SEAKR Marks Nine Months of On-Orbit Demo Activities for ‘Pit Boss’ Data Processor


SEAKR Engineering has recorded nine months of on-orbit demonstration data for the company's Pit Boss mission management technology as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Blackjack initiative.

The space-based Pit Boss supercomputing processor works to autonomously transmit tactical data between manned and unmanned systems, SEAKR said Wednesday.

SEAKR, a prime contractor for Blackjack satellite communications program, was tasked to launched Pit Boss on two rideshare missions called “Mandrake“ to support DARPA's risk-reduction activities in low-Earth orbit.

Mandrake I entails the collection of real-time data through a cube satellite to assess the Pit Boss hardware's performance. The mission involves the “digital twin“ testing approach and is meant to validate Pit Boss ahead of full production.

The following mission, Mandrake II, covers satellite-to-satellite laser communication as well as data transmission between Blackjack terminals and airborne or ground assets.

SEAKR first announced that it will undergo preparations for the Mandrake rideshare flights in June 2020. In April, the company secured a contract with DARPA that exercises an option for continued on-orbit Blackjack demonstrations.

DARPA plans to launch satellites for the Blackjack constellation early this year.

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