Rhea Space Activity (RSA) has been selected by the United States Air Force (USAF) AFWERX program for a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award to continue its effort in the development of an enhanced Lunar Intelligence (LUNINT) Dashboard in support of Space Domain Awareness (SDA).

The award marks an essential next-step for RSA’s SDA program. During its recently completed Phase I effort, RSA worked directly with the United States Space Force (USSF) to identify potential national security issues emerging from hard-to-predict cislunar trajectories entering the Earth’s geostationary belt. Throughout this next Phase II effort, RSA will further develop critical capabilities that will directly inform operational SDA needs.

The term “cislunar” refers to the area of space between the Earth and the Moon.

“This Phase II effort will build upon the completed Phase I to develop the scientific and engineering infrastructure needed to inform operational SDA needs in cislunar space,” said Shawn Usman, RSA’s Founder. “Incorporating full visibility and awareness into the U.S government is critical when it comes to monitoring spacecraft entering the geostationary belt via cislunar trajectories.”

Purdue University and Saber Astronautics are assisting RSA in this endeavor.  Purdue University leads the identification of spacecraft trajectories influenced by “three-body” and “n-body dynamics,” and Saber Astronautics develops software for visualizing the space environment. Together, the elements devised by RSA, Saber and Purdue comprise the “LUNINT Dashboard.”

Dr. Kathleen Howell, Distinguished Professor in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University, said, “We have designed multi-body trajectories for NASA missions, and are excited to develop trajectories that aid the USSF in monitoring cislunar space. Purdue has a rich history in supporting U.S. missions in all sectors, commercial and government, and particularly lunar missions. We are excited to contribute to the U.S. military’s role in the cislunar domain.”

These new capabilities will also have valuable applications to the commercial space economy. Market-leading space investors SpaceFund have co-invested with the US government in this endeavor ahead of what SpaceFund believes will be significant and rapid growth in the cislunar and geostationary markets in the coming years. SpaceFund is a direct backer of RSA.

“We have invested in RSA, and in LUNINT, because we see a significant need for this technology as the ‘NewSpace’ sector sets its sights on deep space,” said Meagan Crawford, managing partner of SpaceFund. “Beyond its immediate defense applications, this capability is essential to support the next giant leap forward as commercial companies move further out into the universe.”

About Rhea Space Activity

Rhea Space Activity (RSA) is an astrophysics company that ideates and creates high-risk/high-reward research and development concepts to support U.S. national security objectives. RSA has developed various technologies in the fields of infrared satellites, directed energy, artificial intelligence, Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR), astro-particle physics, small satellites, cis-lunar operations, intelligence collection, autonomous underwater vehicles, and for the F35 Lightening II.

For more information, please visit www.rheaspaceactivity.com

About Saber Astronautics

Saber Astronautics’ mission is the democratization of space, reducing barriers to space flight, and making space as easy as driving a car. Incorporated in 2008, Saber Astronautics provides space operations, mission design services, and related software. Saber has R&D laboratories and mission control centers in the USA and Australia, being a trusted supplier to traditional space and government customers, as well as NewSpace entrants worldwide.

For more information, please visit www.saberastro.com

About Purdue University

Purdue University has 25 American astronauts among its alumni, and has been associated with 13 Nobel Prizes. The graduates of the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics have made significant contributions to the aerospace field and have held positions of high responsibility in government and private industry. Professor Kathleen Howell is actively researching innovative spacecraft trajectory concepts and efficient design tools for analysis and implementation. In support of such plans, current research efforts focus on spacecraft navigation and maneuver requirements, and mission planning, both in the neighborhood of the Earth and in interplanetary space.

For more information, please visit engineering.purdue.edu/AAE