Sep 2, 2022

Space communications node offers DARPA model for rapid acquisition

Posted by in categories: government, military, satellites

WASHINGTON — The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency said it selected teams to help develop an on-orbit satellite communications translator within just eight days of releasing a formal solicitation. Now, the Pentagon agency charged with making investments in transformational technology wants to apply that quick approach to other programs.

DARPA announced last month that 11 teams would participate in Phase 1 its Space-Based Adaptive Communications Node program, dubbed Space-BACN, an in-space terminal designed to help government and commercial satellites communicate.

The capability is increasing in relevance as companies such as SpaceX and organizations including the Space Development Agency launch large constellations of satellites to low Earth orbit, within 1,000 kilometers of the planet’s surface. Awardees range from universities to commercial companies, some of which have never worked with the U.S. Department of Defense. DARPA didn’t announce the total value of the agreements.

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