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Raytheon, CesiumAstro provide ASEA payload for PWSA

A rendering of CesiumAstro's Vireo AESA RF communications payload integrated into Tranche 1 satellites for the SDA's Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture. (CesiumAstro)

Raytheon will integrate CesiumAstro's active electronically scanned array (AESA) radio frequency (RF) communications payload into its low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites being developed for the Pentagon's Space Development Agency (SDA).

Raytheon programme officials plan to integrate seven Vireo AESA RF payloads into the company's prototype satellite systems being developed for the Tracking Layer of SDA's Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA), CesiumAstro CEO and founder Shey Sabripour told Janes.

The Transport Layer of the PWSA is designed to enable datalink transmission to extend the current LEO satellite communications (satcom) constellations from line-of-sight ranges into satcom-type ranges and reach. It is one of several layers that agency officials are planning to support the new LEO satellite architecture.

The AESA payloads will be folded into the Raytheon-developed LEO satellites scheduled for the fifth plane of the Tracking Layer,Sabripour said during a 2 May interview. β€œWe are delivering a couple of engineering model [payloads], one model for the government and one that works with Raytheon as sort of a flat side testbed,” said Sabripour. β€œAnd then we're delivering seven flight units by the end of July of next year,” he added

The SDA contracted Raytheon in March to begin development of seven satellite systems – the Tranche 1 Transport Layer (T1TL) of the PWSA. The Raytheon T1TL satellites were in addition to the initial 28 satellites the agency contracted for the T1TL.

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