Small Sat Industry Pushes For Funds—Recent Report

The association of trade association representing manufacturers of small satellites will be attempting to push Capitol Hill with renewed vigor for ensuring the inclusion of funds in the budget of Pentagon for technology regarding smallsat. According to Steve Nixon, who is the president of the group, in particular, the Alliance of SmallSat has asked lawmakers to invest additional money into the budget of the Air Force for the development of hybrid architectures which will combine intelligence satellites and legacy military, in addition to smallsat capabilities at commercial as well as government level.

Nixon further said that they will be requesting more money for going to the laboratory for research on the Air Force, based in New Mexico’s Albuquerque to get enablers such as training data on AI, satellite autonomy, cloud and secure distributed comms. These hybrid architecture comprises usage of allied and commercial satellites.

Currently, the industry is keen to see increased funding for ground, space as well as launch segments involving small satellites. It has also called for reforms in policies. According to Nixon, future interactions that they have with the authorities at the Hill, his team will work to reduce the license fees of the Commission of Federal Communications. They also plan to address obstacles in the engagement of SmallSat companies when it comes to the community of intelligence.

Agencies concerned with national security have expressed willingness in using smallsats for improvement of deterrence, resilience, cycle times of innovation and revisit rates. However, this rhetoric has failed to translate to funded programs. Nixon also confirmed that the SDA will require overcoming the gauntlet of the Congress. He also talked about how an increasing number of officials have been talking to him about a greater number of resilient architectures utilizing smallsats. However, apart from Fred Kennedy from Blackjack and Agency of Space Development, nobody else has invested much in the technology.

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