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Northrop Grumman has teamed with two smaller technology specialists, German company Mynaric and US firm Innoflight, to bring the Space Development Agency (SDA) vision of a secure, proliferated Low Earth Orbit (LEO) mesh communication network closer to reality.
The company has successfully conducted a ground demonstration of a secure networked laser communications system for proliferated military LEO constellations.
Performed for the SDA leadership, the demonstration validated compatibility between commercially developed laser communication and secure U.S. government encryption hardware, providing a baseline for Northrop Grumman’s future proliferated space crosslink communications offerings including SDA’s Transport and Tracking programs.
Northrop Grumman invested in this demonstration to reduce key risks early in development, according to Blake Bullock, vice president, communication systems, strategic space systems, Northrop Grumman. “Our team focused on speed and optimizing the best of emerging commercial suppliers like Mynaric and Innoflight – while bringing the mission expertise unique to Northrop Grumman to test and field this prototype constellation.”
Northrop Grumman selected Mynaric as a strategic supplier for laser communications in space, and Innoflight for encryption, decryption and other key aspects of Northrop Grumman’s architecture.
Another step toward enabling this vision to connect the joint force is the recent announcement of a collaboration with AT&T to research and develop a 5G-enabled digital battle network.
Innoflight is a non-traditional defence contractor founded in 2004. Its core competency is secure Command, Control, Communications and Computers (C4) systems based on COTS technology. The company offers space avionics, including Communications & Networking Solutions, Cyber Security Solutions, Processing, Data Storage & Payload Interface Electronics Solutions, and Bus & Payload Integrated Avionics Solutions. Our.
Mynaric, headquartered in Munich, produces laser optical communications terminals for air, space and mobile applications.