DARPA and US Space Force Aim to Mass Produce LEO Spy Satellites

Read more on this subject: Space Travel and Exploration
News Story Source: Next Big Future – Brian Wang
DARPA Blackjack aims to demonstrate spy satellite sensors that are low in size, weight, and power, and that can be mass produced to fit on many different buses from many different providers, for less than $2 million per payload.

They want Low Earth Orbit spy satellite network performance that is on par with current spy satellites systems in geosynchronous orbit with the spacecraft combined bus, payload(s), and launch costs under $6 million per orbital node while the payloads meet size, weight, and power constraints of the commercial bus.

DARPA is evaluating buses from Airbus, Blue Canyon Technologies, and Telesat, all of which have progressed through preliminary design review. The final selection of buses will happen in 2020. The program recently completed preliminary design review for Pit Boss, selecting SEAKR as the primary performer for the on-orbit autonomy system. The agency also awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin as the satellite integrator.

Several sensor payloads ar
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