A Raytheon Technologies business has received a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to commence Phase 3 activities under the Blackjack program and supply an additional set of satellites.
Blue Canyon Technologies will manufacture six more satellites for the Blackjack effort, which seeks to establish a constellation in low-Earth orbit in compliance with the Department of Defense's criteria for payload and performance, the company said Wednesday.
Blue Canyon's X-SAT bus framework will serve as the basis for the additional satellites and include elements for radio frequency transmission, electric propulsion, data ingestion and power systems.
Work is underway for the initial four satellites that the company intends to deliver by the year's end.
George Stafford, CEO and cofounder of Blue Canyon, said the company will follow a rapid production schedule to help meet Blackjack's goal of delivering persistent and resilient coverage in LEO.
In June 2020, DARPA awarded contracts to SA Photonics and Blue Canyon for the production of satellites and payload for the Blackjack infrastructure. Blue Canyon and DARPA concluded a critical design review of the X-SAT bus later in the year.
Blue Canyon expects to ship the six satellites by the end of 2022 in line with DARPA's demonstration activities.