The U.S. Space Force's Space Development Agency (SDA) has chosen SpaceX, Kuiper Government Solutions, and Aalyria Technologies to undertake market-research studies aimed at enhancing the military's future low Earth orbit (LEO) constellation. These three companies will conduct three-month studies to evaluate how commercial satellite systems can bolster the military's LEO capacity, specifically focusing on "LEO backhaul" services. The SDA has allocated a total of $1.6 million for these studies.
SpaceX, renowned for its Starlink giant broadband constellation, is set to play a pivotal role in this endeavor. Kuiper Government Solutions plans to deploy Amazon's broadband constellation over the next few years. Aalyria Technologies, a Google spinoff, specializes in network orchestration technologies for mesh communications networks.
The contracts for these vital studies were awarded under the Space Development Agency's System, Technologies, and Emerging Capabilities (STEC) Broad Agency Announcement. This initiative marks a significant step forward in harnessing commercial expertise to fortify the military's presence in space.
The SDA's overarching goal is to construct a robust network of satellites known as the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA). This architecture comprises a Transport Layer, consisting of interconnected communication satellites, and a Tracking Layer, which encompasses missile-detection and early-warning sensor satellites.
The primary focus of these studies is to explore the potential integration of existing commercial LEO systems into the PWSA. This integration is expected to enhance resilience by facilitating the rapid transfer of broadband data between edge and main networks on a global scale.
According to the SDA's announcement in August, the insights gained from these LEO backhaul capability studies will guide future acquisitions of these services. The agency is keen to maximize the utilization of commercial, optically-interconnected orbital mesh networks and ground infrastructure in their pursuit of enhanced space capabilities.
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About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.
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