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Army Signs R&D Agreement With SpaceLink

New agreement will help inform the development of interagency requirements for a commercial remote sensing tactical downlink.
The company's relay satellites in mid earth orbit use optical intersatellite links for real-time access to remote sensing data.

The company's relay satellites in mid earth orbit use optical intersatellite links for real-time access to remote sensing data.

The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Technical Center has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the McLean, Virginia-based SpaceLink to conduct research and development together.

Under the CRADA, the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Technical Center (USASMDC-TC), located at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, will work with SpaceLink to explore alternative space communications pathway solutions that ensure resiliency and reduce sensor-to-shooter latency, according to the company.  

“The cooperative agreement will help SpaceLink better understand the U.S. Army concept of operations and adjust its technology roadmap to meet customer needs,” the company said. “For the Army, it will provide the empirical modeling and simulations needed to support interagency requirements development for commercial remote sensing tactical downlink timeline requirements.”

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SpaceLink is well positioned to provide MEO augmentation to the Space Development Agency proliferated LEO architecture and transport layer services.
SpaceLink asserts that it is well-positioned to provide mid-Earth orbit augmentation to the Space Development Agency's platform.

SpaceLink is in the process of building a satellite relay system in medium-Earth orbit, or MEO, with both optical and radio frequency (RF) links to speed the flow of remote sensing data and augment the U.S. national security space architecture. The company provides high-bandwidth communications between spacecraft and U.S. earth stations or tactically deployed ground terminals. The collaborative research and simulations will provide a baseline of interoperability between government systems and the SpaceLink network.

“We are honored to work with USASMDC-TC to assure that our development efforts meet the Army’s needs,” said Dave Bettinger, CEO of SpaceLink. “Sharing facilities, intellectual property and expertise will elevate solutions for both the warfighter and industry, ultimately enhancing national security and U.S. dominance in space.” 

The company’s optical and RF communications relay capabilities and MEO links enable continuous line of sight to low-Earth, MEO and geosynchronous orbit satellites and high-altitude airborne assets. “It is designed to support real-time tasking and downlink of data needed for military operators to make tactical decisions,” the company said

Also with an office in Silicon Valley, SpaceLink is a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary of Electro Optic Systems Holdings Limited, a public company traded on the Australian stock exchange.