The US (SMC) along with the unit of Defense Innovation of Pentagon awarded a contract to Atlas Space Operations to prototype an antenna array that would be electronically steered to support the multi-mission requirements and multi-band Air Force multi-band, said the chief executive of Atlas Sean McDaniel.
McDaniel said that he would not reveal the award value as per an announcement made by the Defense Department but he called the prototype of the twelve month contract a stepping stone towards introducing an advanced antenna system that would be capable of multi-satellite to market for both commercial adoption and government adoption. Atlas started operating a cloud-based network, Freedom, in January of 2016. McDaniel said that the company is planning function 31 sites by the end of 2020 so as to cater to the demands of customer base currently and the upcoming expansion into constellation management of low orbit of earth. The division of Range and Network of SMC sought for information on the multi-mission, multi-band antennas quoting the requirement of flexibility, increasing capacity, automation, interoperability, and resiliency of space.
There are a rising number of launches and satellites that are projected in the future and with it there is a rising demand on the Satellite Control Network of Air Force and the system of launch and test range. A system of multi-satellite and multi-band is one solution to the rising number of satellites of US government and may replace the present Air Force Space Control Network and system of launch and test range infrastructure by offering the capacity to perform tracking and control capabilities, radar functions and telemetry.
The freedom network of Atlas started supporting the 169 kg satellite of US Air Force Academy – FalconSat-6 in December. Mc Daniel said that FalconSat-6 was the first customer of the defense department of Atlas.