Emergent Space Technologies Awarded Subcontract by L3Harris Technologies for BMC3 Flight Software Support under SDA Tracking Layer Program
Emergent Space Technologies, Inc. (Emergent) has been awarded a subcontract by L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (L3Harris) for the Battle Management Command, Control, and Communications (BMC3) Flight Software under their Space Development Agency (SDA) Tracking Layer Tranche 0 (T0) Wide Field of View (WFOV) program. The Tracking Layer T0 contract is part of SDA’s mission to orchestrate development and fielding of the DoD’s National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA), focused to address future threats. The SDA uses novel approaches to accelerate the development of systems ensuring U.S. technological and military advantage in space for national defense. These systems are intended to provide global indications, warning, tracking, and targeting of advanced missile threats, including hypersonic vehicles. Their capabilities encompass innovative processing schemes and algorithms, space-based sensing, multi-sensor multi-orbit data fusion, and production of tactical data products ready for delivery to appropriate users.
Florida-based L3Harris Technologies was awarded a firm-fixed-price contract, valued at over $193 million, for the SDA Tracking Layer T0 WFOV program. The work includes delivery of four space vehicles with WFOV payloads, optical links, and BMC3 systems. L3Harris will develop and integrate the end-to-end satellite system protecting against advanced missiles. The period of performance runs through 2025, with four space vehicles delivered for launch in the first 24 months. L3Harris will develop wide field-of- view mission payloads, various space communication and network solutions, and inter- satellite optical links on the vehicles.
Emergent’s support to L3Harris is for the architecture, design, and development of the T0 BMC3 flight software. The BMC3 is responsible for management, coordination, and allocation of resources. BMC3 modules are envisioned to reside on Transport, Tracking, and mission partner Custody Layer nodes providing constellation management, mission management, and C2 functions, while providing an open hardware and software platform for mission data processing and exploitation needs. For T0, the BMC3 will support application layer experimentation with a Software Development Kit (SDK) for third party massless payload developers, while demonstrating fundamental connectivity and essential functionality. For later tranches, the BMC3 is expected to add benefits for onboard processing, networking, and autonomy.
Emergent’s BMC3 solution leverages its substantial space vehicle flight software design, development, and test experience from relevant multi-vehicle programs such as DARPA’s System F6 and Blackjack Pit Boss and NASA’s Starling and almost 10 years of experience in integrating flight software using NASA’s flight-proven core Flight System (cFS). Emergent uses an open, modular software architecture and SDK to provide for 3rd party Space Vehicle App (SVA) integration support. Emergent first developed the SDK interfaces and methods for DARPA’s System F6 and then further refined them on Blackjack Pit Boss and other government and internally funded programs. Existing Emergent flight software SVAs for autonomous navigation and maneuver and GN&C subsystem fault detection are poised to be used as proxies for 3rd party SVAs in T0, proving out integration, test, demonstration, and on-orbit SVA hot load features of the BMC3 architecture. BMC3 testing will leverage Emergent’s flight software development tools, ASCENT for modeling and simulation and SUMMIT for continuous integration and test, together capable of simultaneous high-fidelity truth-based software-in-the-loop simulation of more than 300 space vehicles.
“Emergent is thrilled and honored to be a part of the L3Harris SDA Tracking Layer WFOV team”, said Dr. George Davis, CEO of Emergent. “We have been working on flight software for autonomous satellite systems for many years, and this program provides an opportunity for our company to make a near-term, tangible impact on the evolution of national security space systems. In addition, I have to give great credit to L3Harris for the team they assembled for this program. It highlights the value of horizontally integrating best of breed technology for the rapid development and deployment of mission-critical capabilities. This will be an exciting, ground-breaking program to work.”