Space Dev’t Agency Seeking Low-Earth Orbit Satcom Capabilities

Jeff Brody

The Space Development Agency looks to use rapid acquisition authorities for satellite communications capabilities to establish a low-Earth orbit constellation, Space News reported Tuesday.

Gen. Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a breakfast meeting that the armed forces need “ubiquitous communications” that an LEO constellation can provide. LEO satellites are also designed to handle other functions such as position, navigation and timing. 

“We’re not the only people trying to do this. That has implications for how we operate in space, how we defend the things we operate in space, and what we believe freedom of navigation looks like in space,” he said.

According to Selva, the Department of Defense lacks procedures for rapidly conducting experiments to develop requirements for space-based communications. Selva is slated for retirement in July following a four-year tenure as the U.S. military’s second-highest ranking officer.

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