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02 Apr 20. L3Harris Nabs Estimated $1.7bn In Space Force Contracts. The contracts support Space Force’s Space Surveillance Network (SSN) and the new Protected Tactical SATCOM effort. L3Harris is on a roll with new Space Force contract announcements this week touting two separate awards worth up to $1.7bn over the next 10 years.
Yesterday, the company announced a 10-year deal, worth as much as $1.2 billion, to modernize and sustain the ground-based telescope network, known as GEODSS (Ground-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance), that are key nodes in the military’s Space Surveillance Network for tracking satellites. This year’s tranche is worth $23 million, the company said.
GEODSS, operated by the 21st Space Wing, consists of three locations — White Sands Missile Base in New Mexico, Maui in Hawaii, and Diego Garcia — each with three 1-meter telescopes.
L3Harris has been supporting the GEODSS system for 17 years, under a contract initially awarded to Harris prior to its merger with L3 in 2002. As first reported by colleague Sandra Erwin, the new contract expands the work to support space domain awareness at the military’s space surveillance and command and control centers in Colorado, California and Virginia.
Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) also announced March 27 that L3Harris was one of two companies to receive a $500 million award for development and production of Protected Tactical Waveform (PTW)-capable modems better able to resist jamming. The other winner was Raytheon.
The new anti-jam modems are part of the Air Force and Army Anti-Jam Modem (A3M) program, SMC explained. Designed as a tactical alternative to the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite network, the PTS program is budgeted in the 2021 DoD request to Congress at a whopping $2.4bn through 2025.
Now being developed by the Space Force, PTS was launched by the Air Force in 2018 as part of the larger Protected Anti-Jam Satellite Communications (PATS) family of systems, a follow-on effort to the AEHF for classified-level communications. Under the concept, AEHF would be reserved for strategic communications, such as nuclear command and control; whereas PTS is aimed directly at operators in the field. The Army in particular has long complained that current milsatcom networks simply to do not provide enough bandwidth for soldiers, to the point of considering buying its own satellites as Sydney and I reported back in August. (Source: glstrade.com/Breaking Defense.com)
03 Apr 20. Lift-off for Western Sydney Uni ISS research project. Western Sydney University, in partnership with the US Air Force Academy, is deploying ground-breaking camera technology to the International Space Station for a research and development project investigating recently discovered atmospheric phenomena.
The International Centre for Neuromorphic Systems at Western Sydney University has developed a world-first space imaging technology to be installed on the International Space Station to capture transient luminous events (TLEs).
Associate professor Gregory Cohen, lead researcher at the International Centre for Neuromorphic Systems, said these phenomena impact the Earth’s atmosphere and have potential to disrupt critical global communications systems and high-altitude aircraft but our knowledge of their behaviour is currently limited and neuromorphic cameras offer an exciting new possibility.
“Drawing inspiration from biology, our cameras operate more like a human eye than a conventional camera, are extremely fast and data-efficient, making them perfect for use in space. TLEs happen above large thunderstorms and appear like lightning that travels upward from the clouds into the atmosphere, instead of the usual lightning that travels down toward the ground,” Cohen explained.
“These cameras have never been used in this way before, the technology is a really significant innovation, developed in Western Sydney, that we’ll be looking to take forward with the Australian space industry.”
NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres says Western Sydney University’s partnership with the United States Air Force Academy is a huge vote of confidence for the region.
“Western Sydney University’s world-leading application of neuromorphic engineering has put Western Sydney on the global map. It is an exemplar for research and development that is innovative, collaborative and solutions-orientated. These kinds of projects are integral for super-charging Western Sydney as a high-skill jobs hub across aerospace and defence,” said Mr Ayres.
Professor Deborah Sweeney, deputy vice-chancellor research, enterprise and international, described the project as an exciting example of the applied R&D partnerships being driven at Western Sydney University.
“The project with the International Space Station is just one of many applications of neuromorphic systems – the university is working with government, big-tech partners and local businesses to use this platform to solve real-world challenges and create new industry,” said Professor Sweeney.
The hardware is currently being assembled and tested in parallel at the International Centre for Neuromorphic Systems at Western Sydney University’s Werrington campus, and at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The technology is expected to be launched in early 2021. The data collected will be beamed from the ISS to Western Sydney University for research and analysis. (Source: Space Connect)
02 Apr 20. Will the UK get a space command? Following a pledge in the Conservative Party’s manifesto and the appointment of a new role Director Space in the Ministry of Defence, what exactly are the UK’s plans for the emerging space domain? Harry Lye explores the plans for a UK space command. During the UK’s general elections last year, the Conservative Party manifesto made a promise: if re-elected, a Conservative government would “adapt to new threats, investing more in cybersecurity and setting up the UK’s first space command”.
Now the UK Government is advancing on its plans for space with the appointment of Director Space in the Ministry of Defence (MOD). But what exactly is the plan for this potential new branch in the British Armed Forces?
The UK’s ambitions align with those of other Western countries, including the US, which recently established its own Space Command, combatant command, and new branch of the military in the form of a dedicated Space Force. Space has been widely recognised as a warfighting domain around the world by now – as has the need to assert dominance above the atmosphere.
Early days for a UK space command
The UK’s plans for a space command are still in early stages, with a cross-government approach currently underway to decide the best way forward. We understand that the MOD is looking to build up the outline for the command as National Space Council meetings are due to get underway and help to shape the core plans for the command.
On top of this, plans for a space command will likely come under scrutiny during the UK’s upcoming Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), which is expected to be completed by autumn. Major decisions on how the MOD decides to shape a future space command are unlikely to be made until then.
At the moment, the focus of the government is on establishing a number of entities to support the decision-making process. This includes establishing a new National Space Council and space strategy to guide operations. As a cabinet-level organisation, the National Space Council will decide how the UK goes forward in space and where its priorities lie.
The role of the Director Space
The new Director Space within the MOD, Air Vice Marshall Harvey Smyth, is set to guide the MOD’s space policy and develop a coherent strategy for the domain for the ministry to follow. This role is set to encompass all parts of UK defence in order to better connect activity and resources directed at space from across land, air and sea. A focus of the role, according to the MOD, will be to help build a space industrial base in the UK to support the government’s ambitions.
Smyth, although not technically a Space Commander, assumes the role of the UK’s first ‘Space Commander’ in his new capacity of Director Space, after previously heading up fast jet and ISTAR operations of the Royal Air Force (RAF).
As was the case in the US before the creation of the dedicated Space Force, the UK’s space operations will, for now, continue to sit under the RAF.
Wider plans for space
The UK has made no secret of its ambitions to step up its activities in space both in a defence and civil context. Last year, then-Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt offered a glimpse of the UK’s plans at the RAF Air and Space Power conference.
Delivering a keynote speech at the event, Mordaunt outlined investment in a small satellite demonstrator project known as Team Artemis, and the secondment of an RAF pilot to Virgin Orbital’s space programme – perhaps an early indicator of closer defence and private sector collaboration in the domain.
At the time, Mordaunt announced that the UK’s Strategic Command – officially formed late last year – would assume most of the control of space operations as the dedicated body for pan-domain coordination in the UK. However, the new space command, once established, will likely take more control of the day-to-day operations in the space domain.
Millions have been pumped into the UK’s space activities since the start of 2019. The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has acquired its first ground station early in the year, the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) has allocated funds to the development of innovative space systems, and the UK is cooperating closely with the US on a number of other projects.
These joint UK-US endeavours include Operation Olympic Defender designed to strengthen deterrence against hostile activity in space. Under this project the UK last year seconded a number of personnel to the US Combined Space Operations Centre.
The UK is also collaborating with the US on the small satellite programme known as Team Artemis, which aims to develop low orbit satellites to deliver enhanced situational awareness to fighter pilots. The plan is for the small satellites to be able to stream live high-definition pictures directly into the cockpits of fighter jets.
While the exact scope of the UK’s future space command remains to be seen, it is clear that the MOD’s efforts to secure a leading position in the global space race are already in full swing. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
31 Mar 20. New Case Study from Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions Touts Everspin’s Toggle MRAM as a Highly Reliable Memory Technology for Space Applications. Leveraging six years of space-qualified production MRAM, Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions validates qualification and reliability of Everspin’s Toggle MRAM technology.
Everspin Technologies, Inc.‘s (NASDAQ: MRAM) partner Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions (CAES) recently presented a technical case study describing the versatility and performance of their jointly developed Toggle MRAM for space applications. Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions is a worldwide leader in the space memory market and ships production-grade, space-qualified Magnetoresistive Random Access Memory (MRAM) based on Everspin’s world-class technology to provide the space industry with radiation-hardened, highly reliable non-volatile memory that is immune to Single Event Upsets (SEU), low voltage Single Event Latchup (SEL), and Single Event Gate Rupture (SEGR). The products also provide unlimited endurance and a greater than 20-year retention across the -40° C to +105° C temperature range.
“Everspin’s MRAM technology has proven itself in the market with a production track record of high performance and endurance, providing superior non-volatile data retention to handle a variety of space mission-critical memory workloads,” said David Meyouhas, Director of Standard Product Marketing, Space and Semiconductor Solutions, Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions. “We are delighted by our long-term partnership with Everspin that enables us to supply space-qualified Toggle MRAM solutions to the space industry, thereby addressing their needs for high performance, radiation-hardened, persistent memory that can operate in harsh environments. Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions’ 16Mb and 64Mb Multi-Chip Module MRAM devices currently boast more than 144 space application design-ins, proven flight heritage, and coverage at over 70 customers.”
The Cobham case study delves into Toggle MRAM strengths, including the following:
- Radiation Hardness (RadHard) of greater than 1Mrad (Si) TID
- Endurance cycles of greater than >20 years (i.e. unlimited)
- Data Retention rates of over 20 years , which is beyond mission lifetimes
- High speed read/write of 45ns
- QML-Q; and QML-Q+ Quality and Reliability
To read the full case study, click here.
“We are pleased to be working with Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions to deliver persistent memory solutions to the space industry,” said Troy Winslow, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Everspin. “Our Toggle MRAM technology delivers unprecedented quality and reliability for a non-volatile memory, making it a key building block component for mission-critical applications.”
Everspin offers a complete portfolio of Toggle MRAM devices, spanning 128Kb to 32Mb in serial and parallel interfaces and several popular packaging options. These products deliver fast read and write access speeds, robust 20-year data retention, and provide unlimited cycle endurance for reads and writes across a variety of temperatures, ranging from -40° C to +125° C. They are available in both BGA and TSOP standard package types for maximum design and system flexibility. Everspin also offers 256Mb and 1Gb Spin-transfer Torque (STT) MRAM devices, see website for more details. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
31 Mar 20. USAF will transfer 23 missions, 1,840 billets to Space Force. Twenty-three Air Force organizations and 1,840 billets with space-related missions are slated to transfer to the Space Force within the next three to six months, service officials announced Tuesday.
The Space Force is currently made up of units that previously fell under Air Force Space Command before the new service was officially established in December.
Transferring services doesn’t involve any physical movement for either units or their billets, officials said in a media release. Unit missions will simply transfer to the Space Force while remaining in their same geographic locations.
Although 1,840 billets will transfer to the Space Force from the 23 units, people assigned to the units will not change services. Airmen will remain in the Air Force, although assigned to a unit in the Space Force, for the time being. As the transfer goes forward, some airmen will be given the chance to volunteer to transfer to the Space Force.
If airmen choose not to transfer, they’ll remain in the Air Force while assigned to the newly minted Space Force unit until their rotation there is completed. All civilian employees will remain under the Department of the Air Force.
The following locations were identified for a transfer action:
- 17th Test Squadron, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado
- 18th Intel Squadron, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
- 25th Space Range Squadron, Schriever AFB, Colorado
- 328th Weapons Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nevada
- 527th Space Aggressor Squadron, Schriever AFB, Colorado
- 705th Combat Training Squadron OL-A, Schriever AFB, Colorado
- 7th Intel Squadron, Ft. Meade, Maryland, (Partial mission transfer)
- 16th AF/Advanced Programs, Schriever AFB, Colorado, (Partial mission transfer)
- 32nd Intel Squadron, Ft. Meade, Maryland, (Partial mission transfer)
- 566th Intel Squadron, Buckley AFB, Colorado, (Partial mission transfer)
- 544th ISR Group Staff & Detachment 5, Peterson AFB, Colorado
- Detachment 1, USAF Warfare Center, Schriever AFB, Colorado
- 533rd Training Squadron, Vandenberg AFB, California
- National Security Space Institute, Peterson AFB, Colorado
- AFRL Research Lab Mission Execution, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, (Partial mission transfer)
- AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, (Partial mission transfer)
- AFRL Rocket Propulsion Division, Edwards AFB, California, (Partial mission transfer)
- AFRL Electro-Optical Division, Maui, Hawaii & Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, (Partial mission transfer)
- AFRL Sensors Directorate, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, (Partial mission transfer)
- Counter-Space Analysis Squadron, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
- Space Analysis Squadron, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
- Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center Detachment 4, Peterson AFB, Colorado
- Air Force Safety Center – Space Safety Division, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico
“Building the U.S. Space Force represents a top priority for the Department of the Air Force,” said Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett in a prepared statement. “These mission transfers incorporate existing forces into the agile Space Force, which stands ready to defend American and allied interests.”
30 Mar 20. New Space Fence radar is officially online. The Space Force announced on March 27 operational capability of its new radar technology that can track objects smaller than 10 centimeters in space.
The system, called Space Fence, uses solid-state S-band technology to detect and track orbiting objects in space. For example, it can track commercial and military satellites, empty rocket boosters, and space debris in low, medium and geosynchronous orbit, according to a Space Force news release.
“Space Fence is revolutionizing the way we view space by providing timely, precise orbital data on objects that threaten both manned and unmanned military and commercial space assets,” said Gen. Jay Raymond, chief of space operations for the U.S. Space Force and commander of U.S. Space Command. “Our space capabilities are critical to our national defense and way of life, which is why Space Fence is so important to enhance our ability to identify, characterize and track threats to those systems.”
The announcement of initial operational capability follows a December test period. A January report from the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester predicted Space Fence would likely be online at the end of February.
Before Space Fence, the Defense Department relied on the Space Surveillance Network to track more than 26,000 objects in space. That number is expected to increase “significantly” over time, the Space Force release said, because of the system’s ability to track smaller objects.
In a March 2019 test, the system successfully tracked orbital debris from an Indian anti-satellite test and determined their next crossing times.
“Space Fence provides precise positional data for Space Domain Awareness to maintain a robust and accurate space object catalog, ensure orbital safety, and provide early warning for conjunction events and indications of potential threats,” the release said.
The Space Fence contract, worth $914m, was awarded to Lockheed Martin in June 2014.
As C4ISRNET previously reported, Space Fence has its limitations, in part because it is just one radar based in a single location — the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands — making it impossible for it to continuously track smaller objects.
Space Fence, operated by the 20th Space Control Squadron in Huntsville, Alabama, will feed data to the Space Surveillance Network so the 18th Space Control Squadron in California can maintain the space-object catalog and screen operational satellites, according to the release.
“Space is now recognized as a congested and contested domain,” said Lt. Col. David Tipton, 20th SPCS commander, “and Space Fence is the next evolution in our efforts to maintain space superiority.” (Source: Defense News)
30 Mar 20. America’s adversaries keep investing in weapons to take out satellites. America’s four greatest adversaries are investing in systems that can take out satellites on orbit, including funding laser systems, nuclear power and satellites that shadow American space vehicles.
Russia, China, Iran and North Korea are each researching counterspace capabilities — kinetic or nonkinetic ways to taking out systems in space — according to the annual Global Counterspace Capabilities report, released by the Secure World Foundation.
Defense News was given an exclusive preview of the report, which will available later today and was edited by Brian Weeden and Victoria Samson.
For the first time, the report includes data on the space situational awareness (SSA) capabilities of countries — that is, the ability of nations to track what is moving in various orbits. Japan and India are two nations investing heavily in that area, according to the report, while Iran appears to lag behind.
“This is important because you can’t protect [against] what you can’t see,” said Samson, the organization’s Washington office director. “This doesn’t mean that developing an SSA capability is an indication of an offensive counterspace program, as there are many reasons why you would want that capability. But it is needed if you want to go offensive.”
She also highlighted the fact that in the last year, four of the countries with counterspace investments — India, Japan, France and the U.S. — have launched new military organizations specifically to deal with space-related issues, including a focus, at least in part, on counterspace efforts. In addition, the NATO alliance declared space an “operational domain” in December.
The vast majority of counterspace capabilities continue to reside with Russia, China and the United States, but other nations are funding programs as well. France, India, Japan, Iran and North Korea are all known to be at least investing some money in counterspace efforts, whether through ballistic missile programs or non-kinetic means such as cyberattacks.
The most prominent counterspace example of the last year came from India, which in March controversially launched a missile at one of its satellites, blowing it up and spewing shrapnel around low-earth orbit.
So is a counterspace arms race underway? The authors say no, at least in the context of the nuclear arms race where each country is trying to match the other capability for capability.
Instead, “this is about developing a range of offensive and defensive capabilities to go after an opponent’s space assets while protecting your own,” said Weeden, the organization’s director of program planning. “And I think that’s unfortunately inevitable because more and more countries are using space for military purposes. That drives increased interest in how to counter those uses.”
Added Samson, “it now seems that if you want to be considered a major space power, it’s not enough to have your own satellites, or the ability to launch them, or even the ability to launch other country’s satellites. You want your own counterspace capability.”
The big three
When Pentagon and White House officials talked about the need for a Space Force last year, leaders emphasized a growing threat in space.
“For all their posturing about who’s ‘weaponizing’ space, the big three are all working on a lot of the same technologies and doing a lot of the same things,” particularly rendezvous and proximity operations (RPO) where satellites can maneuver near another nation’s system, said Weeden.
The big three in this case are China, Russian and the United States.
China has run multiple maneuvers with its space-based systems that may be RPO-related, but it’s hard to know whether those capabilities are being developed for counterspace use as opposed to intelligence gathering, the report said.
When it comes to Chinese capabilities, Weeden said to focus on the ground-based anti-satellite weaponry — perhaps not a surprise, given China declared itself a player in counterspace technology by destroying one of its own satellites in 2007.
Beijing is investing in at least one, and perhaps as many as three, kinetic anti-satellite capabilities, “either as dedicated counterspace systems or as mid-course missile defense systems that could provide counterspace capabilities,” according to the report.
“It was robustly tested and appears to be operationally deployed,” Weeden said of those capabilities. “As long as the U.S. still relies on small numbers of very expensive satellites in LEO, I think it will prove to be a significant deterrent.”
While China often becomes the focus of public comments from Defense officials, Weeden said to keep an eye on Moscow, as he was “a bit shocked by the breadth of Russian counterspace programs. For all the concern and hype in the U.S. about China, Russia seems to be putting the most into counterspace.”
Those efforts include the Nudol, a ground-launched ballistic missile designed to be capable of intercepting targets in low-earth orbit; three different programs focused on RPO capabilities; the rebirth of an 1980s era program involving a large laser, to either dazzle or damage a satellite, carried about an IL-76MD-90A transport aircraft; a newly-discovered program called Ekipazh, which involves a nuclear reactor to power a large payload of on-orbit jammers; and what Weeden describes as a “massive” upgrade to SSA capabilities.
“All of that spells a very potent, more operationally-integrated, and more battle-tested package than what I’m seeing in China,” he warned. He added that he believes the public focus on China to be “part of the broader narrative the Trump administration is trying to push with China being the long-term threat they want to focus on. It also helps sell the narrative they’re trying to push on human spaceflight and exploration as well.”
As for the United States, the military has focused more on SSA and defensive counterspace capabilities, a trend Weeden says is due to America being the most reliant on space of the three countries, and hence must “protect its capabilities if it hopes to win a future conflict against Russia or China.” America’s SSA capabilities, in particular, remain well ahead of the rest of the world.
Which isn’t to say the U.S. is skipping out on counterspace investments either. America has a number of options for electronic warfare in space, including proven capabilities to jam enemy receivers within an area of operations; assets with RPO capabilities; and operational midcourse missile defense interceptors that have been demonstrated against low orbit satellites. In addition, there are plans to invest in prototyping directed energy capabilities for space.
One capability to keep an eye on is the X-37B, a spaceplane program that has made five trips into orbit and back to earth. In total, the spacecrafts have spent 2,865 days on orbit cumulatively over its five missions, with its last trip consisting of 780 days in space — more than two years.
The Air Force has been secretive about X-37B missions, often talking broadly about it conducting experiments in space; analysts have long believed that the mission set has at least something to do with counterspace capabilities. That belief was only strengthened by what happened during its last trip during which researchers believe it was used to launch a trio of small cubesats which were not registered in international tracking databases.
“The secret deployment of multiple small satellites raises additional questions about the mission of the X-37B. It suggests that the X-37B may have a mission to serve as a covert satellite deployment platform. The secrecy surrounding both the X-37B and the deployment may indicate they are part of a covert intelligence program, but it may also indicate the testing of offensive technologies or capabilities,” the authors wrote in the report. “The failure to even catalog the deployed satellites, something that is done even for classified U.S. military and intelligence satellites, calls into question the trustworthiness of the public SSA data provided by the U.S. military.”
And that creates potential diplomatic issues, at a time that the need for open discussions about space capabilities across nations should be growing, warned Samson.
“The Russians and Chinese have always pointed at the secrecy surrounding the X-37B program as evidence of malevolent intentions by the United States,” she said. “The fact that the U.S. released objects from the X-37B and didn’t register them feeds absolutely into that narrative and causes ripple effects that harm other multilateral discussions on space security and stability.” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
27 Mar 20. Hallmark Transitions Key Strategies for Space Situational Awareness, Management. DARPA prepares to close out program as discussions continue with multiple national security organizations to incorporate tools for commanders to manage critical space assets. The space domain is critical to national security. It also has become increasingly chaotic and crowded over the past decade as the burgeoning space industry launches constellations of satellites. To conduct their missions, military commanders need timely and accurate information from space assets, as well as robust and reliable communications. Since its inception in 2015, DARPA’s Hallmark program has successfully developed tools providing increased space situational awareness and strategies for asset management and protection, similar to the approach the Air Force has been perfecting for the air domain over the past 100 years. As Hallmark concludes at DARPA, discussions are ongoing with multiple Department of Defense and other national security organizations, as well as commercial entities, to incorporate elements of the program into future efforts.
“The Hallmark program is ending in 2020, but the technologies and processes we developed for command and control in a contested environment will continue to yield positive results for the operational community,” said Fotis Barlos, DARPA program manager for Hallmark. “Several organizations are already using parts of the system. In addition to the Department of Defense, we’re talking to the Department of Commerce to address the important problem of commercial space traffic management.”
Over the previous five years, Hallmark successfully integrated more than a dozen software tools into two separate testbeds, one each from Ball Aerospace and BAE Systems. Volunteer space operators have evaluated each of the testbeds on a rolling three-month cycle using a cognitive evaluation framework to assess overall situational awareness, workload, and an understanding of ground truth. Each cycle has built on the technical and cognitive evaluation from the previous iteration.
“We have a finite number of end users and space operators who need to sort through immense amounts of information to determine what’s going on,” said Col. Jeremy Raley, director of the Strategic Capabilities Group, U.S. Air Force Space Rapid Capabilities Office. “Hallmark provides a framework to create tools to do what operators commonly do, but in a quicker, more reliable, and consistent manner.”
The Hallmark program focused on the development of three different classes of capabilities. The first is indications and warnings – using machine learning technologies to detect threats and raise appropriate alerts. The second is space situational awareness, which fuses various indication and warning messages into a coordinated picture that assesses the threat posture from multiple perspectives. It also anticipates events that could have catastrophic effects, such as a potential collision due to an unplanned maneuver. The third is course of action (COA) development, using artificial intelligence to provide an operator a sequence of actions to respond to an identified threat in the most efficient and effective way.
Hallmark also has introduced an experimentation and acquisition approach that optimizes technologies to mission objectives, leading to higher flexibility and agility in integrating new tools as requirements change and technologies evolve in the future. In this mission integration model, responsibility of ensuring successful integration falls on the tools themselves, rather than on a single government integrator. In this way, developers are allowed the flexibility to attempt various creative solutions to the given problem without being bound to a formal set of requirements.
Other DARPA programs have adopted the concept successfully; and in some cases, the military services have expanded this mission integration model to accelerate the acquisition process, delivering capabilities based on operator needs rather than long, fixed development approaches designed prior to the emergence of data and learning technologies.
The final Hallmark stakeholder demonstrations took place in late January and early February at Ball Aerospace and BAE Systems facilities. (Source: DARPA/ASD Network)
29 Mar 20. Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, SpaceX Launch of Argentinian Satellite Postponed. A SpaceX satellite launch that had been scheduled for later this month has been postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The SAOCOM1B satellite is being launched for Argentina’s Space Agency, the Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE). The launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket had originally been scheduled for March 30 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Argentinian officials cited travel restrictions as the reason for the delayed launch of the Earth observation satellite. “The restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic could affect the availability of own and external resources for a safe insertion into orbit and subsequent commissioning of the satellite,” explained CONAE in a translated tweet (on the right).
Officials in Argentina are waiting to see how conditions develop before rescheduling the launch. “The authorities of this Commission will await the evolution of the conditions that make it possible to resume activities related to the launch of SAOCOM 1B, and its subsequent insertion into its final orbit in a reliable manner, and according to the originally established plans,” they said in a translated statement.
The impact of the coronavirus outbreak on space exploration programs is being closely followed. Earlier this month, for example, the European Space Agency and the Russian space agency Roscosmos announced that the launch of the second ExoMars mission is being postponed to 2022, in part because of the pandemic.
The European Space Agency also said Tuesday that it is putting eight of its spacecraft into hibernation as it scales down operations during the coronavirus outbreak.
NASA has also temporarily suspended work on the $10bn James Webb Space Telescope in California due to the coronavirus, putting its spring 2021 target launch date in jeopardy.
On Thursday, United Launch Alliance is scheduled to launch the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-6) satellite for the U.S. Space Force atop an Atlas V 551 rocket. The two-hour launch window at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex-41 starts at 2:57 p.m. ET.
The launch will complete the Space Force’s constellation of AEHF satellites, according to United Launch Alliance.Earlier this week, NASA confirmed to Fox News that an employee at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
As of Wednesday morning, at least 425,000 coronavirus cases have been diagnosed worldwide, more than 55,000 of which are in the U.S. The disease has accounted for at least 18,000 deaths around the world, including more than 800 people in the U.S. (Source: Satnews)
30 Mar 20. Airbus completes in-orbit commissioning of CHEOPS. Airbus has received confirmation from ESA of a successful end to the in-orbit commissioning (IOC) of CHEOPS after the IOC review. This critical phase was performed by Airbus in Spain with the support of the instrument team (University of Bern), mission operation centre (INTA), science operation centre (University of Geneva) and ESA. The IOC phase started on 7 January and over the past two-and-a-half months, Airbus has conducted the operations to verify the performance of the satellite (platform and instrument), the ground segment and the science package. During this time, the main goal was to consolidate the documentation, processes and procedures for use during the operational phase.
ESA recognised the great job done by the Airbus teams and stated there were no issues preventing routine operations from starting and confirmed hand-over of the mission operations from Airbus to INTA and the mission consortium.
Fernando Varela, head of space systems in Spain, said, “The in-orbit delivery of the CHEOPS satellite is the culmination of the Airbus participation in the program. It is the first European exoplanetary mission and the first ESA mission built by Airbus in Spain. The professionalism of the technical and engineering teams at Airbus was key to this success.”
CHEOPS will be controlled by INTA and the mission consortium (University of Geneva and University of Bern). Nevertheless, Airbus is also ready to assist during the operational phase for the whole mission life.
CHEOPS marks the first time that Airbus in Spain has been the prime contractor for the whole mission, from satellite development, through launch, to LEOP and IOC. The entire mission development was completed in record time without delays and met a very tight budget.
To do this, Airbus managed a team of 24 companies from 11 European countries, seven of them Spanish, confirming Airbus as the driving force behind the space industry in Spain.
As a reminder, CHEOPS is the first in ESA’s FAST TRACK missions program whose main characteristics are low cost and a challenging budget. CHEOPS will characterise exoplanets orbiting nearby stars, observing known planets in the size range between Earth and Neptune and precisely measuring their radii to determine their density and understand what they are made of. (Source: Space Connect)
29 Mar 20. NSR’s The Bottom Line: Virtualizing the Satellite Ground Segment. While generally not driving as much hype as other technology trends in the satellite ecosystem, Ground Segment virtualization is arguably one of the most critical transformations the industry will experience in the coming years, as noted in NSR’s Commercial Satellite Ground Segment, 4th Edition report.
Key to enabling scalability and flexibility of the networks, infrastructure vendors, integrators and operators are racing to adopt a new virtual framework. What are the key aspects of this transition?
A Technology Leap
From the smallsat revolution to EO constellations, VHTS satellites, Software Defined Satellites or NGSO constellations, the pace of satellite industry innovation has accelerated to unprecedented levels. NSR believes Ground Segment innovation is a critical element of this innovation cycle, as only through advances on the ground can the industry adapt and support new demands across the new, virtual satellite ecosystem.
Scalability (multiplying number of beams and satellites, skyrocketing throughput, increased number of terminals) and flexibility (software defined payloads, network resource orchestration, network entry point diversity) in their wider sense are some of the biggest challenges ground segment developers need to respond to. While there has been tremendous progress in ground segment technologies in elements like throughput, efficiency and traffic optimization, there needs to be a leap change in the cost per Mbps of networking elements to maintain investments in the ground segment relative to the total system cost at assumable levels. The industry, therefore, needs to embrace virtualization to reduce the unit costs of ground equipment while meeting the new requirements imposed by smallsats, constellations and VHTS.
Solutions for the New Ecosystem
Various stages of the ground segment are already being virtualized to leverage economies and scale of generic computing capabilities and offer new capabilities. For example, in the TT&C space, actors like Kratos and Amergint are leading the transition with virtualized ecosystems (modems, FEP, flexible mesh capabilities, WAN optimization tools, data processing) due to the great benefits these offer to their customers. Similarly, in the VSAT space, elements such as the NMS are rapidly moving to the cloud given new networking requirements (mobility, beam shaping).
However, one must bear in mind that generic equipment might still be unable to meet the performance requirements for some of the networking functions. RF electronics is still hard to emulate on generic equipment, and baseband units will likely continue to rely on specialized hardware for the foreseeable future, except for specific use cases.
Implementation and Business Models
What does this all mean? Satellite should avoid the mistake of having to reinvent the wheel in this transition by adopting best practices from terrestrial. In fact, the transition to the cloud is a great opportunity to make satellite seamlessly integrable with the general telecom industry. SES adoption of ONAP standards for network automation and service orchestration is a great example of this.
Similarly, many of the new concepts like flexible resource allocation, SDN and NFV are being standardized under the 3GPP/5G umbrella. Traditionally, satellite has operated with proprietary technologies and siloed Operational Support Systems, where service configuration was custom-made. 5G will remove these silos to standardize service orchestration, giving operators and service providers the flexibility to tailor their network services.
Adoption of 5G standards will have multiple implications. From a market point of view, satellite will be much easier to implement for general telco users, kick starting a number of new use cases. From an operations point of view, virtualization and 5G will trigger a re-evaluation on how infrastructure and network capabilities are procured, prompting new business models such as “Infrastructure-as-a-Service”.
The satellite industry is in the midst of a period of accelerated innovation with smallsats, constellations and VHTS. However, there is a real and large risk that the ground segment may become a bottleneck in all these innovative developments rather than the key enabler that leads to closing the business case for next-generation programs.
Embracing virtualization is critical to respond to new scale and flexibility requirements. Moreover, virtualization opens a window of opportunity for satellite to become seamlessly integral with terrestrial solutions, thus unlocking new use cases. One must not underestimate the depth of transformation triggered by virtualization as business models around procurement of infrastructure and network capabilities will lead to new opportunities, revenue streams and emerging value propositions.
The pace of innovation in space and on the ground have to be linked. More importantly, the offerings envisioned for satellite 3.0 also have to be on the same page. Developments and offerings on the road ahead have to coincide not only with the needs of the satellite industry, but more so with the needs of terrestrial service providers if satellite is to gain larger share of the telecom/telco pie. (Source: Satnews)
29 Mar 20. ICEYE Unveils 25 cm. SAR Imaging Capability with Current SAR Smallsat Constellation. ICEYE has unveiled their latest capability of 25 cm. resolution imaging with synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) smallsats, using the company’s current on-orbit, commercial SAR satellite constellation.
With this very high resolution imaging capability, ICEYE SAR data achieves the same resolution class provided by larger, conventional commercial SAR satellites operating at their highest performance.
ICEYE successfully launched its first SAR satellite in January of 2018, ICEYE-X1, which achieved 10×10 meter resolution data capabilities, while also becoming the World’s first SAR satellite mission under 100 kilograms (220 pounds) in launch mass. With the company’s latest development of 25 cm. imaging from its current commercial SAR satellite constellation of three spacecraft, ICEYE data achieves the finest classification of resolution in the commercial SAR market.
Following standard industry definitions, the native slant plane resolution of the newly unveiled SAR data is 25 cm. in the azimuth direction, and 50 cm. in the range direction, before ground-plane adjustments are applied. The finest resolution data will be provided to customers in ICEYE’s standard product formats that are accessible with standard Geographic Information System (GIS) tools.
Pekka Laurila, CSO and Co-founder, ICEYE, stated that before, these resolutions have been exclusively reserved for the larger, traditional SAR spacecraft. This resolution is operationally expected to be available for ICEYE customers mid-2020 from the current on-orbit constellation.
Dr. Mark Matossian, CEO of the US subsidiary of ICEYE, noted that site activity monitoring based on very high resolution SAR data enables the firm’s customers to unlock new insights in virtually all use cases that use ICEYE’s current 1-meter resolution imaging.” — 25 cm. resolution SAR imaging is ground-breaking to come from the world’s smallest SAR satellites. Commercial and government SAR customers will be able to achieve very detailed change detection, perform improved object classification, and track ever smaller objects from orbit. (Source: Satnews)
29 Mar 20. Statement from Lockheed Martin Announcing AEHF-6 Satellite Actively Communicating With U.S. Space Force. The sixth Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT)-built Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-6) satellite launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida at 4:18 p.m. ET. AEHF-6 successfully separated from its United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket approximately five hours and 45 minutes after launch and is now responding to commands from ground control.
“This is a great milestone to share with the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missiles Systems Center,” said Mike Cacheiro, Vice President for Protected Communications at Lockheed Martin Space. “I am incredibly proud of the teams that made this happen over the many years supporting the program. It is a bittersweet moment and I look forward to working with the Space Force to continue deliver this system on orbit, and increase our nation’s overall survivable and protected.”
The AEHF-6 satellite adds increased resiliency and advanced capabilities to the AEHF-MILSTAR constellation which ensures the ability to transmit data anywhere, anytime. This marks the first launch under U.S. Space Force control.
AEHF-6 is part of the protected communications network providing global, survivable, protected communications capabilities for national leaders and tactical warfighters operating across ground, sea and air platforms.
AEHF-5, launched in 2019 and recently handed over for operations, formed the global, anti-jam system, which is an asset shared by international allies to include Canada, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Australia.
Lockheed Martin developed and manufactured all six satellites at their production facility located in Sunnyvale, California. The satellite shipped to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on a Super Galaxy C-5 aircraft from the 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis Air Force Base.
Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for the AEHF system, and the AEHF team is led by the Production Corps, Medium Earth Orbit Division, at the Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, at Los Angeles Air Force Base. (Source: Satnews)
24 Mar 20. Maxar’s Ops During the Coronavirus Pandemic Discussed by the Company’s CEO. The CEO of Maxar, Dan Jablonsky, issued the following statement in regard to the company’s operations during the current coronavirus difficulties.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on our global society. As we navigate through this uncharted territory together, I wanted to share an update on the operational status of our business, some of the actions Maxar has taken and my perspective on the critical role that our industry will play throughout the duration of this crisis and beyond.
Maxar’s response Maxar has activated our standing pandemic crisis response plan to protect the health and safety of our team members, families, customers and communities while continuing to meet our commitments to customers. Our mitigation strategies cover employee preparation, travel, supply chain, virtual-work readiness, facility preparation and communications.
All Maxar locations are currently operational through a combination of work from home and limited personnel working onsite for essential operations. As aerospace manufacturing, communications and defense are federal critical infrastructure sectors, Maxar is exempt from shelter-in-place orders issued by California, allowing us to keep some of our workforce on site to maintain critical operations. Our protocols and operational posture are part of a greater collective effort across communities and regions to flatten the curve on COVID-19 case volumes to avoid overwhelming the capacity of the healthcare system.
The role of Space Infrastructure & Earth Intelligence Maxar is responsible for providing operational support to 92 on-orbit, operating communications satellites worldwide. A large proportion of these provide critical communications to national governments, state and local first responders and television and radio networks. We also continue work on various satellite programs that will provide important resiliency and capacity for these critical communications and network infrastructures.
In addition to communications satellites, we are building our own next-generation imaging satellite constellation, WorldView Legion, which will dramatically expand our ability to collect the world’s highest resolution commercial satellite imagery in 2021. And for NASA we are developing spacecraft and robotics that will demonstrate in-orbit satellite refueling and assembly; improve pollution monitoring in North America; explore an all-metal asteroid; and provide power and propulsion for the Gateway spacecraft that will enable a sustainable human deep-space presence in collaboration with international partners.
Maxar’s Earth Intelligence capabilities provide actionable insights that allow governments, commercial partners and non-governmental organizations to make decisions with confidence. Our Mission Operations Center in Colorado is staffed 24/7, flying our WorldView imaging satellites and delivering timely data to customers over secure networks. More than 300,000 U.S. Government users have online access to our imagery collections in near-real time and historical imagery archive, and hundreds of Maxar team members perform classified geospatial intelligence work in support of national security missions at U.S. Government sites. More than 50 allied nations around the world rely on Maxar to augment their national intelligence services.
The pandemic has highlighted the value of global transparency like never before. Maxar’s News Bureau initiative supports news reporting efforts around the world, documenting significant events such as the rapid construction of hospitals in Wuhan, China; the quarantine of the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan; and the dramatic drop in activity at transportation centers, businesses and public spaces around the world. Our analytics team in Tampa, Fla., created a Spotlight report that used satellite imagery, country-scale Human Landscape datasets and crowdsourcing to assess where and how the coronavirus spread in Iran.
The path forward No one can predict exactly how the course of events will unfold in the weeks and months ahead, but I am encouraged by the tremendous cooperation we have already seen between governments and the private sector. America, allied nations and citizens across the world are uniquely reliant on commercial firms for many essential services, and commercial firms like Maxar have a duty to continue delivering those services while minimizing risk to employees. We will keep moving forward, we will continue to learn and adapt and we will become more resilient as a company and team. (Source: Satnews)
23 Mar 20. FCC Authorizes SpaceX To Deploy A Million Antennas For Starlink Satellites. SpaceX has secured the approval of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to deploy up to a million ground antennas for its Starlink satellite constellation project. Previous, the company’s founder Elon Musk referred to the antenna as “a UFO on a stick.”
SpaceX recently came from the successful launch of its sixth batch of Starlink satellites. It is part of the company’s impressive project to deliver high-speed internet from space. Recently, the company was able to secure a key government license to begin rolling out another important feature of its Starlink project. According to federal documents filed by the company, the FCC has given SpaceX approval release about a million antennas that are designed to work with the Starlink satellites.
According to the company, the antennas are designed to connect users to SpaceX’s network of satellites. Measuring at about 19 inches across, Musk noted that the antennas look like small UFOs. The SpaceX founder also said these devices are very easy to install and use.
“It looks like a UFO on a stick,” he said according to CNBC. “It’s very important that you don’t need a specialist to install. The goal is for … just two instructions and they can be done in either order: Point at sky, plug in.”
SpaceX’s first batch of Starlink satellites was official deployed in May last year. Since then, the company has been regularly carrying out launches for new batches of satellites. Currently, there around 360 Starlink units operating in low-Earth orbit. The launch for the next batch of satellites is scheduled to take place next month.
Originally, SpaceX planned to deploy a total of 12,000 satellites for its Starlink project. However, documents filed by the company last year revealed that SpaceX was planning to launch an additional 30,000 satellites. Once completed, the entire project could be comprised of about 42,000 satellites.
As noted by the company, the massive satellite constellation will enable telecommunication companies to provide internet services to customers residing in remote and hard-to-reach regions in different parts of the globe.
“With performance that far surpasses that of traditional satellite internet, and a global network unbounded by ground infrastructure limitations, Starlink will deliver high-speed broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable,” SpaceX explained in a statement. (Source: Satnews)
24 Mar 20. A Maxar Spotlight: How Misinformation and Negligence in Iran is Propagating the Spread of Coronavirus. As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic surges, many governments are working to contain infected populations and limit outbreaks.
However, deliberate suppression of information in Iran has contributed to widespread contagion within and outside the country. At least 16 countries have confirmed cases of the coronavirus that are linked to people who have traveled to Iran.
Given Iran’s porous borders, large transient populations and smuggling networks, the outflow of infected persons is likely far greater than presently known.
Maxar Spotlight highlights the severity and scale of the coronavirus in Iran as well as the government’s inability to handle such an outbreak. For this assessment, satellite imagery was captured and analyzed over two cities in Iran reeling from the coronavirus. Combined with the company’s nation-wide Human Landscape dataset of Iran and verified crowdsourcing platform, GeoHIVE, Maxar created a timeline of events that illustrate where and how the virus is spreading.
The firm’s analysts leverage Maxar satellite imagery to provide organizations with early insights into economic, military, environmental and political changes around the world. Read the periodical in full to gain a better understanding of how Maxar’s Earth Intelligence capabilities can help reveal patterns of life and insights critical in times of crisis and conflict.
As the coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, Iran accounts for the highest reported number of deaths outside China. According to the World Health Organization, the coronavirus mortality rate is roughly 2% globally. However, mortality rate in Iran is more than 5%.
The coronavirus has also uncharacteristically infected a high number of government officials, with estimates suggesting upwards of 8% of the country’s parliament has been infected. Based on these statistics and additional on-the ground reporting, many experts believe the total number of cases and subsequent deaths from the virus in Iran is far greater than that being distributed by the Iranian government.
At least 16 countries have confirmed cases of the coronavirus that are linked to people who have traveled to Iran. Many of the travelers had visited Qom, home to the Fatima Masumeh Holy Shrine and Iran’s coronavirus outbreak. Some of the cases have also been linked to Mashhad, which is the site of the Imam Reza Holy Shrine. Each of these holy sites draws tens of millions of travelers from around the world every year. (Source: Satnews)
23 Mar 20. A Fresh Grounding for Smallsats via Australia’s Nova IGS Network. Global defence company Nova Group is maintaining its projections of more than $200m revenue this financial year with longer-term goals to continue expanding the company’s global reach. A newer focus on space is continuing to diversify the portfolio of the South Australian headquartered company that has invested more than $20m on eight acquisitions across the globe to cement its footprint.
In South Australia, the company’s new Nova IGS Network is providing space ground connectivity for smallsat operators, with the site now being used by international clients including Tyvak USA and RBC USA. Nova is also in talks with an Italian-based space company wanting to expand its presence in Australia.
Based on a 21 hectare site in Peterborough in South Australia’s mid-north, the site is used to track LEO satellites through customer’s own terminals and Nova has plans to attract further European companies over upcoming years.
A spokesperson for Nova said the company is also planning to use the site as a ground station test bed for emerging Space 2.0 technologies and to support future defence projects. Peterborough provides the vital ground segment element in order to allow satellite operators to downlink/download their data.
Nova Group is marking 20 years in business, with Nova Systems founded by Jim Whalley and Peter Nikoloff and originally offering flight-testing services in South Australia’s capital city of Adelaide. The company has since grown to having 600 employees working on projects around the world including with the Australian Defence Force, United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, Royal Norwegian Air Force and the Republic of Singapore Air Force.
Nova was recently awarded one of four industry leads in the Major Service Provider consortium providing integrated support contracts to the Australia Defence Force over the next 10 years.
The company has taken early steps globally to adopt new practices around COVID-19 in relation to infection control and is proactively undertaking business modelling to assess its potential financial impact.
At this stage, the company still expects to grow in the upcoming financial year, with work continuing on the offshore patrol vessels in Australia and Nova Systems recently winning a $25.9m Norwegian defence contract to support a maritime helicopter program.
The Adelaide headquartered company first opened an office in the United Kingdom during 2012 before winning its first work within Norway the following year. Its latest contract marks a significant expansion for Nova Norway and a doubling in the size of it Norwegian operations with work already underway.
Nova has also cemented co-founder partnerships this year with the SmartSat Co-operative Research Centre in South Australia and Western Australian based Remote operations for Space and Earth. Plans to establish the now operating SmartSat CRC were led by The University of South Australia and Nova Systems.
Based next to the Australian Space Agency at Lot Fourteen in Adelaide, the SmartSat CRC now has 74 participants contributing $167m adding to the federal government’s $55m spend with a focus on advanced SATCOM, connectivity and Earth Observation. (Source: Satnews)
28 Mar 20. The Space Force logs another cost increase for Raytheon’s next-generation GPS ground station. GPS III Space Vehicle 01 (GPS III SV01) at Lockheed Martin’s GPS III Processing Facility. Raytheon is developing the ground stations for the new GPS satellites under the Operational Control Segment (OCX) program. (Lockheed Martin)
WASHINGTON—The Space Force will pay $378m to replace the computer hardware in Raytheon’s troubled Operational Control System after the original provider was sold to a Chinese company.
The program, called OCX, was initially going to use hardware from the IBM x86 product line in the building of next-generation GPS ground stations, the Space and Missile System Center said in a Friday news release. However, that product line is being sold to Chinese-owned Lenovo in August 2022 — a purchase approved in 2014 by the Committee on Foreign Investment, the U.S. government agency that reviews international investment in U.S. companies.
The Air Force has already done some work to identify the replacement for the IBM hardware. In 2017, it started a hardware trade study with U.S. vendors, selecting Hewlett Packard Enterprise for a pilot program that called for the company to replace hardware in 17 external monitoring stations and four ground antenna sites, according to SMC.
However, SMC said it chose to wait on funding new hardware until now so that it could focus on OCX’s other technical issues — even though it also acknowledged that it will lead to schedule delays.
“At the time of the sale, the government identified [the sale] as a major impact to OCX by creating an unacceptable cyber risk,” SMC noted. However, the Air Force waited to execute the hardware replacement because of ongoing software development issues, which led to spiraling cost overruns and a Nunn McCurdy breach in 2016.
The service ultimately decided against canceling the program and moved forward with a plan to develop OCX software using more agile DevOps methodologies. Raytheon competed the software for the program last year, said SMC commander Lt. Gen. Thompson.
“As Raytheon continues to track to their contractual commitments, addressing the unsupportable IBM cyber security risk is prudent to do pre-system delivery to the government,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Gabriele, SMC’s OCX materiel leader. “Although this government-directed change will impact the Raytheon schedule, the government is holding Raytheon accountable to deliver qualified software prior to integrating on the HPE platform and deploying to operational sites.”
SMC did not disclose exactly how the schedule would be impacted.
In its news release, SMC described some “benefits” to changing the current contract, such as being able to field newer, more highly performing hardware in place of the decade-old IBM wares. Executing the fix now will also eliminate $150m in rework and retesting, said Barbara Baker, SMC’s Command and Control Division’s senior materiel leader. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
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