Military Embedded Systems

Satellites supporting DARPA Blackjack program complete milestones


January 30, 2024

Dan Taylor

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Image courtesy RTX

LAFAYETTE, Colorado. Satellites supporting the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Blackjack program recently completed some important milestones, according to an RTX announcement.

The satellites are produced by Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT), a subsidiary of RTX. The Blackjack program uses BCT's Saturn-class bus platform to deploy cost-effective reconnaissance satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), the statement reads.

Traditionally, U.S. national security space assets have been stationed in geosynchronous orbit, providing extensive coverage, but the DARPA Blackjack program is exploring the feasibility of a network of four interconnected satellites in LEO as a potential alternative -- with the aim of maintaining the effectiveness of current systems while operating closer to Earth, the statement adds.