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Pentagon Forms Group to Coordinate Smallsat Program

New DOD group

Pentagon Forms Group to Coordinate Smallsat Program

The Department of Defense has formed a new group whose job is to coordinate all efforts related to small satellites across all organizations under its purview. The newly-constituted body is made up of representatives from the Offices of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, and Acquisition and Sustainment, Breaking Defense reported Tuesday.

Doug Schroeder, who oversees prototyping of command, control and communications networks at the Pentagon’s Research and Engineering office, said that the new group has already managed to submit an initial report on the current status of the department’s various smallsat projects. According to Schroeder, the report shows that the Pentagon currently has over 100 smallsat investments in progress, composed of separate efforts being undertaken by the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Space Force.

The official said that a majority of those investments are taking place under the Space Development Agency. It was explained that SDA Director Derek Tournear currently reports to defense undersecretary for R&E Heidi Shyu.

Schroeder further explained that within the R&E office, work on how satellite networks in low-Earth orbit and medium-Earth orbit might be put to good use by military commanders and operators is underway. He said that this broad effort has been divided between two principal directors: Michael Zatman and Lindsay Millard.

Zatman is presently assessing the technology roadmap for DOD satellite communications and has already issued some solicitations to industry. Schroeder himself is responsible for taking that roadmap and ensuring that it is implemented. For her part, Millard has been focused on overseeing the Pentagon’s research on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

In keeping with the DOD’s satellite constellation expansion push, Schroeder also urged interested SATCOM and ISR vendors to send in proposals under the new Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve fund launched by Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks.

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Category: Space

Tags: Breaking Defense communications Defense Department Doug Schroeder Pentagon remote sensing satellite systems space