SpaceX has received a deal that will inform the development of satellites that can send warnings when missile deployments are about to take off. The Space Development Agency (SDA) awarded the company this $149 million contract, and L3Harris received over $193 million to develop tracking satellites. These satellites are the primary part of the Space Development Agency’s Tracking Layer Tranche 0. The entire system will serve the Defense Department in monitoring the missile launches utilizing infrared detectors. SpaceX and L3Harris will develop eight satellites to form the missile detection constellation’s initial batch called Tracking Layer.
The Tracking Layer will collaborate with SDA’s Transport Layer to deliver military data and communication to military details. The latter constellation will host 300 to 500 satellites for transmitting this crucial data. The two constellations’ partnership will accelerate the transfer of data to the ground troops and quick implementation of the appropriate measures to resolve the problem. Transport Layer constellation project managers have awarded Lockheed Martin and York Space Systems deals with manufacturing the first batch of satellites before determining their suitability for this mission.
The development of satellites by SpaceX will be its first mission to manufacture satellites that will serve the Department of Defense. The company is still developing its Starlink constellation that will contain about 12000 satellites. The Defense Department hopes that the company can develop satellites with ease without halting satellites’ creation for its Starlink constellation. SpaceX stated that the satellites it will be developing would have similar characteristics as those heading for the Starlink constellation, although with specifications that suit the military.
SDA’s director, Derek Tournear, stated that they are anxiously waiting to deploy the first batch of the Tracking Layer as planned. He expressed his satisfaction at the reception of more proposals from the commercial satellite developers saying that they will be considered if the contracts awarded to SpaceX and L3Harris fail to achieve the set targets.
The SDA anticipates the two companies to deploy the eight payloads to space before 2023. The agency is also planning to deploy twenty satellites for the Transport Layer to start synchronizing with the incoming eight. This integration will help the Missile Defense Agency evaluate its capacity to handle data from these two systems efficiently. In conclusion, SDA hopes to add more satellites to fill the two constellations to widen the military’s operating base in space and synchronize it with the controllers at the ground stations. The military agency will be analyzing how they can improve their military activities without stirring up trouble.