Plug and Play Satellites: Short Order Space Capability

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PNP Satellite Concept(click to view full) The era of the huge military satellite programs that cost tens of billions of dollars appears to be over. At least as far as the US Congress is concerned. Last year, lawmakers shut down the $20 billion plus Transformational Communications Satellite (TSAT) System program after huge costs overruns and skepticism about the system’s unproven technology. At the same time, the US Air Force is moving ahead with development of small satellites that can be developed quickly in response to tactical needs and launched within days. These small satellites would be constructed using preexisting modules to meet the communications and ISR needs of commanders in the field. They are called plug-and-play (PNP) satellites and are being developed by the US Air Force Research Lab (AFRL). AFRL recently awarded a contract worth up to $200 million for work on the PNP satellite architecture… On Jan 28/10, Miltec Corp., a subsidiary of Ducommun Inc., announced that AFRL’s Space Vehicles Directorate awarded the company a 5-year indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity PNP satellite development contract with a ceiling of $200 million. The 1st order under the contract is to conduct a study and demonstration phase to support the development of the […]

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