Small satellite manufacturer Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT) has reached the critical design review (CDR) milestone in the development of the Blackjack programme.

The Blackjack programme CDR took place over a two-day period at Blue Canyon’s Satellite Constellation Factory in Lafayette, in the US state of Colorado.

In partnership with the US Space Force and Space Development Agency, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is developing the Blackjack programme, which is a demonstration of military space capabilities.

Through the Blackjack programme, DARPA seeks to build a military low-Earth orbit (LEO) constellation that will provide continuous global coverage to selected subscribers across the world.

The programme is aimed at meeting the performance and payload requirements of the US Department of Defense (DoD) via low-cost upgrades and a faster design cycle.

Blue Canyon Technologies president and CEO George Stafford said: “BCT is proud to have reached this new milestone in the development of the Blackjack programme for DARPA.

“The completion of this CDR has instilled further confidence in our design and displayed more power capability than was initially expected.

“This not only reflects the hard work and expertise of the extremely talented team at BCT, but also the great potential for the Blackjack programme to reduce costs while maximising performance capabilities and meeting payload requirements.”

Blue Canyon noted that payload integration is slated to take place in August next year.

In November last year, Raytheon partnered with Scientific Systems Company to design the Blackjack Pit Boss architecture for DARPA.