Space Development Agency

Space Development Agency to issue a new request for insights from Tranche 1 satellite vendors

The Pentagon’s Space Development Agency (SDA) intends to learn from satellite producers about their abilities. This is in order to boost the agency’s plans to install a large network of spacecraft in low-Earth orbit. SDA in a request for data releases on April 10 asking enterprises that expect to participate in an upcoming agreement to verify that they will be able to meet specific technical requirements. A key worry of SDA is to make sure satellites from distinct suppliers are interoperable.

The next purchasing of satellites by SDA is likely later in 2021. The agency aims to purchase 150 satellites to be introduced in late 2024. The strategy is to honor multiple deals. Since SDA intends to establish an open marketplace where merchants can compete for sales. The concern, however, is to make sure that satellites from various companies can speak to one another.

The request for data mentions, “SDA seeks industry feedback on its capacity. In order to sustain a standardized constellation design.”  Hence, SDA acquires 28 satellites for its Tranche 0 constellation. The upcoming batch of 150 satellites is going to be Tranche 1.

SDA anticipates that the Tranche 1 constellation which deploys in six near-polar rounded aircraft with tens of satellites at 1,000 km height above sea level in each plane. The agency said, “SDA’s interest in installing a homogeneous pattern design, with all space automobiles armed with baseline mission payloads. It is looking for an opinion on industry ability in order to design and build these unified space vehicles.”

A crucial prerequisite for SDA satellites is optical crosslinks. Any upcoming military network has to be able to pass by enormous quantities of information from satellite to satellite, from space to the earth, and from space to planes in flight.

Satellites for Tranche 1 must-have visual inter-satellite connections and the capability to create and retain at least three optical links simultaneously, with an objective of five or more.

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