The new American Defense Space Agency sees things big

The Pentagon's Defense Space Agency has barely been created when it is already asserting its objectives, and its ambitions, for the future of American space strategy. And she has no shortage of ambitions! Indeed, the SDA has issued a request for information from manufacturers in the sector, to study existing technologies and offers for a very large-scale program, based on a constellation of mini-satellites forming an 8-shaped mesh. layers :

  • Layer " Transport » to ensure 24/7 communication for all American forces
  • Layer " Pursuit » which allows objectives to be tracked and targeted, as well as strategic alerts (departure of missiles, etc.)
  • Layer " Monitor“, to ensure the monitoring of sensitive sites
  • Layer " COVER“, which ensures the detection and protection of satellites, particularly against space debris
  • Layer " Navi", providing an alternative to GPS signal when that is inaccessible
  • Layer " Engagement Management » providing a command, control and communications network with its own AI systems to analyze and prioritize information
  • And the layer “ Support“, to offer communication services to ground forces

To develop these different layers, the SDA intends to rely on Darpa's BlackJack program, which plans to put into service a constellation of 20 mini-satellites meeting very precise specifications, in terms of dimensions, weight, consumption. electric, carrying capacity, so as not to exceed the commissioning price of $6 million per unit (design, manufacturing, launch). This program was entrusted to the European manufacturer Airbus DS.

The use of a network of mini and micro satellites responds to the increase in real-time communication and exchange needs for combat units, as well as to the increase in devices aimed at preventing this communication by the adversary. (anti-satellite systems, jamming, etc.). By reducing the cost of making a satellite available, the Pentagon therefore allows itself to have great responsiveness if, at the start of a conflict, part of its satellites were to be destroyed or disabled. out of service.

Several French companies have developed very efficient solutions in this area, and Dassault Aviation is also working on a launch solution from its aircraft. Rafale.

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