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Frontiers August 2013 Issue

26 BOEING FRONTIERS / AUGUST 2013 faster, affordable and more agile satellites— that’s why we’re after this share of the market,” said Alex Lopez, vice president for Advanced Network & Space Systems. The Phantom Works team in Seal Beach that developed the prototype satellites averaged between 30 and 40 employees. While the team succeeded by approaching the challenge with the mindset of a smaller organization, they had the resources of the world’s largest aerospace company behind them. “As an organization,” Daehler said, “Boeing has the collective experience, knowledge and buying power that smaller companies just don’t have. That’s what sets us apart from the competition.” Welsch recalled the freedom the team experienced from that first meeting in 2010. “Being able to start with a clean state is not something you often get the opportunity to do,” he said. “With Phantom Phoenix, we were able to step back from ‘Well, we’ve always done it this way’ and instead say, ‘What is the right way to do this?’ ” Nick Musser, a guidance, navigation and control engineer, said the philosophy instilled in the team encouraged a unique approach to product development. “You can describe it as a startup within Boeing,” Musser said. “It’s fast-paced, and by definition, no one has done what you’ve done. It offers learning opportunities and some problems that are difficult to solve. As engineers, that’s what we love to do. “We used innovative business models, design and manufacturing methods. Combined, all these elements totally changed our method of satellite development and greatly reduced our development costs.” – Erik Daehler, Phantom Phoenix program manager


Frontiers August 2013 Issue
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