DARPA contracts with Telesat for two satellites as part of its Blackjack initiative

by | Oct 16, 2020 | Constellation, COTS, Military space, Satellites, Seradata News, Technology

An American subsidiary, Telesat U.S. Services, of Canadian global FSS operator Telesat was awarded a satellite production contract on 14 October. The contract was handed down by the US DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), a military technology research institution.

Under the contract the Telesat subsidiary will supply DARPA with two in-orbit units in 2021. These will be part of DARPA’s LEO Blackjack programme to demonstrate the how a hybrid military/commercial network can work for US military users. This immediate contract has a value of US$18.3 million. There is the potential of up to US$175.6 million in follow-on contracts if DARPA were to solely choose Telesat to supply further units.

The Telesat satellites will need to be capable of low-latency data transmission, for which they will be equipped with two optical inter-satellite link (ISL) payloads. These ISL payloads must be able to communicate with other Blackjack spacecraft developed by other providers. The satellites will also carry an additional military payload, the purpose of which has not been revealed.

Following the award from DARPA, Telesat announced that it would purchase two Airbus Arrow buses. These platforms will be modified for the desired mission and are expected to weigh circa-200 kg once finished. The Arrow bus is better known as the base of the OneWeb Satellites-built OneWeb constellation. Airbus owns 50 per cent of OneWeb Satellites and was involved in the designing process for the Arrow bus.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

Satellite 2022: Telesat’s Lightspeed constellation now expecting first launch in 2025

Speaking at the Satellite 2022 conference in Washington D.C. Erwin Hudson, Vice President, Telesat Lightspeed System Development, of Telesat revealed Read more

After a long process Telesat selects Thales Alenia Space to build its newly christened Lightspeed constellation

Canadian FSS operator Telesat took one of the final steps towards the establishment of its long-planned LEO constellation on 9 Read more

Telesat to merge with long-time majority owner Loral to form a new publicly-traded company

Telesat Canada and majority shareholder Loral Space & Communications have declared their intention to merge and form a new Canadian Read more

US Space Development Agency awards satellite contracts to Lockheed Martin and York Space (Updated)

The American Space Development Agency (SDA) has placed orders for 10 satellites with two manufacturers. This is in aid of Read more

Terran 1 gets launch order from Telesat

Relativity Space Inc's yet to fly the 3D printing technology launch vehicle Terran-1 has been awarded its first launch booking Read more

Telesat signs multi-New Glenn launch deal with Blue Origin to get its 300 satellite constellation into orbit

Canadian geostationary communications satellite operator, Telesat, has signed a multi-launch agreement with Blue Origin, the start up launch firm founded by Amazon billionaire Jeff Read more

FCC approves new SpaceX 7,500 V-band satellite constellation in addition to three smaller constellations from Telesat, Kepler and LeoSat

During November, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the applications of four large-scale communications satellite constellations in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), which Read more

Telesat is courting two design bids for their LEO constellation

On 30 July, Canadian FSS operator Telesat signed an design agreement with an industrial consortium made up of European manufacturer Read more