Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected 11 teams to work on Phase 1 of the space-based adaptive communications node (Space-BACN) programme.
The objective of this programme is to create a reconfigurable, cost-effective optical communications terminal to adapt optical intersatellite link standards, translating between various satellite constellations.
According to the agency, Space-BACN would create an ‘internet’ of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites, allowing continuous communication between military/government and commercial/civil satellite constellations.
DARPA Strategic Technology Office Space-BACN programme manager Greg Kuperman said: “After a successful Phase-0 where we got to see teams sprint to put together an initial architecture design for Space-BACN, I’m excited to get to work in Phase-1 building actual system.”
The first technical area will see CACI, MBRYONICS and Mynaric develop a flexible, low size, weight, power and cost (SWaP-C) optical aperture that couples into single-mode fibre.
In the second technical area, II-VI Aerospace and Defense, Arizona State University and Intel Federal will develop a reconfigurable optical modem to support up to 100Gbps on a single wavelength.
How well do you really know your competitors?
Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.
Your download email will arrive shortly
Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample
We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below formBy GlobalData
The six performers will also participate in a collaborative working group to determine the interface between system components.
Under the third technical area, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), Telesat, SpaceLink, Viasat and Kuiper Government Solutions will identify command-and-control elements to support cross-constellation optical intersatellite link communications.
It will support the development of a schema to interface between Space-BACN and commercial partner constellations.
The 14-month Phase-1 will culminate with a preliminary design review of the first two technical areas.
Following Phase-1 completion, the first two technical area teams will participate in an 18-month Phase-2 to develop engineering design units of optical terminal components.
Five other firms will continue to evolve schema to function for challenging and dynamic scenarios.