Comtech AeroAstro of Ashburn, Va., won a $37.9 million contract from the U.S. Navy to provide the satellite platform for a star-cataloging research spacecraft, the company announced March 25.

The company’s Astro 200AS bus will be the structure for the Joint Milli-Arcsecond Pathfinder Survey (JMAPS) satellite being managed by the Naval Center for Space Technology in Washington. The platform is expected to be delivered by March 2012, and the Navy could exercise options worth as much as $4.2 million for Comtech AeroAstro to provide technical support after delivery, the company said. The Astro 200AS bus has served as the platform for two Defense Department research satellites, STPSat-1 and STPSat-2.

L3 Communications SSG-Tinsley of Wilmington, Mass., in November was awarded a $5.4 million contract to develop the satellite’s optical telescope assembly, according to a government source. Teledyne Scientific & Imaging of Thousand Oaks, Calif., was awarded a $7.4 million contract to design, build, integrate and calibrate the instrument’s flight sensor chip assembly, the Defense Department announced Feb. 25. Teledyne’s work is expected to be complete in February 2012.