Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Advanced Scramjet Engine Powers Successful Hypersonic Vehicle Flight

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., April 06, 2022 (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) — An advanced Aerojet Rocketdyne scramjet engine powered the successful flight test of the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC), in a joint effort with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Lockheed Martin.

The goal of the DARPA / Lockheed Martin HAWC program is to develop and demonstrate critical technologies to enable an effective and affordable air-launched hypersonic cruise missile system.

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Hughes Announces Distribution Agreement with OneWeb Technologies

Turnkey managed LEO services available now to DoD for single- and multi-transport SATCOM implementations worldwide

Pictured, left to right: Rick Lober, Vice President & General Manager, Defense & Intelligence Systems, Hughes; Tim Kopra, President, OneWeb Technologies; Ian Canning, Chief Operating Officer, OneWeb Technologies; Steve Perreault, Chief Financial Officer, OneWeb Technologies; Jeff Lessner, Vice President, Hughes; Leslie Blaker-Glass, Vice President, Hughes
Pictured, left to right: Rick Lober, Vice President & General Manager, Defense & Intelligence Systems, Hughes; Tim Kopra, President, OneWeb Technologies; Ian Canning, Chief Operating Officer, OneWeb Technologies; Steve Perreault, Chief Financial Officer, OneWeb Technologies; Jeff Lessner, Vice President, Hughes; Leslie Blaker-Glass, Vice President, Hughes (Image Credit: Hughes Network Systems, LLC)

GERMANTOWN, Md. (Hughes Network Systems PR) — Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), an innovator in satellite and multi-transport technologies and networks for 50 years, today announced it signed a distribution agreement with OneWeb Technologies Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of OneWeb, to deliver managed Low Earth Orbit (LEO) services to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The agreement follows the launch of the industry’s first managed LEO satellite communications (SATCOM) network for the DoD, an implementation led by Hughes in the Arctic region for the U.S. Air Force Research Lab (AFRL).

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AFRL/AFOSR Conducts Successful Rocket Launch at NASA Wallops for Hypersonic Research

AFRL/AFOSR BOLT II Rocket launching from NASA/Wallops Flight Facility on March 21, 2022. (Credit: NASA/Wallops/Brian Bonsteel)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFRL PR) – The BOLT II “In memory of Mike Holden” flight experiment, managed by the Air Force Research Laboratory/Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFRL/AFOSR), launched on the evening of March 21 from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Dr. Michael Holden, who, up until his passing in 2019, had been a leader in the hypersonics field since the 1960s. The flight experiment successfully flew the planned flight path and acquired tremendous scientific data to further our understanding of boundary layer transition, turbulent heating, and drag at hypersonic conditions.

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AFRL’s Cislunar Highway Patrol System Seeks Industry Collaboration

Artist’s conception of the Cislunar Highway Patrol System. (Credit: U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory)

KIRTLAND AFB, New Mexico (AFRL PR) – The Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Space Vehicles Directorate is seeking partners to design and inform the capabilities of the Cislunar Highway Patrol System (CHPS) satellite, to provide space domain awareness beyond Geosynchronous orbit, in the region of the moon that is experiencing increasing activity.

A draft Request for Proposals was posted last week, on the NSTXL.org website, and companies who are part of the Space Enterprise Consortium (SpEC) are encouraged to submit ideas by the deadline of 11 a.m. MST on April 1, 2022.

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D-Orbit Announces April Launch of SPACELUST, its Fifth ION Satellite Carrier Mission

D-Orbit’s ION Satellite Carrier is a flexible in-orbit transportation system for CubeSats and microsatellites. (Credit: D-Orbit UK)

FINO MORNASCO, Italy, March 21 (D-Orbit PR) — D-Orbit, the space logistics and orbital transportation company, announced today the upcoming launch of SPACELUST, the fifth mission using the Company’s proprietary ION Satellite Carrier (ION), a flexible and cost-effective orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) spacecraft designed both to precisely deploy satellites and perform technology demonstrations of third-party payloads in orbit.

ION will lift off from the Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (CCSFS), Florida, aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter-4 mission. The launch is scheduled for April 2022.

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AFRL/AFOSR to Conduct Sound Rocket Launch at NASA Wallops for Hypersonics Research

Sounding rocket lifts off from Wallops Flight Facility. (Credit: NASA/Allison Stancil-Ervin)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFRL) – A launch of a two-stage suborbital sounding rocket for the Air Force Research Laboratory/Air Force Office of Scientific Research’s BOLT II flight experiment is set to take place the evening of March 21 at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Live coverage of the launch will be provided on NASA Wallops YouTube channel. Officials at NASA Wallops project the launch to be visible anywhere from 10 to 120 seconds from parts of seven states: Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia as well as Washington, D.C.

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PredaSAR, a Terran Orbital Corporation, Selected for NRO Geospatial Intelligence Contract

BOCA RATON, Fla. (PredaSAR PR) — PredaSAR, a Terran Orbital Corporation, has been selected for contract award under the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) Systems Acquisition Directorate’s Closed Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for Strategic Collection Enhancements (SCE) in the Commercial Radar focus area.

PredaSAR is fielding one of the most technologically advanced commercial Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) systems available in the satellite imaging industry. The PredaSAR constellation will offer robust capabilities to commercial and national security customers, including a flexible and responsive remote sensing platform, low latency, frequent revisit times, and the ability to host secondary payloads.

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SpaceX Receives $102 Million Contract for Military Rocket Cargo Delivery

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has awarded SpaceX a $102 million contract to provide more concrete data on how the company’s reusable Super Heavy/Starship vehicles could be used to rapidly deliver cargo to remote locations on Earth. C4ISRNET reports:

The U.S. Air Force in its fiscal 2022 budget request designated the program one of AFRL’s Vanguard efforts, boosting its profile as a potentially transformational technology. [Program manager Greg] Spanjers told C4ISRNET in an email this week the program represents “a big-bet [science and technology] investment,” noting its designation as a Vanguard effort is a recognition it could offer a “game-changing capability.”

To date, AFRL has awarded several Rocket Cargo contracts for analytics, landing material research, wind tunnel sensors and command-and-control systems development, but this week’s award to SpaceX is the first deal with a launch vehicle provider. According to Spanjers, the lab is engaged with other launch providers and will consider awarding additional contracts later in the program.

Spanjers said the SpaceX work is focused in four areas: collecting data from commercial orbital launches and landings; exploring cargo bay designs compatible with U.S. Transportation Command containers and support rapid loading and unloading; researching landing systems that can operate on a variety of terrain; and demonstrating the heavy cargo launch and landing process.

AFRL Leader Tapped for Space Force Key Acquisition Position

Col. Eric Felt

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFRL PE) — The Air Force Research Laboratory recently announced the assignment of its Space Vehicles Directorate director, Col. Eric J. Felt, to a position with the U.S. Space Force as Deputy Executive Director for the Space Architecture, Science and Technology Directorate at the Pentagon, with an effective date in July.

Felt has led the AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate, located at Kirtland AFB, since July 2018, and serves in a dual-hatted role as commander of the Phillips Research Site, which encompasses military command authority for AFRL’s Space Vehicles and Directed Energy Directorates.

As director, Felt leads a team of more than 1,080 military, civilian and on-site contractors who comprise the nation’s center of excellence for military space science and technology. The directorate focuses on enduring Space Force space missions: communications; position navigation and timing; missile warning; space domain awareness; and space control.

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HawkEye 360 Awarded $15.5 Million Contract with Air Force Research Laboratory

Leading radio frequency data and analytics company partners with AFRL’s Space Vehicles Directorate to support integration of commercial space ISR into the warfighting architecture

HERNDON, Va. January 11, 2021 (HawkEye 360 PR) — HawkEye 360 Inc., the world’s leading commercial provider of space-based radio frequency (RF) data and analytics, today announced it has been awarded a three year, $15.5 million Experimental Purpose Agreement (EPA) contract with the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Space Vehicles Directorate. Through the agreement, HawkEye 360 will provide radio frequency analytics research, development, and experiments to help the government demonstrate, test and evaluate its hybrid space ISR architecture.

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NM Economic Development Director to Focus on Developing State’s Emerging Aerospace Cluster

Alex Greenberg (Credit: New Mexico EDD)

EDD’s Alex Greenberg Will Focus on Developing Capabilities at Spaceport America, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and other facilities

SANTE FE, N.M. (NM EDD PR) – Alex Greenberg, a University of New Mexico graduate with a specialty in technology management, has been named Director of the Office of Science and Technology at the Economic Development Department (EDD), Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes announced today.

Greenberg had been serving as EDD’s financial program specialist. Previously he held positions as a Clinical Project Manager in the healthcare industry, and with a biomedical startup company. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of New Mexico and a Master of Business Administration from UNM’s Anderson School of Management.

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AFRL Detects Moon Around Asteroid with Smallest Telescope Yet

By Dr. Jack Drummond
Air Force Research Laboratory

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. — On November 29, 2021, an Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Starfire Optical Range (SOR)* telescope on Kirtland Air Force Base near Albuquerque, New Mexico, recorded an image of asteroid (22) Kalliope, and its natural satellite Linus. A confirming image was taken four nights later. What is unique about these observations is the small size of the telescope used, only 1.5 meters in diameter. 

Normally the purview of large 8 to10-m diameter telescopes on mountain tops in Hawaii or Chile, asteroids are faint to begin with — and their satellites even fainter – orbiting very close to their parent. Detecting them requires large telescopes, since faintness limits are proportional to telescope mirror area and resolution is proportional to telescope diameter. In all cases, adaptive optics (AO) is required to defeat the turbulence of the atmosphere by making the point sources (stars) much smaller and brighter.

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AFRL, Northrop Grumman Demonstrate Solar to Radio Frequency Conversion for Space Solar Power Project

Project Managers James Winter (Air Force Research Laboratory) and Tara Theret (Northrop Grumman) hold models of the photovoltaic and the radio frequency sides of the sandwich tile, while at the Linthicum, Maryland facility, to witness the conversion and beaming experiment. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFRL PR) – The Air Force Research Laboratory’s and Northrop Grumman’s Space Solar Power Incremental Demonstrations and Research (SSPIDR) Project have successfully conducted the first end-to-end demonstration of key hardware for the Arachne flight experiment.

A ground demonstration of novel components for the “sandwich tile” were used to successfully convert solar energy to radio frequency (RF) – a fundamental step required to pave the way for a large-scale solar power collection system in space.

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AFRL Collaborates with Magdalena Ridge Observatory to Further Space Exploration

The proposed Magdalena Ridge Observatory Interferometer site, which will ultimately be composed of ten 1.4-meter telescopes. The site is managed by the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology located in Socorro, New Mexico. (Credit: NMT)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFRL) – New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NMT) astronomers are one-step closer to having their own high-powered window to space and the universe, after receiving congressional funding for the Magdalena Ridge Observatory Interferometer (MROI).

The university will receive $6.2 million in congressional funds to complete the first phase of the anticipated $30 million five-year project to build three telescopes and two scientific instruments of the MROI in Socorro, New Mexico.

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AFRL Selects 10 Universities for Prestigious Satellite Program

Graphic representation of Arachne, the first solar power beaming experiment for the Space Solar Power Incremental Demonstrations & Research Project. (Credit: AFRL)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFRL PR) – The Air Force Research Laboratory’s University Nanosatellite Program (UNP) has selected 10 universities to participate in the upcoming 2-year partnership to design, fabricate and test small satellites.

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