NovaWurks has been awarded a contract to continue support for the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Phoenix programme.
Valued at $30.8m, the contract is a follow-on to the work the company carried out during the competitive Phase I of the project, which commenced in June 2012.
Under the new contract, the company will work on the second and third phases of the project, primarily the development, delivery and operation of satlet solutions.
The contract also includes options for an additional $11.8m, which if exercised, will bring the total value to $42.6m.
NovaWurks founder and chief technologist Talbot Jaeger said the company’s Hyper-Integrated Satlet (HISat) conforms to and supports almost any payload.
Jaegar said, ”We are pleased to have this opportunity to not just use HISats to construct a Conformal Spacecraft™ but also to use HISats to perform re-purposing operations while on orbit.
"Our technologies and development process could drastically reduce costs and time-to-orbit opening up new, cost effective/cost feasible ways for payloads to get off the drawing board and into space."
The Phoenix programme aims to develop new technologies that can cooperatively harvest and re-use valuable components, such as antennas and space apertures from decommissioned and non-working satellites in geosynchronous orbit (GEO), approximately 22,000 miles above the earth.
Specifically, the programme seeks development of a new class of very small ‘satlets’, which can robotically be attached to the antenna of a non-functional cooperating satellite at a greatly reduced cost, thereby creating a new space system.
The first demonstration under the programme is scheduled to take place in 2015.