Air Force announces new effort to procure more resilient satellites


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SN Military.Space Sandra Erwin

At a conference last week hosted by the Aerospace El Segundo, California, officials from the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center talked about a future space architecture that will be more flexible and resilient to threats than current constellations. They envision a new generation of satellites that can be updated with new payloads relatively quickly in the event of a military conflict or a national security crisis, for example.

Col. Dennis Bythewood, head of development at SMC, alerted industry executives to look out for an upcoming solicitation for a “combat bus” that must be modular, scalable and work with non-proprietary payloads, according to an Aerospace Corp. news release.

A Request for Information for this project is expected from SMC in the coming weeks. Bythewood said the future modular bus should support payloads such as GPS, strategic communications and missile warning sensors. “We need industry partnerships to help define key interfaces together,” he said.

The Feb. 12 forum was the first in a series of events that Aerospace will hold on this topic. The next one will be on Feb. 21 in the Washington area.

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