LeoLabs Wins Contract Award to Support Japan Air Self Defense Force with Commercial Space Domain Awareness

Agreement Delivers Industry-Leading Data and Services to Japan, including Satellite and Orbital Debris Tracking and Collision Avoidance, Powered by LeoLabs Global Network of Space Radars 

LeoLabs visualization of 19,000+ objects in LEO (Image Credit: LeoLabs, Inc.)

MENLO PARK, Calif. (LeoLabs, Inc. PR) — LeoLabs, Inc., the world’s leading commercial provider of low Earth orbit (LEO) mapping and Space Situational Awareness (SSA) services, today announced a multimillion-dollar award to provide data and services for the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF). The agreement offers Japan access to the largest set of actionable insights in existence for tracking satellites and orbital debris in low Earth orbit (LEO), all generated from LeoLabs’ global network of phased array radars. LeoLabs will deliver its LEO data and services platform and a full set of training to empower JASDF operators to utilize a range of data and tools, including tracking and monitoring, collision avoidance, and other services.

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York Space Systems Wins Second Consecutive Contract from Space Development Agency, Tripling Production Capacity to Support Continued Demand

Denver-based York will reach initial operating capacity at new facility in May to simultaneously produce platform satellites for government and commercial customers at massive scale

(From left to right) Dirk Wallinger, CEO and President of York Space Systems; the Honorable Frank Kendall, Secretary of the Air Force; Dr. Derek Tournear, Director of the Space Development Agency; and Charles Beames, Executive Chairman of York Space Systems tour York's new manufacturing facility.
(From left to right) Dirk Wallinger, CEO and President of York Space Systems; the Honorable Frank Kendall, Secretary of the Air Force; Dr. Derek Tournear, Director of the Space Development Agency; and Charles Beames, Executive Chairman of York Space Systems tour York’s new manufacturing facility. (Image Credit: York Space Systems)

DENVER (York Space Systems PR) — York Space Systems (York), a Denver-based aerospace company dedicated to complete space mission solutions, today announced another award from the Space Development Agency (SDA), a $382 million contract to York to deliver 42 satellites in support of SDA’s Tranche 1 Transport Layer (T1TL). York will produce these satellites, built on the LX-CLASS standard commercial platform, in the new facility for approximately half the price of its nearest peer competitors. York was also selected by SDA in August 2020 to provide 10 satellites for Tranche 0 and remains on schedule for delivery later this year.

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Terran Orbital Awarded Contract in Support of the Space Development Agency’s Tranche 1 Transport Layer

Terran Orbital to build 42 Satellites for Space Development Agency’s Tranche 1 Transport Layer which will support global warfighter missions as part of a contract Lockheed Martin was awarded by the Space Development Agency

Satellites will provide and support global communications access and persistent regional encrypted connectivity enabling warfighters across all areas of operation

BOCA RATON, Fla., March 15, 2022 (Terran Orbital PR) –Terran Orbital Corporation (“Terran Orbital”), a leading vertically integrated provider of end-to-end satellite solutions, announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Tyvak Nano Satellite Systems, Inc., was awarded a contract by Lockheed Martin to build 42 satellites for the Space Development Agency’s Tranche 1 Transport Layer, the Initial Warfighting Capability Tranche of the National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA). 

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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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Space Development Agency Makes Awards for 126 Satellites to Build Tranche 1 Transport Layer

Tranche 1 Transport Layer mesh satellite communications network. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

With Industry Onboard, National Defense Space Architecture Ready to Take Shape

WASHINGTON (SDA PR) — The Space Development Agency (SDA) today announced the awards of three prototype agreements worth approximately $1.8 billion to establish the foundation for Tranche 1 Transport Layer (T1TL), a mesh network of 126 optically-interconnected space vehicles (SV) that will provide a resilient, low-latency, high-volume data transport communication system, and be ready for launch starting in September 2024. 

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Northrop Grumman Selected by Space Development Agency to Develop Prototype Constellation Supporting Joint All-Domain Command and Control Network

Tranche 1 Transport Layer mesh satellite communications network. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

The program leverages the company’s heritage MILSATCOM programs, commercial partnerships, and industry-leading laser communication technology to enable worldwide communications

REDONDO BEACH, Calif., Feb. 28, 2022 (Northrop Grumman PR) – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) today received an award with a potential value of $692 million from the Space Development Agency (SDA) to produce and field an innovative, proliferated constellation of 42 low-Earth orbit (pLEO) satellites for the Tranche 1 Transport Layer (T1TL) mesh satellite communications network.

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Space Micro Lands Space Development Agency Contract for Optical Communications

SAN DIEGO, February 23, 2022 (Voyager Space PR) — Voyager Space Inc. (Voyager), a space technology company with nearly 20 years of spaceflight heritage, and Space Micro, Inc., powered by Voyager and a provider of digital, electro-optic and communications systems for satellites, deep space exploration and other space equipment, today announced an award from the Space Development Agency (SDA) for a 24-month development contract for advanced one-to-many optical communications using Managed Optical Communication Array (MOCA) technology to support Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellations. Space Micro partnered with BridgeComm Inc., a global leader in optical wireless communications solutions and services.

“We are thrilled that SDA has selected Space Micro, along with our outstanding partners at BridgeComm,” said David Strobel, Executive Chair of Space Micro. “We are looking forward to further testing our technology to enhance the overall architecture in LEO.”

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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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Tesat-Spacecom to Establish U.S. Manufacturing Facility

BACKNANG, Germany (TESAT PR) — With more than 500,000 hours of operation and 10 Optical Communication Terminals (OCTs) in space, TESAT is the only provider worldwide for in-orbit-verified OCTs. As the market leader for space communication equipment, TESAT is setting-up manufacturing operations in the U.S. to meet the growing demand for OCTs from the U.S. Government and the commercial space industry. TESAT is currently providing OCTs for four different U.S. spacecraft primes in support of the Space Development Agency’s (SDA) Transport Layer and Tracking Layer and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Blackjack program.

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AFRL Announces Winners of Space University Research Initiative Funding Opportunity

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO (AFRL PR) – The Air Force Research Laboratoryvia its basic research office, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, announced December 17, the winners of the newly established Space University Research Initiative (SURI) program – a first step in improving the transition of critical concepts from academia into revolutionary new military technologies for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force (USSF).

“Our way of warfare depends on space superiority and AFRL has a long history of research and development in support of this domain. With the recent standup of the USSF, along with the emergence of U.S. Space Command and new energy in the commercial space sector, we have exciting opportunities to modernize the way we lead and manage S&T,” wrote AFRL Commander, Maj. Gen. Heather Pringle in her 2021 Commander’s Intent.

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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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Capella Space To Become First Commercial SAR Company to Demonstrate Compatibility with the U.S. Space Development Agency’s National Defense Space Architecture

Capella satellites will use laser communications from Mynaric to  rapidly send and receive data

SAN FRANCISCO, November 9, 2021 (Capella Space PR) — Capella Space today announced the company will become the first commercial synthetic aperture radar (SAR) supplier to demonstrate Optical Inter-Satellite Link (OISL) compatibility with the U.S. Space Development Agency (SDA)’s new NDSA. SAR data is a highly valuable asset for the SDA and the U.S. Department of Defense. The next generation of Capella’s persistent SAR monitoring capabilities will leverage new technology that enables high delivery speeds and direct access to its 24/7 all-weather data for U.S. Government customers.

Capella Space will install optical communications terminals (OCTs) on its commercial SAR satellites, starting in late 2022. This will enable the company to utilize highly efficient laser communications technology to send and receive data to and from its satellites in low Earth orbit, relaying data to compatibly equipped government satellites and military operations on the ground. The integration of OCTs onto Capella’s SAR constellation will drastically reduce latency from image collect to download and ensure spaceborne data is quickly available to inform critical decision-making for terrestrial missions.

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Blackjack Program Successfully Deploys Two Mandrake 2 Satellites

Mandrake 2 satellites (Credit: DARPA)

Achievement is key step toward realization of global high-speed space network

ARLINGTON, Va. (DARPA PR) — DARPA successfully deployed two satellites on June 30 as part of the SpaceX Transporter 2 launch. Both Mandrake 2 spacecraft, Able and Baker, are functioning well and progressing through checkout and commissioning. Conceived as an early risk-reduction flight for DARPA’s Blackjack  program, the Mandrake 2 mission will prove out advanced laser communications technologies for a broad government stakeholder team that includes DARPA, Space Development Agency (SDA), Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate (AFRL/RV), and Office of the Secretary of Defense’s (OSD) Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) office.

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Space Development Agency Successfully Launches First Missions

WASHINGTON (SDA PR) — The Space Development Agency today announced the successful launch of its first two satellite missions, Mandrake II and Laser Interconnect Networking Communications System (LINCS) and the Prototype On-orbit Experimental Testbed (POET) payload, on June 30 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Fla.

The launch, supported by SpaceX’s Transporter 2, an all-rideshare Falcon 9 mission, carried aboard SDA’s first two sets of experimental satellites, designed and built with government and industry partners, to gather data on optical communication terminal (OCT) performance in low-Earth orbit (LEO), along with the POET payload to demonstrate on-orbit data fusion, proving out core capabilities required for SDA’s future development efforts.

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General Atomics Partners with Space Development Agency to Conduct Space-to-Air Optical Communication Experiment

Laser Interconnect and Networking Communication System (LINCS) CubeSats. (Credit: General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems)

SAN DIEGO, 02 JUNE 2021 (GA-EMS PR) – General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced today that it was awarded a contract by the Space Development Agency to demonstrate space-to-air optical communication using GA-EMS’ Laser Interconnect and Networking Communication System (LINCS) and a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) MQ-9 Reaper®. This contract is in conjunction with an upcoming experiment where GA-EMS and SDA are partnering to launch the LINCS system and conduct a series of experiments demonstrating space-based optical communication starting later this summer.

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