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 Announces Winners of Space University Research Initiative Funding Opportunity

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO (AFRL PR) – The Air Force Research Laboratoryvia its basic research office, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, announced December 17, the winners of the newly established Space University Research Initiative (SURI) program – a first step in improving the transition of critical concepts from academia into revolutionary new military technologies for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force (USSF).

“Our way of warfare depends on space superiority and AFRL has a long history of research and development in support of this domain. With the recent standup of the USSF, along with the emergence of U.S. Space Command and new energy in the commercial space sector, we have exciting opportunities to modernize the way we lead and manage S&T,” wrote AFRL Commander, Maj. Gen. Heather Pringle in her 2021 Commander’s Intent.

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AFRL Celebrates Launch of Smallsat Ascent to GEO Space

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket launches on the Department of Defense’s Space Test Program 3 (STP-3) mission from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. The mission’s Space Test Program Satellite-6 (STPSat-6) spacecraft hosts NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) and the NASA-U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Ultraviolet Spectro-Coronagraph (UVSC) Pathfinder. (Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFRL PR) — The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Vehicles Directorate small satellite named Ascent was launched Dec. 7 from Cape Canaveral, Florida as part of the U.S. Space Force’s Space Test Program-3 mission, aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket.

Ascent is a 12-unit Cubesat conceived and developed within the directorate’s Small Satellite Portfolio at Kirtland AFB, and in partnership with the Space Security and Defense Program.

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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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SCOUT Awarded AFWERX SBIR to Revolutionize Space Domain Awareness

Artistic rendering of OVER-Sat observing congestion in orbit. (Credit: SCOUT Inc.)

ALEXANDRIA, Va., November 16, 2021 (SCOUT Inc. PR) — The US Government’s formation of the US Space Force definitively established its commitment to space domain awareness (SDA), but only recently has it cast its focus to commercial innovative SDA. SCOUT Inc. is proud to announce that the Air Force Research Lab, via AFWERX, made a tangible commitment to revolutionary SDA capabilities with a Phase I SBIR contract awarded this month. SCOUT will work under contract to improve detection, tracking, and identification of resident space objects by fusing ground- and space-based sensor data.

SCOUT is supported in this effort by Kayhan Space, another startup focused on space situational awareness and collision avoidance technologies. Eric Ingram, the CEO, and co-founder of SCOUT, spoke of the partnership between SCOUT and Kayhan: “Kayhan Space is a provider of actionable orbital traffic management solutions, and will help us deliver better SDA data even faster.” 

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AFRL Selects Deputy Technology Engagement Officer for Space Science and Technology

Dr. Andy Williams, center, Air Force Research Laboratory Deputy Technology Executive Officer for Space Science & Technology, explains the engineering of the Roll-Out-Solar Array, or ROSA, to U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich during a past visit to AFRL’s Space Vehicles Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. (Credit: AFRL)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO (AFRL PR) – The Air Force Research Laboratory has selected Dr. Andrew Williams for the Deputy Technology Engagement Officer for Space Science and Technology (D-TEO), overseeing the lab’s responsibility to carry out the U.S. Space Force mission.

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AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate Holds First-ever Space Cyber Summit

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFRL PR) – The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Vehicles Directorate held an inaugural Space Cyber Summit October 13–14. More than 140 space professionals participated in the in-person and virtual event held at Kirtland AFB.

The gathering included space experts from across AFRL, the U.S. Space Force, several federally funded research and development centers, NASA, and many other organizations. 

Col. Eric Felt, director of AFRL’s Space Vehicles Directorate, initiated the first-ever event, prompted by anticipated R&D technology challenges:

  • A future space domain where space systems will become increasingly software-defined, autonomous, and connected
  • Possible methods to improve cyber resilience of legacy space systems
  • The continuing trend of the commercialization of space
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Six Companies Selected for First-of-Its-Kind Soft Landing Space Tech Cohort

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (Q Station PR) – Q Station, a collaborative workspace supported by the Air Force Research Laboratory and U.S. Space Force has chosen six companies for its inaugural Soft Landing Space Tech Cohort. The year-long program will give companies an opportunity to work in the growing New Mexico space ecosystem and to learn more about the U.S.’ space technology needs and how they may be able to work with the federal government to meet those needs. 

The inaugural Soft Landing Space Tech Cohort companies and their headquarters are:

  • Blue Eye Soft – South Carolina — creates AI models that predict satellite anomalies due to space weather events.
  • Equatorial Space Systems – Singapore — developing proprietary hybrid propulsion technology.
  • Leaf Space – Italy — provides ground segment systems for microsats.
  • Neutron Star Systems- Germany — produces electric propulsion system for spacecraft.
  • Rogue Space Systems – New Hampshire — designs satellite vehicles and subsystems to provide on-orbit services to satellite operators.
  • SPiN Tech – Germany — produces a universal adapter to transform incompatible off-the-shelf components to plug-and-play for satellites. 
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AFRL, Industry Launch Revolutionary Spacecraft Technology

Shown is the Advanced Structurally Embedded Thermal Spreader (ASETS)-II supporting the oscillating heat programs developed at the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. In an effort to deploy the next generation of spacecraft thermal control technology, AFRL has partnered with ThermAvant Technologies and Maxar Technologies to develop Oscillating Heat Pipes (OHPs) that provide lightweight and highly-efficient temperature control on higher-power, yet smaller spacecraft. (Credit: AAir Force Research Laboratory)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFNS) —  The Air Force Research Laboratory has partnered with ThermAvant Technologies and Maxar Technologies to develop and deploy the next generation of spacecraft thermal control technology.

The groundbreaking technology, Oscillating Heat Pipes (OHPs), provides lightweight and highly-efficient temperature control on higher-power, yet smaller spacecraft. The OHP was recently launched in the second quarter of 2021 on a Maxar-built satellite.

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Rogue Space Moves Forward with Seed Round Offering and Closes Pre-Seed Round to Provide Orbital Services

Laura spacecraft (Credit: Rogue Space)

Rogue Space Systems is developing a smart spacecraft program to offer transport, and in-space services to the growing space market today announced it has closed its initial round of investment to support the development of their spacecraft programs

LACONIA, NH, October 20, 2021 (Rogue Space PR) — Rogue Space Systems Corporation, a U.S. company that is developing a smart spacecraft program and is planning to offer transport, and in-space services to the growing space market today announced it has closed its initial round of investment to support the development of their spacecraft programs. Rogue’s first generation of orbital servicing vehicles, (Orbots™) Laura, Charlie, Fred, and Bob are equipped with highly sophisticated sensors, cameras, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI) software.

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Embedded Ventures Announces ‘First of its Kind’ Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with United States Space Force

MALIBU, Calif., Oct. 13, 2021 (Embedded Ventures PR) — Embedded Ventures, a new venture capital firm investing in dual-use space startups beyond launch, today announced an unprecedented multi-year agreement with United States Space Force (USSF)’s SpaceWERX office. SpaceWERX is expanding the space industrial base by forming collaborative research agreements between the military’s operational experts and the top innovators in industry and academia, leveraging commercial investment, and rapidly pursuing new space technologies, while setting ambitious goals since its creation.

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