SDA issues notice for Tranch 2 satellite payloads

By Apurva Minchekar / June 1, 2023 at 2:08 PM

The Space Development Agency has issued a draft request for information for payloads to be carried on a new group of satellites that are expected to launch in 2027.

The agency is seeking industry feedback on grouping payloads into Tranche 2 Development and Experimentation System space vehicle variants. According to the notice, the agency is expecting to launch approximately 20 SVs configured in several variants.

SDA is looking to collaborate with contractors with expertise in technical and manufacturing readiness of payloads required for the satellite constellation and will release a solicitation notice after June 15.

The agency is also planning to invest in specialized payloads for the demonstration of the T2DES system that includes Protected Tactical Waveform, Directional Line of Sight, Link-16 MIDS Modernization 2 and Translator Satellites, the agency noted in the notice.

During an April 5 Mitchell Institute Forum event, SDA Director Derek Tournear said the T2 transport layer would include three sets of launches -- Beta, Alpha and Gamma, in that order. An RFP for the Gamma Satellite is likely to be released late this year or early next year, he added.

SDA is expecting to award the T2DES contract in the second quarter of fiscal year 2024, the notice reads.

On April 2, the Defense Department announced SDA plans to demonstrate low-latency data connectivity beyond line-of-sight targeting, missile warning and missile tracking, on-orbit fusion and multi-phenomenology ground-based sensor fusion.

T2DES is part of SDA’s Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture that will demonstrate the potential warfighter utility and proliferation for future tranches. According to the notice, Tranche 1 Transport Layer will launch in September 2024 with at least 126 SVs, each hosting various datalinks and waveforms.