WASHINGTON — The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected the startup Scout Space to participate in the BRIDGES (Bringing Classified Innovation to Defense and Government Systems) consortium. 

BRIDGES, launched by DARPA in 2023, aims to connect innovative small companies and nontraditional defense contractors with classified Department of Defense research and development efforts. The initiative seeks to bridge the gap between cutting-edge commercial technologies and classified defense needs, particularly in areas considered critical to maintaining U.S. military superiority.

Scout Space, based in Reston, Virginia, develops satellite flight software and space domain awareness sensors. The company announced July 8 it was selected by DARPA for its proposal outlining an approach to “advancing autonomous in-space threat response.” 

The agency plans to sponsor Scout for a facility clearance, enabling the startup to work in secure areas and access classified networks. Scout will attend quarterly meetings, allowing direct interaction with government personnel at classified levels. 

The BRIDGES initiative is primarily aimed at small businesses and nontraditional defense contractors. DARPA is soliciting proposals from companies for various technical topics. 

“We are excited to support the development of novel technologies for the Department of Defense and look forward to being a strategic partner for the U.S. government,” said Philip Hover-Smoot, CEO of Scout Space.

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...