SpaceWorks Awarded 2 DARPA SBIR Phase 2 Awards

ATLANTA, August 4, 2017  (SpaceWorks Enterprises PR) — SpaceWorks Enterprises, Inc. (SEI) announces the recent award of a Phase 2 Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)’s Tactical Technology Office (TTO) to advance the design of a sustainable and evolvable platform to provide persistent payload hosting capabilities in geosynchronous orbit (GEO).

The GEO platform would be a single spacecraft assembled from multiple smallsat-scale spacecraft modules conforming to the DARPA Payload Orbital Delivery (POD) form factor. The platform would be capable of providing electrical power, data processing, and high-bandwidth communications to hosted customer payloads. Support for both commercial and government customers is envisioned in order to maximize the utility of the platform and create an economically viable system.

The system aims to leverage the secondary payload launch opportunities to GEO that the DARPA POD form factor seeks to enable, and to support the rapid turnover and replacement of platform modules and payloads. The modular design of the platform would enable a phased deployment approach designed to minimize development risk and allow platform operators to pace launch and integration of new modules with customer demand. As envisioned, this platform would enable a wealth of new capabilities at reduced cost compared to current systems and solutions.

“We have assembled a talented and enthusiastic team that is eager to continue exploring this concept,” said Mark Schaffer, Senior Engineer and Principal Investigator for this effort. “We feel that a persistent hosted-payload GEO platform would be a powerful market force, creating a paradigm shift in the price point and system requirements for deploying payloads to GEO.”

The new 18-month effort aims to advance the long-term vision of deploying a persistent GEO platform while making progress towards realizing near-term commercialization goals. For the development and testing of prototype hardware, SEI has partnered with its subsidiary Blink Astro, LLC and the Dynamics and Control Systems Laboratory (DCSL) at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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