General Atomics Awarded Space Development Agency Contract to
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This news is classified in: Aerospace Communications Sensors Space

Jan 25, 2024

General Atomics Awarded Space Development Agency Contract to Demo Optical Communication Terminals

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has been awarded a contract from the Space Development Agency (SDA) to demonstrate the capabilities of the company’s Optical Communication Terminals (OCTs) hosted on GA-EMS’ GA-75 (75 kilogram class) spacecraft while in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

“We’re excited to continue working with SDA and look forward to demonstrating our OCT capability developed, built, and tested by GA-EMS, and integrated on GA-EMS-designed and built spacecraft,” said Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “This contract supports the deployment of next generation optical communication technologies that will provide faster, more secure, higher fidelity transmissions, and greater resiliency to ensure 24/7 connectivity from the earth to space.”

GA-EMS is designing and building two OCTs to provide robust space-to-space communication in a degraded environment and establish and maintain links to meet SDA standards and requirements. The OCTs can support a vast network of satellites, data and information sharing, and collective on-orbit computing resources to support customer and mission requirements.

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The OCTs will be integrated on two GA-EMS GA-75 spacecraft.  The GA-75 is a resilient, modular, and configurable half-ESPA bus design with capabilities to support a variety of communications and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) payloads and missions.  The GA-75 is a commercially available platform that utilizes standard payload interfaces to enable seamless integration and mission-ready delivery times. It is also compatible with multiple launch vehicles and can package two spacecraft per ESPA port or fill a single ESPA port depending on mission payload size.