Mini Satellites Being Developed in Colorado
Key defense contractors in the US are on the verge of re-inventing their satellite businesses. Their main aim of these activities is to produce small satellites that are no bigger than a microwave oven. This is in line with efforts by the government to develop alternatives for the huge, expensive satellites that have been relied upon for years.
Major names that have been mentioned in collaborative efforts for the satellite project include Boeing and Raytheon. Partnering with a few startups, Boeing has invested in a Colorado-based BridgeSat. Similarly, Raytheon is developing the Virginia-based HawkEye360. These companies are acting swiftly to respond to the changing environment and priorities of the security and intelligence agencies. It is also worth noting that the market for smaller satellites is growing at an alarming rate. Smaller devices have the benefit of being able to orbit near the earth’s atmosphere. Looking at the statistics, a total of 292 satellites were launched into space in 2017 compared to 55 in 2016. The shift to smaller spacecrafts has been due to increasing innovation, which has consequently made them cheaper to manufacture than in the past few decades. There has also been an increase in commercial launch providers, further stimulating innovation in this industry.
For military and security agencies, the move to adopt smaller devices aims to boost aerospace capabilities in the event of attack. This is the basis for the new Space Force proposal by President Trump. In the event that the proposal is approved, the Space Force will focus on combatting threats in space. With this in mind, stakeholders such as Boeing seek to be part of the commercial spaceflight revolution. The Defense Department’s advanced research and development arm, known as DARPA is also working hard so as to make the new satellite technology a reality in the near future.