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Mynaric Delivers Optical Comms Terminals to Telesat Government Solutions for DARPA Program

DARPA Blackjack program

Mynaric Delivers Optical Comms Terminals to Telesat Government Solutions for DARPA Program

Laser communications products provider Mynaric has delivered multiple Condor Mk2 optical communications terminals to Telesat Government Solutions.

The terminal delivery is part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency‘s Blackjack Track B program, a joint technology demonstration project with the U.S. Space Force to evaluate the viability of a large-scale, proliferated low-Earth orbit satellite constellation. The next phase of the program involves the mounting of the Condor terminals onto Croupier satellites, Mynaric said.

Bulent Altan, co-CEO of Mynaric, said the Condor team did extensive product development and testing and worked with its counterparts at Telesat GS to ensure that the terminals would meet mission requirements.

Condor Mk2 is designed to support high-performance, high-bandwidth, secure and reliable communication links for next-generation satellite constellations. Telesat GS selected Mynaric to produce the optical communications terminals in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The Blackjack program started after SpaceX launched its first satellites in 2018, an event that captured the Department of Defense’s attention. Since then, the Pentagon has sought a government-owned, LEO-based, low-latency satellite service for military purposes.

Blackjack started as an experiment involving around 20 small satellites designed to demonstrate a proliferated constellation for the military. The program took a back seat after the Space Development Agency and the U.S. Space Force worked on their own satellite-based capabilities.

DARPA originally planned to launch the first Blackjack satellites by the end of 2021 but moved it to October 2022.

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