Lockheed Martin Satellite Tests Space Mesh Networking
Lockheed Martin is now in-orbit testing space computing that could enable artificial intelligence, data analytics, cloud networking, and advanced satellite communications in a new software-defined architecture. The experimental nanosat payload Pony Express 1 was launched in December as a hosted payload on Tyvak’s Tyvak-0129 spacecraft.
Pony Express 1 was developed, built and integrated in nine months, and was funded completely by Lockheed Martin Research and Development funding. Some of the key technologies being flight-tested include: HiveStar software, which validates advanced adaptive mesh communications between satellites and shared processing capabilities; a software-defined radio that allows for high-bandwidth hosting of multiple RF applications, store-and-forward RF collection, data compression, digital signal processing and waveform transmission; and 3D-printed wideband antenna housing.
“Early on-orbit data show Pony Express 1 is performing its important pathfinding mission very well. Lockheed Martin’s HiveStar technology on board will give our customers unparalleled speed, resiliency, and flexibility for their changing mission needs by unlocking even greater processing power in space,” said Rick Ambrose, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space. “This is the first of several rapid, self-funded experiments demonstrating our ability to systematically accelerate our customers’ speed to mission while reducing risk from new technologies.”