General Dynamics Mission Systems and Iridium Awarded $324 Million Ground Control and Operations Contract by the Space Development Agency

Iridium Ground Station (Image Credit: Ivar Stakvik)

FAIRFAX, Va. and MCLEAN, Va. (iridium Communications Inc. PR) — General Dynamics Mission Systems (NYSE: GD), and Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) announced today that they have been awarded a contract by the Space Development Agency in the amount of $324,516,613, including a base amount of $162,954,122 and  $161,562,491 in options, to establish the ground Operations and Integration (O&I) segment for Tranche 1 of the National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA). Together, General Dynamics Mission Systems and Iridium will build ground entry points and operations centers for the NDSA as well as provide network operations and systems integration services for the SDA’s next tranche of proliferated low-earth orbit satellites. 

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Space Development Agency Makes Awards for 126 Satellites to Build Tranche 1 Transport Layer

Tranche 1 Transport Layer mesh satellite communications network. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

With Industry Onboard, National Defense Space Architecture Ready to Take Shape

WASHINGTON (SDA PR) — The Space Development Agency (SDA) today announced the awards of three prototype agreements worth approximately $1.8 billion to establish the foundation for Tranche 1 Transport Layer (T1TL), a mesh network of 126 optically-interconnected space vehicles (SV) that will provide a resilient, low-latency, high-volume data transport communication system, and be ready for launch starting in September 2024. 

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Capella Space To Become First Commercial SAR Company to Demonstrate Compatibility with the U.S. Space Development Agency’s National Defense Space Architecture

Capella satellites will use laser communications from Mynaric to  rapidly send and receive data

SAN FRANCISCO, November 9, 2021 (Capella Space PR) — Capella Space today announced the company will become the first commercial synthetic aperture radar (SAR) supplier to demonstrate Optical Inter-Satellite Link (OISL) compatibility with the U.S. Space Development Agency (SDA)’s new NDSA. SAR data is a highly valuable asset for the SDA and the U.S. Department of Defense. The next generation of Capella’s persistent SAR monitoring capabilities will leverage new technology that enables high delivery speeds and direct access to its 24/7 all-weather data for U.S. Government customers.

Capella Space will install optical communications terminals (OCTs) on its commercial SAR satellites, starting in late 2022. This will enable the company to utilize highly efficient laser communications technology to send and receive data to and from its satellites in low Earth orbit, relaying data to compatibly equipped government satellites and military operations on the ground. The integration of OCTs onto Capella’s SAR constellation will drastically reduce latency from image collect to download and ensure spaceborne data is quickly available to inform critical decision-making for terrestrial missions.

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