Technology SpaceX wins $28.7M contract from Air Force for data connectivity research

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    tom_mai78101 The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host Staff Member

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    SpaceX has won a $28.7 million fixed-price contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory for experiments in data connectivity involving ground sites, aircraft and space assets — a project that could give a boost to the company’s Starlink broadband satellite service.

    The contract was awarded on Wednesday, with work due to be completed by mid-2021.

    It’s part of a program called Defense Experimentation Using Commercial Space Internet, or DEUCSI, which aims to provide the Air Force with the ability to communicate via multiple satellite internet services, using common hardware elements.

    That strategy would make it possible for the Air Force to switch data service providers easily — for example, if new providers decide to enter the market, or if existing providers decide to leave it.

    calls for proposals." data-reactid="26">There are also tactical reasons for switchability. “An Air Force pilot using the space internet may wish to change vendors in flight to access a more favorable spectrum or geometry,” the project’s managers said in one of their calls for proposals.

    The award makes clear that the U.S. military is interested in taking advantage of the global broadband access that Starlink and other satellite constellations in low Earth orbit could provide. In the past, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and other executives have talked more about the civilian market — that is, the idea that satellite constellations could benefit billions of people around the world who don’t currently have affordable, reliable broadband access.

    Read more here. (Yahoo! News)

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