DARPA Plan Would Connect Satellites to the Internet

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The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) may seek to develop and deploy an operational system to provide broadband Internet connectivity to satellites in low Earth orbit, according to an Oct. 22 posting on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site.

DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office is seeking information for a system that could potentially be operational by 2012 or 2013, according to the posting. The agency wants an end-to-end solution to provide 100-kilobit-per-second Internet service to satellites flying 500 kilometers above Earth in any orbit. The Internet connection, required to be available 95 percent of the time, would be used for telemetry, controlling the satellite and returning data.

Information from interested U.S. universities, government labs and private companies is due Nov. 5.