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SSL Studies Next-generation Space Architectures for the U.S. Air Force Space Enterprise Vision

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
February 3, 2018
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PALO ALTO, Calif. January 31, 2018 (SSL PR) – SSL, a Maxar Technologies company (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.) and a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, announced today it is leveraging its heritage in developing advanced space architectures and systems to assist the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (USAF) with exploring new enterprise-level solutions to enable resilient space defense capabilities. The study is expected to accelerate crucial technologies for future missions as identified within the U.S. Air Force Space Enterprise Vision (SEV), and further distinguish SSL as a trusted partner to U.S. government agencies.

The SEV recognizes the increasing threat to space systems and provides an overarching vision for how the USAF should respond. In addition to enabling a more affordable and resilient national security space enterprise, the SEV shapes future space architectures intended to protect and defend our nation’s space capabilities against emerging threats.

SSL brings extensive expertise in the development of foundational and resilient space solutions to the study, including technologies for space infrastructure, affordable access to space, commercial data processing, and small satellites with the capability to support a broad range of future USAF missions.

“Our national and global security depends on the operational continuity and resilience of our space assets,” said Richard White, president SSL Government Systems. “SSL is honored to contribute concepts based on our depth of experience to help accelerate the innovation needed for the U.S. Air Force to achieve its Space Enterprise Vision. SSL delivers proven commercial practices to design and build end-to-end space systems that can improve resilience, cost, and speed for government customers and help protect the quality of life for us all.”

SSL is working across the U.S. Department of Defense, civil, and commercial space communities on several leading-edge programs and studies that are expected to help U.S. government agencies define next-generation space technologies. These include the Payload Orbital Delivery System (PODS), a rideshare technology scheduled for its inaugural launch on an SSL-built satellite in 2018, Dragonfly robotics for on-orbit assembly, and sophisticated technologies for on-orbit GEO and LEO satellite servicing. SSL is also assisting the USAF develop a secure interface for hosting government payloads on commercial satellites, designing power and propulsion systems for NASA’s deep space gateway, and developing concepts for advanced satellite communications.

About SSL

SSL, based in Palo Alto, California, is a leading provider of advanced spacecraft systems, with broad expertise to support commercial and government satellite operators and innovative space missions. The company designs and manufactures spacecraft for services such as direct-to-home television, video content distribution, broadband internet, mobile communications, in-orbit servicing, space exploration, and Earth observation. As a Silicon Valley innovator for 60 years, SSL’s advanced product line includes state-of-the-art small satellites, and sophisticated robotics and autonomous solutions for remote operations. SSL is a Maxar Technologies company (NYSE: MAXR; TSX: MAXR). For more information, visit

About Maxar

Maxar Technologies (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates) is a leading global provider of advanced space technology solutions for commercial and government markets including satellites, Earth imagery, geospatial data and analytics. As a trusted partner, Maxar Technologies provides unmatched end-to-end advanced systems capabilities and integrated solutions expertise to help our customers anticipate and address their most complex mission critical challenges with confidence. With more than 6,500 employees in over 21 locations, the Maxar Technologies portfolio of commercial space brands includes: SSL, MDA, DigitalGlobe, and Radiant Solutions. Every day millions of people rely on Maxar Technologies to communicate, share information and data, and deliver insights that empower a better world. Maxar trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange as MAXR. For more information visit