SCOUT Wins Phase II AFWERX SBIR to Advance Space Domain Awareness

Real-time position and orientation analysis of a CubeSat using a SCOUT fly-by digital twin. (Credit: SCOUT Space)

FRL/RIE and Space Force Delta 2 will work with SCOUT to advance SDA metric observation tasking and catalog augmentation using space-based sensing

ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 22, 2022 (SCOUT Space PR) — SCOUT Space Inc., a spaceflight hardware, software, and data provider developing solutions for improved safety and transparency in space today announced they have been granted a Phase II SBIR contract through AFWERX, the Technology Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the innovation arm of the Department Air Force. SCOUT will work with AFRL/RIE (Intelligence Systems Division) and the Space Operations Command (SpOC) Delta 2 to advance classical space domain awareness (SDA) metric observation tasking and catalog augmentation using space-based sensing.

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Redwire Awarded Contract to Manufacture Link-16 Antennas for National Security LEO Constellation

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Redwire PR) — Redwire Corporation (NYSE: RDW), a leader in space infrastructure for the next generation space economy, announced today that it has been contracted to deliver 42 high gain antennas for an undisclosed national security customer for a low-Earth orbit satellite constellation with significant follow-on potential. Scheduled to be delivered within the next 18 months, the antennas will enable beyond line-of-sight communications for the warfighter using a secured tactical network. Earlier this year, Redwire successfully delivered antennas for the initial phase of this constellation.

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Orbit Fab and Neutron Star Systems Announce Partnership for Sustainable Propulsion and Satellite Refueling

Tanker 1 satellite. (Credit: Orbit Fab)

DENVER and COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., April 7, 2022 (Orbit Fab/Neutron Star Systems PR) — Orbit Fab and Neutron Star Systems (NSS) established a cooperative agreement for co-development of satellite refueling solutions with green propellants. The agreement lays the foundation to increase the range of refuellable propellants by combining NSS propellant-agnostic electric propulsion technology with Orbit Fab’s refueling interfaces and tankers. 

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Orbit Fab Awarded $12 Million AFWERX Contract for Refueling DOD Satellites

LAFAYETTE, Colo. (Orbit Fab PR) — Orbit Fab has been awarded a $12 Million AFWERX Strategic Funding Increase and Tactical Funding Increase (STRATFI) contract to integrate its Rapidly Attachable Fluid Transfer Interface (RAFTI) service value on to DOD assets and provide refueling services.

Orbit Fab was founded in 2018 with the mission to build the in-space propellant supply chain. Orbit Fab has developed the RAFTI (Rapidly Attachable Fluid Transfer Interface) service valve in partnership with the Space Force. RAFTI is a fueling port that enables spacecraft to be refueled on-orbit and can be used as a drop-in replacement for existing satellite fill-and-drain valves. RAFTI has been selected as the primary refueling interface for multiple DoD on-orbit refueling missions and this STRATFI will enable Orbit Fab to scale its operations to reliably serve government and commercial refueling demand. 

“Orbit Fab is excited to expand our collaborative partnership with DoD and to support our Gas Stations in Space refueling services,” Jeremy Schiel, Co-Founder and Chief Development Officer of Orbit Fab, Inc.

About Orbit Fab Inc.

Orbit Fab believes a bustling in-space economy is a precondition to permanent jobs in space. By providing a ubiquitous supply of satellite propellant in LEO, GEO, and cis-lunar space (branded Gas Stations in Space), the company improves existing space business models (communications and Earth observation) and helps open new industries like space tourism, manufacturing, and mining. Orbit Fab has racked up a number of world-firsts: the first-ever commercially available in-space refueling port (RAFTI), the first-ever private company to resupply the International Space Station with water, and the first-ever satellite fuel depot. The future for satellites is no longer restricted to the fuel they are launched with. Orbit Fab delivers the fuel and other materials that are needed, where and when they are needed, to enable business models never before thought possible. The company recently announced its first commercial fuel sale to Astroscale, a private orbital debris removal company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.

‘New Space Ecosystem’ Should Be Leveraged to Provide Transformative Science Advancements, Says New Report

WASHINGTON (National Academies PR) — Commercial advances in launch capability and the ability to build spacecraft more rapidly and affordably has led to a paradigm shift in the space industry that U.S. government agencies should leverage to support a wide range of science missions, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 

In the last decade, the emergence of small satellites weighing less than 600 kilograms — known as SmallSats — has helped bring about a “New Space ecosystem,” according to the report. This ecosystem is marked by lower barriers of entry along with agile commercial organizations with higher risk tolerance and a focus on increased, rapid, and affordable access to space. Forty percent of all SmallSats launched in the past 10 years were launched in 2020, dominated by SpaceX, Starlink and OneWeb satellites.

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Space Micro Receives USAF Contract To Develop Air-To-Space Lasercom

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Space Micro PR) — Space Micro, powered by Voyager Space, has been selected by the United States Air Force (USAF) AFWERX program for an award to develop an air-to-space laser communications system.

Under this contract, Space Micro, a leader in space-based laser communications, addresses some of the most challenging air-to-space laser communications problems, which are primarily caused by the regular instability of Earth’s atmosphere. Space Micro’s laser communications products have been developed for commercial and government customers and are now evolving into a key solution for highly directional, long-distance, high-bandwidth telecommunications for air-to-space connective applications.

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SCOUT Awarded AFWERX SBIR to Revolutionize Space Domain Awareness

Artistic rendering of OVER-Sat observing congestion in orbit. (Credit: SCOUT Inc.)

ALEXANDRIA, Va., November 16, 2021 (SCOUT Inc. PR) — The US Government’s formation of the US Space Force definitively established its commitment to space domain awareness (SDA), but only recently has it cast its focus to commercial innovative SDA. SCOUT Inc. is proud to announce that the Air Force Research Lab, via AFWERX, made a tangible commitment to revolutionary SDA capabilities with a Phase I SBIR contract awarded this month. SCOUT will work under contract to improve detection, tracking, and identification of resident space objects by fusing ground- and space-based sensor data.

SCOUT is supported in this effort by Kayhan Space, another startup focused on space situational awareness and collision avoidance technologies. Eric Ingram, the CEO, and co-founder of SCOUT, spoke of the partnership between SCOUT and Kayhan: “Kayhan Space is a provider of actionable orbital traffic management solutions, and will help us deliver better SDA data even faster.” 

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Space Force Pitch Day Awards $32.3 Million to 19 Small Businesses

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFRL PR) – SpaceWERX officially lifted off Aug. 19 during the virtual Space Force Pitch Day. The event closed with 19 small businesses securing Phase II Small Business Innovation Research contracts to advance their cutting-edge space technologies.

The newly launched SpaceWERX will play a vital role in pursuing innovative technologies for the U.S. Space Force. It will operate as part of AFWERX, the Department of the Air Force’s innovation arm.

“What better way of introducing the new organization than bringing in new partners, locking in new investments and going after great space technology,” said Lt. Col. Walter “Rock” McMillan, SpaceWERX Director. “We’re excited to be partnering with these great companies and the great technology they bring to the table.”

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Sedaro Goes Live with Sedaro Satellite SaaS, Wins $1.7 Million in USAF Funding for Further Development

ARLINGTON, Va., (Sedaro Satellite PR) — Sedaro Satellite is a modular Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform for model-based satellite engineering. This platform enable’s engineering teams to develop an integrated, multi-disciplinary model of their space mission and simulate its on-orbit behavior in the cloud.

In Sedaro Satellite, teams iteratively model, simulate, and analyze their design until all performance requirements are met. “Satellite engineering is dramatically cheaper and faster with Sedaro Satellite. Intuitive design capture, engaging analytics, and powerful cloud computing resources reduce the level of specialized expertise and engineering-hours required to develop a successful satellite mission.” says Sedaro CEO and Co-founder Robbie Robertson.

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SpaceWERX Launch Drives AFWERX Small Business Focus on Universities and On-orbit Capability

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (USAF PR) – On August 19, SpaceWERX will officially launch. The kickoff will include a virtual Space Force Pitch Day highlighting the key partnership between the Department of the Air Force and small businesses by awarding up to $34 million to innovative startups competing for Small Business Innovation Research Phase II contracts. At the launch, SpaceWERX will also announce key initiatives to jumpstart the fall campaign.To join the SpaceWERX ecosystem click here

As a part of AFWERX, SpaceWERX will play a vital role in pursuing innovative technologies for the United States Space Force. The Department’s newest innovation arm will create platforms for space operators, lab engineers, and acquisition professionals to collaborate with the brightest minds in academia and industry pursuing novel solutions. Moreover, SpaceWERX will continue to leverage proven AFWERX tools such as the SBIR Open Topic, Challenge platform, STRATFI initiative, and Prime program. 

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Synthetaic Awarded AFWERX Contract to Leverage Synthetic Data and AI-Powered Object Detection

Synthetaic provides the US Air Force with faster ways to monitor change, extract key insights, and enable automation through AI models with minimal human labeling.

DELAFIELD, Wisc., May 20, 2021 (Synthetaic PR) – Synthetaic, the leading synthetic data company, today announced it has won a contract with AFWERX, a program of the USAF focused on expanding technology, talent, and transition partnerships for rapid and affordable commercial and military capability. Synthetaic’s Rapid Automatic Image Categorization technology (RAIC) will enable rapid object labeling, AI modeling, and Earth Observation object detection by analyzing large, multidimensional imagery datasets. 

In order to achieve optimal operational value, customers require ways to rapidly find and identify objects, and extract key insights from imagery data with minimal human machine interaction. Synthetaic empowers ad hoc labeling and searching through a new approach of massive data scale processing and AI model building. The technology also allows non-expert labelers to annotate objects of interest, and build and run detection AI models in minutes instead of days or weeks.

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Space Force Launches SpaceWERX Accelerator

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS) — AFWERX kicked-off its inaugural Accelerate event Dec. 7 with an exciting announcement on the formation of SpaceWERX, a new entity that will focus on technologies for the United States Space Force.

“As we approach the first anniversary of our newest Service, the United States Space Force, we also celebrate the opening of the first space-focused innovation hub at Los Angeles Air Force Base,” said Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett.

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Aevum Rolls Out Ravn X World’s First Autonomous Launch Vehicle & Largest Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)

Ravn-X vehicle (Credit: Aveum)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., December 3rd, 2020 (Aevum PR)— Aevum, Inc., a provider of comprehensive space logistics and autonomous launch services for lightweight payloads, is rolling out its Ravn X Autonomous Launch Vehicle today, the world’s largest Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), by mass, designed to deliver satellites to space as fast as every 180 minutes. Aevum’s customer and mission partner, The United States Space Force, will also take part in the Ravn X unveiling.

Join us at 12 pm ET/9 am PT for the historic public unveiling (virtual for COVID restrictions): More details at www.aevumlaunch.com

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Supersonic & Hypersonic Civilian Transport Projects in Development

Overture supersonic passenger jet (Credit: Boom Supersonic)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Boom Supersonic’s recent rollout of its XB-1 supersonic demonstrator aircraft marked a milestone in an accelerating race to revive an era of civilian supersonic travel that ended when the Concorde jetliner was retired in 2003.

XB-1, aka Baby Boom, is set to begin flight tests next year from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. The Mach 2.2 (2,717 km/h, 1,688 mph) vehicle is the precursor to Boom’s 55-seat Overture airliner, which is scheduled to begin carrying passengers in 2029.

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AFWERX Announces EngageSpace, Premier Collaboration Event for Space Industry

LAS VEGAS (AFNS) — AFWERX, the U.S. Air Force’s innovation catalyst, announced Sept. 16 that registration is now live for EngageSpace virtual event. Join AFWERX, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Space Force and the Space Frontier Foundation for this two-day virtual event on September 29-30.

With its highly interactive format and diverse participants, this event is designed to revolutionize how the space ecosystem works, dismantle the walls between sectors and close the “believability gap” for what’s possible in space.

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