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Blue Canyon Technologies completes Preliminary Design Review for DARPA Blackjack program

(2 October 2019 - Blue Canyon Technologies) In collaboration with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the US Air Force (USAF), small spacecraft manufacturer Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT) has completed the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) for the Blackjack program.

BCT is designing an ESPA-class microsat for Blackjack, incorporating their state-of-the-art commoditized FleXbus spacecraft architecture.

The PDR took place on July 29th at BCT’s Boulder-Colorado manufacturing facility and demonstrated the spacecraft bus design meets mission requirements. The PDR culminates the first phase of the program. An extension is currently being negotiated to include a supplemental design review to occur in a matter of months.

BCT is the first company on contract with DARPA to complete a PDR for the Blackjack program. The manufacturer will submit a bid for Blackjack Phase 2 once DARPA finalizes requirements.

“The successful PDR represents a culmination of an intensive 10 months of engineering design effort within Blue Canyon and with external partners who will be vital to meeting Blackjack mission requirements” said Bill Schum, Blackjack Program Manager at Blue Canyon Technologies.

With funding from DARPA and the USAF, the Blackjack program aims to develop and demonstrate the critical technical elements of a global high-speed network platform in low Earth orbit (LEO) that enables highly networked, resilient, and persistent Department of Defense (DoD) payloads.

Blue Canyon’s diverse spacecraft platform has the proven capability to enable a broad range of missions and technological advances for the New Space economy, further reducing the barriers of space entry. The X-SAT microsat spacecraft uses BCT’s heritage FleXbus avionics to provide an advanced platform that maximizes payload volume. The spacecraft includes ultra-high-performance pointing accuracy, a robust power system, command and data handling, RF communications, and dedicated payload interfaces.

BCT is currently building more than 60 spacecraft for government, commercial and academic missions. The company has doubled in size over the past 12 months and plans to open its new 80,000-square-foot headquarters and production facility in 2020.

About BCT

Blue Canyon Technologies, Inc., (BCT) a Colorado-based private company founded in 2008 to bring innovative, reliable and affordable solutions to space missions, is an experienced integrator of aerospace systems and developer of advanced aerospace products and technologies. BCT is a vertically integrated spacecraft manufacturer supporting nearly 40 unique missions with over 70 spacecraft. The company currently has more than 60 satellites in production and is developing a new 80,000-square-foot facility for high rate production.

BCT has supported missions for The US Air Force, NASA, The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and many others and provided the Attitude Control Systems for the first interplanetary CubeSats which successfully traveled to Mars.