SEAKR demonstrates DARPA Pit Boss hardware on-orbit in 9 months
(6 January 2021 - SEAKR) SEAKR Engineering (SEAKR) has announced it realized on-orbit technology demonstration of Pit Boss supercomputing processing hardware in 9 months as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Blackjack Program.
Pit Boss is an autonomous, collaborative, distributed space-based enterprise designed to self-task, process, and distribute tactically relevant information to manned and unmanned subscribers.
As Pit Boss prime, SEAKR supports the Blackjack program with two risk reduction demonstration flights as Low Earth Orbit (LEO) rideshares. The first demonstration, Mandrake I, a cubesat, validates key Pit Boss hardware and chip level technologies prior to full production. The experimental orbital platform includes a digital twin and provides ‘real-time’ efficacy feedback on LEO radiation mitigations and processor performance. The single satellite system launch supports early evaluation and characterization for risk reduction in technology development. The second demonstration, Mandrake II, aims to advance laser communications between satellites and to ground or airborne assets with Blackjack constellation laser terminals.
DARPA’s Blackjack program focuses on integrating commercial satellite technologies into a constellation of affordable, small, secure, and resilient military satellites. Mandrake efforts combine mission development and management services, integration coordination, as well as mission operations, data reduction and processor prototype development. The Mandrake program supports the Blackjack program’s mission by aiming to reduce risk and validating key technologies and capabilities to expand operational fidelity.
SEAKR’s processing developments for DARPA’s blackjack program leverages four generations of architectural capability supporting the full spectrum of payload processing performance requirements, with a high level of on-orbit reconfigurable processing capability. Pulling from its established heritage capabilities, strength in Radio Frequency (RF) communications, along with the continuous product and architectural advancement, SEAKR continues to define leading edge, state-of-practice processing systems in partnership with government, civil, and commercial entities. SEAKR’s previous study and prototype advancements have successfully contributed to our customer’s ability to solve complex challenges imperative in advancing capability to meet today’s most daunting mission objectives. Key technologies being deployed and leveraged include: Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) and Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) technologies, Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) based processing technologies, and Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) based processing technologies.
About SEAKR Engineering
SEAKR Engineering is the leading-edge provider of advanced electronics for space applications. We design and manufacture processors, command and data handling systems, advanced payloads, and manned space hardware. Founded in 1982 to revolutionize spacecraft memory systems, today SEAKR continues forward innovation with state-of-the-art space communications processors capable of channelization and beamforming.