DARPA Adds Raytheon to F6 Formation Flying Project

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Raytheon BBN Technologies of Cambridge, Mass., was awarded a $2.4 million contract from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to study architectures for a future demonstration of wirelessly connected satellites flying in formation, the company announced July 12.

DARPA’s Future, Fast, Flexible, Fractionated Free-Flying, or F6, satellite development program aims to demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of using a small constellation of satellites flying in close proximity instead of a single, larger spacecraft. DARPA in 2009 tapped Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., to be the program’s prime contractor, but the contract was terminated last year when the agency refocused the program on areas that are not Orbital’s specialty, company spokesman Barry Beneski said July 27.

Integral Systems of Columbia, Md., on July 25 announced it has been awarded a $468,000 subcontract from mZeal Communications to develop standards for the F6 program. Greenbelt, Md.-based Emergent Technologies also recently received a DARPA contract worth as much as $6.7 million to provide cluster flight guidance, navigation and control algorithms for the F6 program.

 

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