John Ferrari: Army Looks to Space Development Agency for LEO-Based Satcom Capabilities

John Ferrari

The U.S. Army kicked off discussions with the Space Development Agency to help provide ground forces access to satellites in the low-Earth orbit, SpaceNews reported Sunday. Ferrari, who most recently served as director of program analysis and evaluation at the Army, said that the SDA will play a lead role in serving as a space systems architect and establishing standards to facilitate the delivery of broadband communications and other LEO-based services to all service branches.

“What’s interesting to the Army about SDA is that they’re talking about building a satellite from the ground up,” John Ferrari, a retired Army major general, told the publication. “For the Army that’s important.” He also noted that the Army requires higher capacity communications platforms. “We’re not betting the farm on LEO. Maybe the business case doesn’t close, but we’re excited because it does offer a missing piece of the puzzle: assured connectivity at lower cost.”

On July 23, the SDA held its first industry day and informed contractors on a plan to come up with a “national security space architecture” using cloud computing, commercial sensors and LEO satellites.

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