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DARPA Selects Redwire to Lead Spacecraft Development for VLEO Demo

Electric propulsion

DARPA Selects Redwire to Lead Spacecraft Development for VLEO Demo

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded Redwire a contract to lead the development of a satellite equipped with novel electric propulsion systems for a demonstration in very low Earth orbit under the Otter program.

The spacecraft will be based on the SabreSat VLEO satellite design, a highly flexible orbital drone that can support various mission applications, including high-resolution intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; resilient communications; navigation; and Earth science payloads, Redwire said.

Compared with existing satellites in the LEO and geosynchronous orbits, the SabreSat VLEO platform can operate above airborne anti-access areas, which are closer to the ground.

According to Redwire’s website, the modular satellite bus can carry payloads of up to 200 kilograms and has a seven-year operational life.

“As VLEO emerges as a critical domain for national security missions, Redwire is continuing to make investments to support technology innovation and strategic operations in this environment,”  said Spence Wise, Redwire senior vice president for missions and platforms.

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Category: Space