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Space Development Agency Readies Test of Transport Layer Satellites

Military network

Space Development Agency Readies Test of Transport Layer Satellites

The Space Development Agency is preparing an on-orbit demonstration of the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture satellites carrying radio and optical communications payloads. The spacecraft make up the Transport Layer, which will work to facilitate satellite-to-satellite data transport and connectivity with military systems.

The Transport Layer satellites will comprise the space portion of Link 16, an encrypted network used by military ground vehicles, ships and aircraft to exchange data. Expanding Link 16 into space is expected to provide the network with beyond-line-of-sight connectivity.

The SDA currently has 19 Transport Layer spacecraft in orbit, with 10 built by Lockheed Martin and 9 by York Space Systems. Seven of the satellites have Link 16 payloads while the others have S and Ka band radios.

Testing will, however, not push through until the SDA obtains frequency licensing approval from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration to send Link 16 signals at an Eglin Air Force Base site, SpaceNews reported Monday.

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Category: Space

Tags: Link-16 Lockheed Martin Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture space Space Development Agency SpaceNews Transport Layer