February 2005 
Volume 03, Issue 9 
Integrated Defense Systems

Uniting Earth and Space

IDS' Space & Intelligence Systems unit touches nearly everyone worldwide


Uniting Earth and SpaceWith a diverse and profitable portfolio ranging from system engineering and information systems to spacecraft hovering as high as 22,300 miles above the Earth, Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems affects nearly everyone around the world. When you heed a hurricane warning, send a long-distance fax, place an overseas phone call or see today's news televised from distant shores, S&IS almost certainly has touched you.

Today, S&IS is executing Boeing's customer-driven vision of network-centric operations, under which a software-driven architecture melds space-, air- and land-based platforms into a coherent system. NCO will give military and intelligence officials worldwide information with which to make decisions immediately and accurately. NCO, along with the profit opportunities it creates for Boeing, is made possible by the resources and ideas of 11,500 S&IS employees working in more than 20 sites.

Coming off successful business and technical performances last year, S&IS sees several major U.S. national security space and information systems competitions, the anticipated benefits of the strategic technology alliance formed last year with IBM (below), and continuing Lean initiatives as among its profit drivers this year. Collaborating with an international array of government and industry partners, S&IS will continue to revolutionize how intelligence is collected, processed and distributed.

"Network-centric operations is integral to our strategy," said Roger Roberts, S&IS vice president and general manager. "Our customers are appreciating the power of the network, and we are developing capabilities that I believe will soon be a requirement for every military and intelligence system. S&IS has helped lead the transformation to network-centric operations, and NCO programs across Boeing now contribute to the bottom line."


S&IS is a leader in developing intelligence and communication systems, a critical part of NCO. A major S&IS national security program is creating a new architecture that will significantly enhance U.S. intelligence capability. The program underwent a realignment in 2003 that strengthened it and brought its cost, schedule and performance parameters consistent with the United States' need for this vital capability.

Integration is synonymous with NCO, and a major force in meshing air- and space-borne assets and ground-based systems is Mission Systems, a Springfield, Va.-based S&IS unit. Mission Systems provides services and digital systems for the intelligence and defense communities, including geospatial information technology, imagery and signals analysis, and global situational awareness.

S&IS By The Numbers

3 trillion Pixels of imagery data collected, processed and distributed per day by Mission Systems to Department of Defense users

1 million Number of days all S&IS satellites collectively have provided service to customers

33 Countries in which consumers use S&IS commercial products every day to communicate or produce, manage and visualize data

135 "Wingspan," in feet (41.1 meters), of a Boeing 702 satellite's solar array. That's greater than the 112-foot (34.1-meter) wingspan of a Boeing 737-900 jetliner

Mission Systems' software tools have dramatically improved the collection, processing, storage, retrieval and use of national security and commercial data collected from dispersed geographic areas. These tools transform aerial and satellite imagery into maps, plans and other products for the U.S. Department of Defense and other government agencies. For troops in the field, this means getting accurate information immediately and staying ahead of adversaries.

To provide even better support for troops facing increasingly mobile and deceptive targets, S&IS is a prime contractor on the Global Geospatial-Intelligence effort, under which the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is exploring ways to accelerate the delivery and analysis of critical, time-sensitive intelligence.

"Boeing is a valued and trusted partner," Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper Jr. (USAF Ret.), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency director, told Boeing Frontiers last summer. "We've had a productive relationship, and I anticipate that will continue. One thing I expect from all of our contractors is to work our problems and help us figure out viable solutions."


Key products that S&IS builds for civil applications include weather instruments and spacecraft, which the business unit has supplied since the 1960s. At its satellite factory in El Segundo, Calif., S&IS is building three Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites that will provide more accurate locations of severe storms, resulting in more precise warnings to the public. In addition, Mission Systems-built information technology supports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's strategic mission of environmental monitoring and protection.

S&IS finds markets underwater as well as in and above Earth's atmosphere. For example, products developed at a facility in Anaheim, Calif., include unmanned undersea vehicles that support such military and commercial missions as covert mine reconnaissance, pipeline route surveys and oil field geologic surveys.


S&IS at a glance

Headquarters: Seal Beach, Calif.

Employees: Approximately 11,500

Major operating locations: Seal Beach, El Segundo, Anaheim and Sunnyvale, Calif.; Dallas; Springfield, Chantilly and Herndon, Va.; Annapolis Junction and Columbia, Md.; Aurora, Colo.; Kent, Wash.

Notable products and services: Spacecraft and integrated information solutions for military, business and personal communications, and intelligence, surveillance and weather monitoring; system engineering, intelligence analysis, visualization, information management.

With 40 years of worldwide satellite experience, S&IS boasts a heritage that includes 11 ultra-high-frequency telecommunications satellites providing communications for U.S. armed forces around the world, and the Milstar series, for which S&IS provided payload elements. The business unit also will supply up to six Wide band Gap filler Satellite system spacecraft, which will comprise a crucial NCO space element.

Hundreds of millions of people around the world receive phone, Internet, paging, facsimile, videoconferencing and data transmission services from the 100-plus S&IS satellites currently in operation.

In fact, S&IS is quite likely part of the music and movies in your life. The unit has built five satellites for The DIRECTV Group, which provides satellite-to-home entertainment, and is building DIRECTV satellites that will offer subscribers thousands of channels of high-definition TV. S&IS also has produced satellites for XM Satellite Radio, which now has more than 3 million subscribers.


Four decades of experience with dozens of commercial and government customers around the globe help S&IS compete in a space systems market characterized by fierce rivalry in technical innovation and product pricing. S&IS aggressively applies capabilities it developed for commercial markets toward creating the government's next generation of intelligence, surveillance and weather forecasting technologies.

"Our technology base and system expertise are enabling us to create new business opportunities. I'm confident about our prospects for growth," Roberts said. "Regarding current business, our customers have entrusted us with their most important programs. We owe it to them to live up to that trust and execute these programs flawlessly."

kimberly.krantz@boeing.com, joseph.j.tedino@boeing.com, joel.r.nelson@boeing.com


Uniting Earth and SpaceS&IS’ major 2004 achievements

• Won several transformational intelligence programs

• Received the year's largest commercial satellite industry contract to build three Boeing 702 satellites that, along with two spacecraft under construction, will give The DIRECTV Group enhanced high-definition television offerings

• Joined the industry team building the U.S. Navy's Mobile User Objective System, which will give armed forces enhanced communications capabilities

• Met or exceeded goals for sales, orders and most government program deliveries

• Achieved Initial Operational Capability for a transformational proprietary program

• Delivered several satellites for launch, including Anik F2, the most complex commercial satellite ever built

• Entered a strategic partnership with IBM for satellite-based broadband technology and intelligence solutions

• Included more than 1,000 people in Business Excellence training and Lean initiatives

• Achieved Capability Maturity Model Integration Level 5 rating at several California sites and Level 3 at Mission Systems, and AS9100 certification in El Segundo space operations. Won the George M. Low and California quality awards for solar array systems

Uniting Earth and SpaceComing attractions

Some leading network-centric operations technologies under development:

• Laser communications. Will increase space-based communications capacity by orders of magnitude beyond radio frequency techniques and become the communication backbone for the space element of the battlefield management network.

• Software-defined radio technology. Will enable radio operators to communicate and route different waveforms (different formats of radio signals) throughout the network, bringing interoperability between legacy and new communication systems.

• Space-based digital signal processing. Will change satellites from passive reflectors of simple data streams into "switchboards" in space that intelligently direct complex communication traffic.

• Intelligent software agents. Will enable the network to provide relevant, fused information needed for rapid decision making.

• Information security techniques. Will ensure that only the intended recipients have access to information on the network.

• Global situational awareness competency center. Will bring together Boeing and IBM personnel to pursue applied software research and development to solve technical challenges of intelligence agencies.

Boeing-IBM team to tackle $200 billion NCO market

Boeing and IBM are working together to develop advanced information technology as part of a strategic alliance that will address an estimated $200 billion market for ground- and space-based systems to enhance the nation's military communications, intelligence operations and homeland security.

Through a 10-year alliance announced last fall, Boeing and IBM will develop advanced digital communications and information technologies for current and future U.S. Department of Defense and intelligence systems. These technologies will be critical for network-centric operations (NCO), where satellites, aircraft, ships and submarines—as well as tanks, radios and even handheld computers—share information using the same interfaces, standards or protocols.

The announcement generated substantial worldwide media coverage and caught the interest of industry analysts. BusinessWeek magazine wrote: "The teaming [of Boeing and IBM] underscores the aerospace company's determination to play a leading role in the military's Digital Age agenda." The publication described the size and scope of the alliance as rare in defense-related business.

"The conflicts of the future will be less dependent upon who has the most physical assets such as ships, planes and tanks, but determined by who has the best information and the most efficient means of sharing it among all elements of the fighting forces," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. "The Boeing and IBM team will deliver the finest digital information technology industry has to offer."

Over the past decade, IDS has witnessed the needs of its customers change dramatically to a more information-management and network-centric-operations approach. The alliance shows IDS' commitment to remain as agile as its customers to meet their needs. To gain the resources needed to continue the enhancement of solutions it offers its customers, IDS has a strategy that includes investing in internal capabilities, creating alliances and making focused acquisitions.

Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia said of the alliance: "Boeing is using the best of other people's work, and it's a good message to send."

—Eric Warren


Front Page
Contact Us | Site Map| Site Terms | Privacy | Copyright
Copyright© Boeing. All rights reserved.