WASHINGTON — The Air Force Research Laboratory awarded BlueHalo a $24.4 million contract to support the lab’s Satellite Assessment Center, an organization that models and analyzes the vulnerabilities of space systems. 

BlueHalo, a defense contractor based in Arlington, Virginia, specializes in space, directed energy and autonomous systems technologies. The five-year contract was awarded by AFRL’s Directed Energy Directorate.

AFRL’s Satellite Assessment Center, located at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, evaluates the vulnerabilities of space vehicles to lasers and laser radiation. 

The center tests laser effects on spacecraft components and materials and uses the data to build high-fidelity computer models used for predictive analysis and research.

The Satellite Assessment Center also develops tools that simulate sensor networks that track objects in space. 

Directed-energy modeling

According to the April 19 contract announcement, BlueHalo will be tasked to “accelerate the advancement of the directed energy modeling, simulation and analysis, assessment expertise, and highly technical capabilities to safeguard strategic U.S. space interests.”

The contract also includes work on predictive analysis, satellite modeling, resiliency research and innovative testing environments to “assess natural and man-made directed energy effects on space systems.”

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...