Ball Aerospace will build, launch and operate a set of 10 experimental space vehicles and ground systems for the Space Development Agency under a $176 million other transaction prototype agreement.
The company will integrate government-furnished payloads into the satellites for deployment in 2024 as part of the National Defense Space Architecture Experimental Testbed program, SDA said Tuesday.
As the NExT prime contractor, Ball Aerospace will aim to demonstrate beyond-line-of-sight command and control and low-latency data transport capabilities in support of the first tranche of the NDSA’s tracking layer.
The satellites will experiment with the Tranche 1 Transport Layer control infrastructure to assess the utility of partner payloads prior to potential integration with future tranches.
Contract work will occur at Ball Aerospace’s facilities in Colorado.