DARPA’s Blackjack to receive about 20 satellite vehicles from Blue Canyon Technologies

WASHINGTON: Blue Canyon Technologies operates under a $1.41 million contract, and currently, it’s one the process of producing four satellites for the Blackjack operation. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency was the one that awarded the $1.41 million contract. The contract allows DARPA to purchase up to 20 satellites for $99.4 million. 

The contract places Blue Canyon in becoming the primary supplier of satellite vehicles for DARPA’s Blackjack operation. The project illustrates the military utility of a network of little satellites present in the low earth orbit. The central anticipation of DARPA is to liftoff at least 20 satellites by the time 2022 is here with us. 

However, DARPA signed a study partnership with other variety of vehicle providers, and Blue Canyon has a production contract. Other vehicle providers are still on the list of considerations. 

In an announcement made on 2 July by Blackjack Operation Chief, Rusty Thomas, DARPA must place Blue Canyon on the deal list to help meet the deadline of the program. The main concern here is to ensure that the satellite can operate Pit Boss, command-control, and software for Blackjack. 

The deal allows the firm to commence on detailed structure alignment, making sure that the autonomy interphase of Pit Boss is done and compatible with the current technology computer of Blue Canyon. Rewarding provides more time to the long way of procuring parts of the vehicle in support of the 2021 assembly, restoring of the elements, experiments, and the launch. 

DARPA wants Blackjack satellites to be modular so that the new payloads can easily be added without the need to redesign the bus. The idea is to be able to speed up production as well as lower the cost of the satellites about the traditional acquisitions of the custom-built spacecraft. William Schum, who works as a program manager at the Blue Canyon that is located in Boulder, Colorado, went on to say that the company is going to make Blackjack satellites at the new manufacturing facility that is located in Lafayette, Colorado. 

If DARPA does exercise all the options to be able to purchase 20 satellites, Schum went on to say that it was going to be Blackjack’s biggest contract that Blue Canyon wins so far. These satellites are based on a 150-kilogram X-SAT microsatellite bus, which Blue Canyon manufacturers for the commercial use. Schum went on to say that there is a little bit of customization that would be on-going.