DARPA Solicits ‘Blackjack’ Satellite Integration Proposals

Jeff Brody

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has unveiled a funding opportunity for the potential integration of military payloads with commercial satellite buses as part of the Blackjack demonstration program.

A FedBizOpps notice posted Friday stated that DARPA seeks approaches to incorporate functional constellation layers, such as overhead persistent infrared sensors, and payload systems into an integrated architecture for data transport in low-Earth orbit.

According to DARPA, each satellite bus-payload pairing would accommodate a node in a specific layer. Additionally, the agency intends to expand the number of satellites in each layer to further coverage across regions.

The projects looks to support Department of Defense missions such as positioning, navigation and timing; space-based surface moving target indication; and missile threat monitoring.

DARPA expects to award multiple spots under a $20M contract in line with the initiative.

Interested parties have until June 14 to field questions about the broad agency announcement and until July 26 to submit proposals.

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