Pathfinder takes shape

The Boeing team constructing the Space Based Space Surveillance system has passed the System Critical Design Review as the US Air Force authorised the program to launch in December 2008.


The Boeing team that is building the Space Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) system has successfully passed the System Critical Design Review (CDR) as the US Air Force authorized the program to proceed toward a December 2008 launch.



The CDR, a four-day event in Seal Beach, California, included more than 100 government and industry participants. The team reviewed the SBSS Pathfinder system’s architecture, design, assembly, integration and test approach, and concept of operations.



The review was the culmination of more than 32 evaluations conducted over the last few months, including detailed reviews of the program’s ground segment and space vehicle.



According to Boeing, the SBSS Pathfinder will augment the existing space surveillance network and provide increased capacity and timeliness to detect and track orbiting space objects, including potential future threats to America‘s space assets.


The Boeing team is developing the spacecraft with a visible sensor and ground segment, with an option to operate the system for up to one year prior to handing over operations and maintenance to the air force.