Solstar Space has been awarded a U.S. Air Force, AFWERX SBIR Phase 1 contract — as a participant in the Phase 1 cohort, Solstar Space will conduct feasibility studies with the Department of Defense (DoD) to demonstrate how the company’s onboard, satellite Critical Data Relay supports continuous connectivity and provides vital global communications for spacecraft in LEO orbit.
LEO smallsat operators, including the DoD, have limited opportunities to communicate with spacecraft to ensure optimal operation. Troubleshooting of any issues is constrained to pass over windows where downlink stations are available leading to downtime, protracted recovery processes, and risk for catastrophic loss. Continuous 24/7 connectivity through a space-based IP network will seek to increase asset utilization and efficiency while mitigating risks associated with limited communications links.
“Space-based connectivity is critical to providing immediate notification of spacecraft anomalies and to support worldwide recovery command capabilities,” said M. Brian Barnett, Founder and CEO, Solstar Space. “Today, LEO satellite communications are typically limited to a few minutes during each scheduled pass over downlink stations. Under this Phase 1 contract, the practicability of Solstar’s short burst data (SBD) services and the Critical Data Relay will be assessed.”