Blue Canyon Technologies, LLC, and SEAKR Engineering, LLC, wholly owned subsidiaries of Raytheon Technologies, have announced that they have delivered one, Saturn-class, microsat bus and have also completed acceptance testing of the first two of 12, Pit Boss Battle Management Command, Control and Communication payloads for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Blackjack Program.
Blue Canyon is providing ten, Saturn-class buses total, with the remaining nine expected to ship later in the year. The buses are BCT’s first flight units using the company’s new Kyber Electrical Power System and Hyperion Solar Arrays. Each bus includes advanced electric propulsion, a robust power system, command and data handling, radio frequency communications and dedicated payload interfaces capable of hosting several different Department of Defense payloads.
SEAKR Engineering has completed acceptance testing of the first two, flight units of the 12 Pit Boss Battle Management Command, Control and Communication payloads for the DARPA Blackjack constellation. These units have shipped for space vehicle Assembly, Integration and Test.
The Blackjack mission will develop and demonstrate critical elements of a global high-speed network in LEO. The goal of the Blackjack program is to show that a constellation of LEO satellites meets U.S. Department of Defense performance and payload requirements, at a significantly lower cost, with shorter design cycles and with easier and more frequent technology upgrades. The Blackjack program aims to establish an economy of scale not previously available with current National Security space assets, which are large, costly and would take years to replace if degraded or destroyed.
Blue Canyon built and delivered Blackjack’s ground test unit to Lockheed Martin in early May of this year. The remaining customized, Saturn-class buses are currently in production at BCT’s smallsat factory in Lafayette, Colorado.
SEAKR Engineering is manufacturing the payloads at their facilities in Centennial, Colorado.
“This is a momentous milestone for BCT’s Saturn microsatellite product line with the first-ever Saturn bus flight unit to achieve environmental testing,” said Jeff Schrader, president of Blue Canyon Technologies and SEAKR Engineering. “The accomplishment of qualifying and shipping this unit was no easy feat with teams working around the clock to run test after test to reduce risk and ensure success in the overall mission. It was a collaborative effort with Raytheon Intelligence & Space, BCT and SEAKR Engineering that further signifies confidence in our capabilities as an end-to-end spacecraft provider.”
“Pit Boss plays many critical roles for the Blackjack constellation by providing on-orbit mission autonomy, a space platform for DevSecOps Docker applications, network routing of optical satellite links, and high speed link encryption,” said Dave Anderson, SEAKR’s Vice President, Advanced Product Development and CTO. “The Pit Boss BMC3 has enough processing resources with margin to perform all these functionalities simultaneously.”
Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, is comprised of four business units: CubeSats, Microsats, Components, and Mission Operations. BCT offers a diverse portfolio of innovative, reliable, and affordable spacecraft and components that enable a broad range of missions and technological advancements for the new space economy. The company currently supports numerous unique missions with over 100 cumulative spacecraft orders. Microsatellites are manufactured at the 80,000 sq-ft Lafayette facility and CubeSats and components are manufactured in 40,000 sq-ft of dedicated facilities in Boulder, Colorado. BCT has supported missions for the U.S. Air Force, NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and provided the Attitude Control Systems for the first interplanetary CubeSats, which successfully traveled to Mars. The company has been recognized with awards from Inc. Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies, the Best in Biz Award and the 2020 Tibbetts Award.
SEAKR Engineering is the leading-edge provider of advanced electronics for space applications. We design and manufacture processors, command and data handling systems, advanced payloads, and manned space hardware. Founded in 1982 to revolutionize spacecraft memory systems, today SEAKR continues forward innovation with state-of-the-art space communications processors capable of channelization and beamforming. SEAKR was acquired by Raytheon Technologies in 2021.
Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business, delivers the disruptive technologies our customers need to succeed in any domain, against any challenge. A developer of advanced sensors, cyber services and software solutions, Raytheon Intelligence & Space provides a decisive advantage to civil, military and commercial customers around the world.