General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems signed an agreement with the Space Development Agency to conduct experiments for optical inter-satellite links using the company’s laser communication terminals. Credit: GA-EMS

SAN FRANCISCO – General Atomics announced the acquisition Feb. 1 of Tiger Innovations, a Herndon, Virginia small business focused primarily on satellite systems, and related hardware and software.

General Atomics plans to integrate Tiger Innovations with its General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) group to “complement GA-EMS’ portfolio of advanced space systems and technologies,” according to a Feb. 1 news release.

“Acquiring Tiger Innovations strengthens our space systems capabilities,” GA-EMS President Scott Forney said in a statement. GA-EMS is eager to draw on Tiger Innovations’ expertise in reducing the size, weight and power of space systems for U.S. government customers, Forney added.

In addition, the acquisition helps Colorado-based GA-EMS expand its coast-to-coast space systems development infrastructure, “increasing our ability to deliver comprehensive solutions of any scale on orbit and on time,” Forney said.

Tiger Innovations, founded in 1997, builds a wide array of spacecraft, ground stations, satellite systems, hardware and software, including multiple platforms on orbit, Timothy Cox, GA-EMS space control programs director, told SpaceNews by email.

Tiger Innovations won a phase two Small Business Innovation Research contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in 2019 for a spacecraft identification device that combines satellite beacons with automated data collection on the ground and round-the-clock space situational awareness.

General Atomics has made a series of acquisitions in recent years. In 2020, the San Diego-based company acquired Guidestar Optical Systems, a space and defense company with optical technology expertise based in Longmont, Colorado, and Neva Ridge Technologies, a Boulder, Colorado, synthetic aperture radar specialist.

General Atomics also acquired Miltec of Huntsville, Alabama, in 2016, and the U.S. subsidiary of U.K.-based Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, in Englewood, Colorado, in 2017.

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...