SEAKR Demonstrates DARPA Pit Boss Hardware On-Orbit In 9 Months

WASHINGTON — Raytheon Technologies announced Sept. 14 it intends to acquire SEAKR Engineering, a privately owned supplier of space electronics based in Centennial, Colorado. 

Pending regulatory approvals. SEAKR will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Raytheon Intelligence & Space. 

This acquisition follows Raytheon’s takeover in December of Blue Canyon Technologies, a Colorado-based satellite manufacturer. 

“With SEAKR Engineering, we are enhancing our capability to provide qualified space systems faster,” said Roy Azevedo, president of Raytheon Intelligence & Space.

SEAKR, founded in 1981, has more than 540 employees.

The company is developing one of the central technologies of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Blackjack satellite network. In March DARPA awarded SEAKR a $60.4 million contract to develop a data processing and artificial intelligence system known as “Pit Boss” that will allow Blackjack satellites to operate autonomously.  

Blackjack is a project to demonstrate the use of small satellites in low Earth orbit to provide services like communications, missile warning and navigation. 

In March 2020, SEAKR was selected by Lockheed Martin to help develop a satellite communications payload for the U.S. Space Force under the Protected Tactical Satcom (PTS) program. The Space Force earlier this year eliminated Lockheed Martin from the PTS program in April and selected Boeing and Northrop Grumman to develop prototypes.

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...