The United States Air Force (USAF) has awarded Analytical Space Inc. (ASI) a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract through the AFWERX program.
Providing a high-speed data connection in space, these smallsats will dramatically expand the utility of the space-based remote sensing industry. Satellite operators who offload their data to the network will have access to more of their data in less time, without needing to update the hardware on their satellites.
The U.S. Government purchases data from commercial remote sensing satellite service providers to monitor conditions around the world for civil and defense purposes. These satellites typically can only offload their data when they are overhead a ground station, which are limited in their placement by geographical and geopolitical constraints.
This results in a delay between data acquisition and downlink. ASI’s data relay network will reduce this delay by routing data between satellites, which provides opportunities for much more timely access to cost-efficient commercial imagery for the Air Force and other government customers.
Analytical Space launched their first satellite, Radix, in July of 2018. Radix is a 6U technology demonstration cubesat designed to receive data from client satellites as if it were a ground station on-orbit, before using a laser to transfer the data to the ground at high speeds. It has a fully booked test campaign with a cohort of 12 partner satellites operated by a combination of government, research, and commercial entities.
Dan Nevius, CEO and Co-Founder of Analytical Space, said the U.S. Air Force has a long history of coming up with innovative solutions to complex problems. The company is proud to have their support in bringing more remote sensing data down from space, keeping the country safer while fostering growth in the private sector.
Established in 2017, AFWERX is a catalyst for agile Air Force engagement across industry, academia and non-traditional contributors to create transformative opportunities and foster an Air Force culture of innovation. The core mission of AFWERX is to improve Air Force capabilities by connecting innovators, simplifying technology transfer and accelerating results. For more information on AFWERX, visit.