Northrop Grumman Announces Successful Laser Communication Demonstration for Tranche 1 Transport Layer Prototype Constellation

Northrop Grumman teamed with Mynaric and Innoflight to bring the Space Development Agency’s (SDA) vision of a secure, proliferated low-Earth orbit (LEO) mesh communication network closer to reality

Northrop Grumman personnel examine the U.S. Space Force Space and Missile Systems Center’s Space Test Program Satellite 6 (STPSat-6) at its facility in Dulles, Virginia, prior to its shipment to Florida for final launch processing. Seen on the front of the spacecraft is NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration instrument, the first long-duration laser communications mission that will validate advanced relay operations for future missions. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. (Northrop Grumman PR) – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) today announced the successful ground demonstration of a secure networked laser communications system for proliferated-LEO constellations supporting the U.S. military.

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Lockheed Martin To Deliver 42 Small Satellites For Space Development Agency

A Lockheed Martin employee is seen working on a Transport Layer model with the help of digital transformation tools. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

Approx. $700 Million Tranche 1 award expands initial SDA Transport Layer demonstration constellation

LITTLETON, Col., Feb. 28, 2022 (Lockheed Martin PR) – The Space Development Agency (SDA) has awarded Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) a prototype agreement with a potential value of approximately $700 million to design and build 42 small satellites. These satellites are part of Tranche 1, the initial warfighting capability of the agency’s Transport Layer, which will connect space with other domains on Earth in a highly capable, networked environment of Joint All-Domain Operations.

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Scientific Systems Company Demonstrates AI-Enabled Edge-Based On-Orbit Processing for the Space Development Agency

WOBURN, Mass., Feb. 8, 2022 (SSCI PR) — Scientific Systems Company, Inc. (SSCI), an industry leader and pioneer in autonomous systems, has conducted initial demonstrations of its AI-enabled edge processing system as part of the Prototype On-Orbit Experimental Testbed (POET) experiment for the Space Development Agency (SDA). POET is hosted onboard Loft Orbital’s YAM-3, a “satellite-as-a-service” platform which was launched June 30, 2021 on Space-X’s Transporter-2 mission. POET’s space-based edge processing system is powered by SSCI’s Collaborative Mission Autonomy (CMA) software. POET provides an on-orbit SDA data fusion application prototype within the CMA software running on POET’s Innoflight CFC-400, a low size, weight, and power, highly capable, 0.5U size commercial off-the-shelf space processor.

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NASA Selects Smallsat Technology Projects for SBIR Funding

Credit: NASA

NASA has selected nine small satellite technology projects for funding under the space agency’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Each contract is worth up to $750,000 over two years.

The proposals include:

Antara Teknik, LLC
Granite Bay, CA
Efficient and Secure Network and Application Communications for Small Spacecraft

Busek Company, Inc.
Natick, MA
Milliarcsecond Small Spacecraft Attitude Control System

CU Aerospace, LLC
Champaign, IL
Fiber-fed Advanced Pulsed Plasma Thruster (FPPT)

Froberg Aerospace, LLC
Rolla, MO
Multi-Mode Micropropulsion

Gener8, Inc.
Sunnyvale, CA
Integrated Waveguide Optical Gyroscope

Innoflight, Inc.
San Diego, CA
Compact Multi-Protocol Modem

Tethers Unlimited, Inc.
Bothell, WA
MakerSat

Valley Tech Systems, Inc.
Folsom, CA
Affordable Small Satellite Launch Vehicle Reaction Control System

Vector Launch Inc.
Tucson, AZ
Flight Demonstration of a Micropump-based Stage Pressurization System

Summaries of the proposals follow.

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NASA Eyes Sending CubeSats into Deep Space

CubeSat
CubeSat

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

So far, CubeSats have been used exclusively in Earth orbit. But, imagine a fleet of these tiny spacecraft fanning out to the moon and other deep-space destinations.

That’s what NASA has in mind. The space agency has just committed about $1.1 million to fund nine research projects that address different deep-space cubesat technologies. The funding is part of the NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Select Phase 1 grants announced earlier this week.

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