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Lockheed Martin Completes Phased Array Test With Ball Aerospace, Wins SDA Contract

By Annamarie Nyirady | September 2, 2020

Photo: Ball Aerospace

Lockheed Martin and Ball Aerospace successfully completed a phased array transmit test for a Multi-Band, Multi-Mission (MBMM) antenna. This is a milestone for the U.S. Space Force’s MBMM program, as it moves the team one step closer to a full end-to-end satcom demonstration. This transmit test follows a successful receive test from February.

MBMM helps enable multiple satellites to simultaneously connect with a single-phased array antenna system using multiple frequencies. It increases throughput, while also shrinking the antenna’s footprint.  The prototype antenna, awarded by the Defense Innovation Unit in April 2019, features technologies like Lockheed Martin’s Horizon satellite scheduler, Ball Aerospace’s modular subarray and panel design, and Kratos RT Logic digital signal processing.

“Ball Aerospace has targeted investment in the core phased array technologies required to allow MBMM to address the Space Force’s mission needs while providing an affordable full system solution,” said Jake Sauer, vice president and general manager, Tactical Solutions, Ball Aerospace. “With the successful completion of the transmit test, we are looking forward to the full end-to-end mission demonstration of the phased array capability.”

Additionally, the Space Development Agency (SDA) awarded a Tranche 0 contract of the Space Transport Layer to Lockheed Martin on Tuesday. This contract is for the demonstration of a mesh network of 10 small satellites that link terrestrial warfighting domains to space sensors. The satellites are targeted to launch in two years.