The Space Development Agency plans to release a solicitation in August to buy 150 satellites and expects those spacecraft to be in orbit by 2024 to support the development of a multilayered system designed to improve surveillance and transmit data to weapons and ground systems, Federal News Network reported Tuesday.
“What our architecture is based on is proliferation and spiral development,” Derek Tournear, director of SDA and a 2021 Wash100 Award winner, said Tuesday at a Space Foundation event. “When I say ‘proliferation,’ I mean hundreds of satellites. That is what will give you the persistence and the resiliency that you need. The spiral development will give you the rapid capability and rapid fielding.”
The 150 satellites will be part of Tranche One, which Tournear said will form an operational transport layer of the National Defense Space Architecture.
“This is the ability to give us persistence over a given region of the globe for that low-latency tactical communications,” Tournear said. “We’ll be able to pull other data from mission partners onto that transport layer so we can move those, integrate them and feed them directly to weapons and weapons platforms.”
SDA has purchased 30 satellites for Tranche 0 and expects them to be in space by 2022. L3Harris Technologies (NYSE: LHX), Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), SpaceX and York Space Systems are working on those satellites.
Tournear will deliver a keynote speech at the Potomac Officers Club's virtual SDA Forum on March 4 to discuss opportunities and challenges of space technology. To register for the 2021 SDA Forum, visit Potomac Officers Club’s Event Page.