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SDA Tasks Startup SpaceRake to Build Laser-Based SatCom Terminals

Space-based communications

SDA Tasks Startup SpaceRake to Build Laser-Based SatCom Terminals

Massachusetts-based startup SpaceRake has won a two-year, $1.8 million direct-to-Phase II Small Business Innovation Research contract from the Space Development Agency to develop small laser communications terminals for satellites.

The terminals would allow cube satellites and other satellites to transfer data using the SDA’s Transport Layer global communications network. Weston Marlow, president and CEO of SpaceRake, said the terminals will allow small spacecraft to share data with the SDA’s Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture.

The company also plans to develop laser-based networking technologies to make space-based communications more affordable and attainable, SpaceNews reported Thursday.

The SDA has been awarding contracts to companies in support of the PWSA over recent weeks.

At the start of November, Northrop Grumman announced that it secured a potential $732 million SDA contract to build 38 Tranche 2 Transport Layer-Alpha satellites. The company was also tasked to build ground-based T2TL elements and provide five years of operations and sustainment for the satellites.

In late October, York Space Systems won a $615 million-plus contract to build 62 T2TL-Alpha data relay satellites.

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Category: Space