Analytical Space, Inc. (ASI) has been awarded a $26.4 million, three-year contract by the Department of the Air Force’s commercial investment arm (AF Ventures), with joint funding from the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), as part of the Strategic Financing (STRATFI) program.
The award – which will be matched by private investment funds – will result in the research, development, launch, and deployment of six satellites and two additional hosted payload network nodes for Analytical Space’s Fast Pixel Network.
The Fast Pixel Network is a data transport network in LEO that ingests data from geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) collection satellites, routes that ingested data from node to node via high speed optical intersatellite links and delivers that data in real time to military operators, intelligence analysts, and commercial consumers of satellite data. Operating in the space between those GEOINT satellites and existing ground station networks, the Fast Pixel Network layer enables critical space-derived intelligence to reach end users with very low latency across diverse data pathways – orders of magnitude faster than existing space networking architectures.
“The Analytical Space team is thrilled to bring this cutting-edge capability to bear for the United States Space Force and its partner services and agencies,” said Gil Valdes, the Business Development Lead for Government Programs at Analytical Space. “As the space domain becomes more contested over the coming decades, maintaining connectivity with space-based assets and the data they produce will be absolutely critical. Analytical Space is proud to play a key role in ensuring that future for the United States and its allies.”
ASI’s Chief Executive Officer, Dan Nevius, reflected on the award of this $26.4 million STRATFI contract to ASI. “Just four years ago, Analytical Space embarked on its mission to enhance the world’s ability to access satellite data and today we stand on the precipice of building this future we envisioned for the world. Satellite data is such a key enabler in our ability to fight climate change, prevent humanitarian injustices, and decipher complex economic problems. Today’s joint investment by AF Ventures in our technology sends a clear signal that Analytical Space’s dual use technology is poised to be a premier enabler in this fight to build a peaceful world by democratizing and speeding access to space-borne data through the Fast Pixel Network.”
“The U.S. Space Force Space and Missile Systems Center is committed to leveraging a resilient and secure commercial space communications architecture to augment our exquisite systems and deliver increased capabilities for warfighters in all domains,” said 1st Lt. Tyler Albright, from SMC’s Cross Mission Ground and Communications Enterprise at Los Angeles Air Force Base, CA. “We are eager to incorporate the services provided by ASI’s STRATFI-deployed Fast Pixel Network nodes into the Department of the Air Force’s capability matrix.”
Analytical Space is deploying the Fast Pixel Network– a network of data relay satellites in low Earth orbit that will enable high throughput, low latency, path diverse downlink of data from remote sensing satellites. Today, no network exists to connect commercial and government GEOINT collection platforms in LEO through one network for delivery to end users on the ground. ASI aims to build out that infrastructure. Through its network, ASI will enable satellite operators to deliver more data faster to end users in near real time, without altering their existing communications hardware. Analytical Space has deployed two technology demonstration satellites to date and is slated to launch its third data relay demonstration satellite – Cornicen-1 – via a separate SBIR Phase II contract with the U.S. Space Force in late-2021. By closing the connectivity gaps in orbit, ASI’s network will unlock new possibilities for innovation in space, enable insights to optimize the global economy, and help us understand our planet like never before. Learn more at analyticalspace.com and via this video.