, two-axis gimbal. That allows ground controllers to quickly move the camera between targets without having to expend the time and fuel to reposition the entire spacecraft.
This agile sensor mount enables SBSS to find and track objects in space -- even new spacecraft launches and maneuvers -- with significantly greater speed, capacity and sensitivity than previous space sensors, including:
- twice the sensitivity
- twice as fast at detecting threats
- three times improvement in the probability of detecting threats, and
- ten times improvement in capacity
The satellite also has an onboard image-processing payload and software developed by Boeing that is reprogrammable to enhance mission flexibility and upgrades. The SBSS Satellite Operations Center has an open, flexible ground architecture with the ability to add additional satellites and sensors.
The U.S. Space Surveillance Network relies on ground-based radars and optical telescopes around the world to track thousands of objects in space. But their monitoring abilities are limited by weather, the atmosphere and, in the case of telescopes, daylight. Plus, these instruments can only get intermittent glimpses of orbiting objects as they pass overhead.
In orbit, SBSS sensors are not affected by weather, atmosphere or time of day, and it has a much wider field of view than sensors on the ground.
SBSS is the next step in the evolution of space-based monitoring of objects in orbit, building on the success of the most recent orbiting sensor, the MSX Space-based Visible Sensor (SBV), which ceased operation in December 2008.
Boeing was awarded the contract in 2004 and was teamed with Ball Aerospace to design and deliver the first SBSS Block 10 spacecraft and associated ground segment. Boeing has overall responsibility for the SBSS system, including the ground system and initial mission operations. Ball Aerospace is providing the satellite and sensor, which leverages the Boeing onboard mission processor.The SBSS satellite was launched on Sept. 25, 2010 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. It was launched on an Orbital Sciences Minotaur rocket.
For more information, read the Space Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) System overview.
Team Roles and Responsibilities
| Boeing || Space & Intelligence Systems (S&IS), El Segundo, CA and Seal Beach, CA
- Prime Contractor
- Program Management and Mission Assurance
- System Engineering and Integration
- Space Vehicle Mission Data Processing Hardware and Software
- Mission Engineering, Modeling and Simulation
- Launch Engineering and Integration
- Ground Segment Software and Hardware Development and Integration
- User Interface, TT&C, Infrastructure Software
- Mission Operations and Maintenance
- On-Orbit Initialization and Checkout
- Security and Blue Suit Transition
|Mission System Operations, Colorado Springs, CO and Chandler, AZ
| Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (BATC), Boulder, CO and Broomfield, CO
- Spacecraft Bus and Payload
- On-Orbit Initialization and Checkout
- Operations & Maintenance Support
| Harris IT Services, Melbourne, FL
- Satellite Command and Control Software (OS/COMET)
| MIT/Lincoln Labs, Boston, MA
- Mission Planning Software
- Ground-Based Mission Data Processing Software