DARPA satellite program orders ground-operations center prototype from ParsonsNews
December 13, 2021
ARLINGTON, Va. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded defense-cybersecurity contractor Parsons (Centreville, Virginia) a $10.8 million contract to make a prototype of a ground operations center for DARPA's Blackjack satellite constellation.
The contract is a Small Business Innovation Research Phase 3 award that calls for Parsons to construct a “Blackjack Prototype Ground Operations Center” by June 2024.
DARPA -- which began its Blackjack program in 2018 to demonstrate small satellites in low Earth orbit used for military operations -- plans to launch as many as 12 satellites in 2022 that will carry a mix of payloads for communications, targeting, missile warning, and navigation.
The Blackjack program's on-orbit experiments and demonstrations are being conducted together with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Space Development Agenc,y which plans to deploy a large network of communications and missile-warning satellites in low Earth orbit.