General Atomics Awarded USSF Contract For Phase 1 of the Ent
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This news is classified in: Defense Contracts Communications

Jun 21, 2024

General Atomics Awarded USSF Contract For Phase 1 of the Enterprise Space Terminal Program

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced today that the U.S. Space Force’s (USSF), Space Systems Command (SSC) has awarded the company Phase 1 of the Enterprise Space Terminal (EST) program. The EST program will increase the mission effectiveness of future Department of Defense (DoD) platforms by providing a mesh laser communication network for resilient, high-capacity communications paths for spacecraft in beyond Low Earth Orbit (bLEO) regimes at crosslink ranges up to 80,000 km. Over the seven-month contract period of performance, GA-EMS will engineer and develop an Optical Communication Terminal (OCT) design leading to a Phase 1 preliminary design review.

“Deploying high throughput intra- and inter-constellation communications will be essential for future missions,” said Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “We specialize in developing reliable OCT solutions that provide high data rates, support for satellite networking, data and information sharing and collective on-orbit computing and communication. We look forward to delivering a robust OCT design that will provide future warfighters with a network of resilient communication capabilities across the multi-domain battlespace.”

As prime contractor, GA-EMS will utilize its extensive OCT design expertise and on-orbit optical communication mission experience to deliver an OCT design to meet the EST Phase 1 program requirements. Phase 1 EST program tasks include designing the payload support system, electrical hardware, laser terminal design, optical design and subsystem, thermal control, command and data handling, and cybersecurity.  GA-EMS is teaming with L3Harris to provide the communications module design, and with Advanced Space to provide the space navigation and time transfer capabilities.

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“Phase 1 of the USSF EST program allows us to capitalize on the advanced technologies we have in progress and leverage the lessons-learned during the development of our OCT technologies,” continued Forney. “We are designing a solution that can be efficiently scaled to deploy a mesh network enterprise of OCTs capable of providing intersatellite communication crosslinks to rapidly transfer large volumes of data between spacecraft and ground stations distributed across a wide spectrum of operational domains.”



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