The Department of Defense’s recently established Space Development Agency is slated to release a request for information on low Earth orbit small satellite capabilities by summer of this year, Space News reported Wednesday.
Fred Kennedy, director of the SDA, told reporters that he intends to launch SDA satellites into orbit by 2022. The agency plans to issue its first RFI in July ahead of a draft solicitation by Sept. 30.
“I will do demonstrations to make sure that I’m ready to go, but I intend to put real hardware on orbit that does real work,” he noted.
The SDA head wants to focus on LEO-based platforms to operate on the space sensor layer designed for missile-tracking satellites. He added that the agency is monitoring new smallsat offerings and developments by legacy providers as well as contractors like Lockheed Martin.
Kennedy noted that he seeks to expand SDA’s operations through a reprogramming request for the DoD’s $150 million fiscal 2020 budget proposal that is still subject to congressional approval.