Raytheon has shipped the first small satellite for the Space Enabled Effects for Military Engagements program to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for integration onto a Spaceflight Industries payload.
The defense contractor said Wednesday it designed the SeeMe satellite to provide real-time tactical imagery to American soldiers deployed in remote and beyond-line-of-sight environments to boost their situational awareness.
The spacecraft will be included in the SeeMe constellation, which will comprise various small satellites that are programmed to de-orbit and burn up in Earth's atmosphere after providing services for up to five years.
He added that the SeeMe satellite constellation will deliver real-time images from space for critical warfighting missions.
DARPA plans to launch the SeeMe spacecraft into low-Earth orbit on a SpaceX rocket in late 2018.