The House Pressure is increasing its effort to have the ability to launch a satellite tv for pc into orbit on a second’s discover.
Together with the Pentagon’s Protection Innovation Unit, USSF is asking trade in a brand new solicitation launched Aug. 24 for the subsequent functionality in its “tactically responsive house” mission, dubbed Victus Haze. The aim: Mix floor stations, launch capabilities, and a satellite tv for pc and be able to launch on 24 hours’ discover, and mission-ready inside 48 hours of reaching orbit.
That features rendezvous and proximity operations, the power to maneuver the satellite tv for pc shut to a different satellite tv for pc, and to “examine and characterize a simulated risk,” the solicitation says.
The satellite tv for pc should additionally be capable of stay operational for a minimum of six months.
Victus Haze builds on the House Pressure’s different ongoing tactically responsive house mission, Victus Nox. House Programs Command awarded contracts nearly a 12 months in the past, in September 2022, to satellite tv for pc maker Millennium House Programs and launch providers supplier Firefly Aerospace. The 2 have been ready for the decision to motion since April.
Victus Haze will “concentrate on end-to-end execution utilizing business capabilities,” in line with a DIU launch. “It’s crucial that we faucet into and leverage commercially developed capabilities—ones that we will quickly area to execute the VICTUS HAZE mission after which be capable of depend on for future [tactically responsive space] operational wants,” mentioned Maj. Jason Altenhofen, deputy for the House Safari Program Workplace at SSC, within the launch.
Particularly, the House Pressure and DIU need concepts which can be “novel in functionality, responsiveness, and supply accuracy.” The satellite tv for pc have to be flight-ready inside 12-18 months and “scalable with totally different payloads.”
After that, the launch supplier, satellite-maker, and floor management section will enter the “scorching standby” part, able to set the stage for a launch inside 48 hours. That’s adopted by an “alert” part, the place suppliers should stay prepared for 30 days. As soon as given “discover to launch,” last preparations have to be made in anticipation of launching within the subsequent accessible launch window inside 24 hours.
As soon as in orbit, the satellite tv for pc will conduct house area consciousness operations.
“The quantity and complexity of adversary threats in house is consistently rising,” mentioned Lt. Col. MacKenzie Birchenough in a press release. “To quickly reply to these threats, we have to ship essentially the most superior capabilities the U.S. has to supply. VICTUS HAZE will assist present the benefit we have to assess the threats and proceed our capacity to freely maneuver in house.”
Adversary threats embrace direct ascent anti-satellite weapons and “nesting doll” satellites that may hearth projectiles in orbit, each of which Russia has examined in recent times. China has additionally examined a direct ascent weapon and a satellite tv for pc able to grabbing and “grappling” one other satellite tv for pc in orbit.
Within the face of these threats, House Pressure leaders have emphasised the necessity for counterspace weapons of their very own, bigger teams of smaller satellites, and diversified orbits. Tactically responsive house provides yet one more dimension: the power to reconstitute satellite tv for pc constellations or compromised capabilities.
Congress is supportive, including $115 million to the House Pressure’s funds over the previous three years. USSF is asking for $30 million for tactically responsive house in 2024, and anticipates searching for the identical in 2025.
DIU has been instrumental in accelerating acquisition of quite a lot of experimental and rapid-development ideas since its launch in 2015. Its mission is to acceleration the infusion of economic know-how into the army by serving to companions organizations throughout the Division of Protection to rapidly area business capabilities to unravel real-world operational challenges at scale. DIU can be working with the House Pressure on tasks like high-speed cargo supply by way of house.