CACI to collaborate with U.S. Army on space technologies

WASHINGTON – U.S. defense contractor CACI International announced Feb. 6 it signed an agreement with the U.S. Army to collaborate on the development of space sensors and payloads for positioning, navigation and timing.

The company, based in Reston, Virginia, signed a five-year cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Technical Center, located in Huntsville, Alabama.

The agreement is to “further the development of advanced payload technologies, space sensor applications, and resilient positioning, navigation and timing (PNT),” Todd Probert, CACI’s president of national security and innovative solutions, said in a statement. 

The CRADA will give the Army access to the technology CACI plans to launch in an upcoming demonstration mission. The company developed two payloads  — one for PNT and the other for tactical signals intelligence — that will fly to low Earth orbit on a York Space satellite bus scheduled to launch no earlier than April on the SpaceX Transporter 7 rideshare. 

The PNT payload, called “time-focused PNT,” will demonstrate GPS-independent Earth-space time synchronization. The technology is intended to “contribute to GPS resiliency, and provide augmentation in GPS-denied or degraded environments,” the company said.

The tactical signals intelligence payload will demonstrate the ability to collect, geolocate, demodulate and decode digital mobile radio signals.

“The Army expressed interest in participating in the program to evaluate these technologies for military use,” the company said.

The PNT technology would serve as a back-up to GPS or as an alternative when GPS is unavailable. This technology is of interest to the Army as soldiers and weapons systems are highly dependent on PNT signals from space and need other options in case GPS signals are jammed. 

The Army also is seeking new satellite payloads for overhead surveillance and target identification.

Under the agreement, CACI also will work with the Army on laser communications, laser sensing, artificial intelligence and secure communication.

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