SpaceLink to Support DARPA’s Inter-Satellite Connectivity Program
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Strategic Technology Office has awarded SpaceLink a contract that allows the company to participate in a program that aims to connect satellites from any constellation.
Under the Space-Based Adaptive Communications Node contract, SpaceLink will combine its optical relay network with Parsons’ Optimyz automated enterprise scheduling platform to support the development of new terminals that can link proliferated satellite systems and be reconfigured while in orbit. Work also includes helping DARPA develop standards for how commercial space architecture can communicate with military constellations, SpaceLink said.
Besides SpaceLink, other companies were recently selected to support Space-BACN, namely SpaceX, Telesat, Viasat and Amazon’s Kuiper. Under the first phase of Space-BACN, the satellite operators will work with other partners tasked with building the terminal and a reconfigurable modem to form command-and-control requirements for optical inter-satellite communications. The 14-month phase will end with a preliminary design review and a connectivity demonstration in an artificial environment.
“DARPA’s Space-BACN program is well-aligned with our mission to provide continuous high capacity, real-time links to deliver data from space to the warfighter,” said David Nemeth, senior vice president of systems engineering at SpaceLink. “We are gratified to share our technical insights with regard to command and control and API development.”
SpaceLink also recently signed a cooperative research and development agreement with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Technical Center to study alternative space communication methods through simulations to rapidly transfer data from sensors to shooters. According to the company, the research effort will provide a baseline of interoperability between government systems and the SpaceLink satellite relay system in medium-Earth orbit.
Tags: CRADA DARPA David Nemeth inter-satellite communications proliferated constellation space Space-BACN SpaceLink US Army