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US Army taps SpaceLink to explore tactical communications network

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The US Army Space and Missile Defense Command Technical Center (USASMDC-TC) has signed an agreement with SpaceLink to jointly explore a tactical communications network.

The Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) will allow both entities to identify alternative space communications pathways for reduced sensor-to-shooter latency.

The alternative pathways will also be used to help distribute crucial data and imagery more quickly.

Under the terms of the deal, the US Army and the Virginia-based firm will share facilities, intellectual properties, and expertise to “elevate solutions” for soldiers and the defense industry.

“We are honored to work with USASMDC-TC to assure that our development efforts meet the Army’s needs,” SpaceLink Chief Executive Officer Dave Bettinger said in a press release.

He further explained that exploring tactical communications networks would help enhance national security and boost the country’s dominance in space.

Need for ‘Very Quick’ Data Delivery

SpaceLink official Anthony Colucci told Via Satellite that the company is collaborating with the US Army to model how SpaceLink systems can benefit the service’s data-gathering capabilities.

He recognizes that the Army needs “very quick” data delivery to help address evolving threats.

“If someone in the Pentagon decides he or she needs an image over Donbas [Ukraine] and needs it right now, we can task the next satellite coming over instantaneously, and then as soon as it gathers data, we can return it,” Colucci stressed.

“We can shorten that whole cycle from the moment you realize you need it, to the moment you have in your hands from hours or even days, down to minutes or seconds.”

Under CRADA, SpaceLink will study the US Army’s concept of space operations and adjust its technology roadmap.

The service, meanwhile, will provide all necessary modeling and simulations to support the development of a remote sensing tactical downlink.

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