DARPA selects SpaceLink to participate in its program to connect the proliferated space domain
Updated: Aug 24, 2022
SpaceLink, a company that provides secure data from any orbit, any time, announced it was selected by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Strategic Technology Office (STO) for a contract award. SpaceLink will participate in the Space-Based Adaptive Communications Node (Space-BACN) program designed to connect the proliferated space domain.
SpaceLink is building a constellation of relay satellites in MEO that use optical intersatellite links to speed communications between spacecraft on orbit and users on the ground. Along with other contributors, SpaceLink will assist DARPA in studying and developing protocols for how commercial communications constellations will interact with Department of Defense (DoD) systems in a Space-to-Space interconnected future.
“DARPA’s Space-BACN program is well-aligned with our mission to provide continuous high capacity, real-time links to deliver data from space to the warfighter,” said David Nemeth, Senior Vice President of Systems Engineering at SpaceLink. “DARPA’s vision of interoperability will unlock the value of the proliferating commercial remote sensing constellations for U.S. government agencies. We are gratified to share our technical insights with regard to command and control and API development.”
SpaceLink will contribute its technical insights in the development of the application program interface (API) and algorithms included in Space-BACN Technical Area 3 (TA3). SpaceLink will also have the opportunity to support the simulation and testing that informs the deployment and utilization of Space-BACN reconfigurable optical communications terminals.
SpaceLink is partnering with Parsons Corporation on a technical approach to support the Space-BACN program by combining Parsons’ existing enterprise scheduling and tasking software with the SpaceLink optical relay network. Together they will enable space-to-space optical communications terminals that can be dynamically modified on-orbit to adapt and talk across various optical standards used by different satellite systems.
The Space-BACN contract award marks an important milestone in the SpaceLink roadmap. The company also recently announced it has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Technical Center (SMDTC) in Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
In March 2022 SpaceLink was the recipient of the Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Innovation from the MSUA.