Military Embedded Systems

Small sat payload in development with Iridium to support data transmission

News

June 24, 2021

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Small sat payload in development with Iridium to support data transmission
Iridium image.

MCLEAN, Va. Iridium Communications Inc. announced it has won a research and development (R&D) contract worth up to $30 million by the U.S. Army (Army) to develop a payload to be hosted on small satellites that supports navigation systems, guidance and control for the global positioning system (GPS) and GPS-denied precision systems.

According to the company, the new experimental Iridium payload is intended to be hosted by another Low Earth Orbit (LEO) commercial satellite constellation, complementing the Iridium constellation's capabilities.

Through this contract, the Army intends to develop this payload to support the concept of a rapidly deployable small sat constellation to provide more effective sensor-to-soldier data transmission when in the field. The development of this new payload is based on Iridium Burst technology, a service that can transmit data to enabled devices from space.

For this contract, Iridium partners Satelles and SEAKR will aim to bring their expertise as subcontractors to assist with development. This R&D project was enabled through an Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) in support of the Army and was entered into between Advanced Technology International (ATI) and Iridium under the authority of the Aviation and Missile Technology Consortium (AMTC).  

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