An industry group of small-satellite technology firms is calling on the U.S. government to allocate funding for space-based national security programs to thwart adversaries while driving operational use for space products.
The SmallSat Alliance recently released a memo outlining proposed investments such as $500M for the rapid production and delivery of space technologies and services to “counter potential loss of a critical U.S. industry“ amid current health challenges.
The funding will cover smallsat efforts including small payload launch services, commercial space situational awareness, satellite communications, satellite control networks and space robotics.
In addition, the group urges the Air Force Research Laboratory's Space Vehicles Directorate to earmark $150M for the development of a “hybrid space architecture“ that will combine traditional government technology with new smallsat offerings to support the U.S. Space Force.
The group envisions the hybrid architecture to integrate U.S. government and commercial space systems with allied satellites in various orbits for Space Force activities such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations and high-bandwidth satcom.
Other recommendations outlined in the memo include allocations for the National Security Innovation Capital, which provides seed funding for early-stage commercial technologies “deemed critical to national security and defense.“