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Derek Tournear: SDA to Field Tracking Layer Satellites for Hypersonic Threat Detection

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Derek Tournear, director of the Space Development Agency and a 2021 Wash100 Award winner, said SDA will deploy satellites in low-Earth orbit as part of the tracking layer to help detect hypersonic glide vehicles by their heat signatures, DOD News reported Wednesday.

He said satellites of the tracking layer will communicate to the transport layer through laser optical cross links that can transmit large volumes of data.

Tournear discussed how the satellites of both tracking and transport layers would operate in support of the military’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control concept.

He noted that SDA plans to begin launching 144 satellites as part of the transport layer by September 2024 and send 28 tracking layer satellites to orbit by 2024 or 2025 to provide global coverage.

Space Acquisition Forum

GovCon Wire’s Space Acquisition Forum on Jan. 19th will feature Tournear as one of the speakers to share his insights on military acquisition reform and modernization efforts.

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