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MDA Sends 2 CubeSats to Space for Radio Tech Demonstration Efforts

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The Missile Defense Agency has deployed another two CubeSats aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to support several MDA and Department of Defense space efforts including the Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor program.

Aside from assisting in the HBTSS development, MDA said Tuesday the new set of CubeSat Networked Communications Experiment Block 2 space vehicles will be used to test in-orbit nanosatellites’ networked radio communications as part of the Nanosat Testbed Initiative.

Vice Adm. Jon Hill, director of the MDA, underscored the importance of having a tech demonstration program in support of the national missile defense system.

“Establishing reliable communications links between satellites in orbit means we can relay fire-control-quality adversary missile track data to the warfighter through our command and control, battle management, and communications system, so we can engage and destroy those threats,” he added.

CNCE Block 2 will also be used to demonstrate a new software-defined radio and a technology for supporting High Assurance Internet Protocol Encryption in space.

The May 25 launch followed the first CNCE Block 1 deployment in 2021. However, the first two CubeSats were retired prior to the latest launch.

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