USD 8.4 million military contract awarded to Tyvak for the experiment in VLEO
The Award Announcement for VLEO
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems was awarded $8.4 million contract by the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Vehicles Directorate. The contract for a very low Earth orbit experiment is scheduled to launch in 2024.
The Precise Flight Experiment was started by the Air Force Study Laboratory to perform further research in very low Earth orbit (VLEO) to better understand the physics of the upper atmosphere.
“It will appear as how ionization operates in the ionosphere, which is basically an area of ionised gas among 90-600 kilometres altitude, the affect radio propagation used by the warfighters for communications and navigation,” said Rachel Hock-Mysliwiec, the programme manager.
Technologies to be used
The experiment will analyze changes in the ionosphere caused by different compositions of ion source gases using sensitive satellite instruments and radio waves, she said.
Tyvak will provide a spacecraft for the experiment that can navigate between low Earth orbit (LEO) and very low Earth orbit (VLEO) to undertake sensor payload measurements.
The contract was granted by the Space Systems Command’s Space Enterprise Consortium as an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) arrangement.
Col. Eric Felt, director of the AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate, said, “We are thrilled to have this decentralised capability that will hasten prototype awards.”
Terran Orbital, Tyvak’s parent company, revealed plans to go public in October through a SPAC merger with Tailwind Two Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company. The deal should be completed in the first quarter of 2022.