Emergent Successfully Transitions Modeling and Simulation Technology to DARPA’s Blackjack Program
Under a Department of Defense (DoD) Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) contract, Emergent Space Technologies, Inc. (Emergent) successfully transitioned its modeling and simulation software, Ascent, to the DARPA Tactical Technology Office (TTO) Blackjack Pit Boss program. The RIF provides a collaborative vehicle for small businesses to provide the DoD with innovative technologies that can be rapidly inserted into acquisition programs that meet critical national security needs. The RIF is administered by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD R&E) and Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP).
Ascent is Emergent’s proprietary tool for high-fidelity modeling and simulation of space vehicles, including spacecraft bus and payload models; communications and tracking networks; and spacecraft force, measurement and reference frame models. The Common Open Research Emulator (CORE) is used for simulation of space-to-space and space-to-ground communications across realistic network conditions and physical dynamics. A key feature of Ascent is this ability to test flight software in software- and processor-in-the-loop (SIL/PIL) deployments for pre-flight integration and test of complex software solutions for autonomous, networked satellite systems. Integrated testing of spacecraft autonomy and bus payload management software using realistic models for the buses, payloads and the network links provides insight into achievable performance requirements (communications bandwidth, data latency, navigation and time, etc.) for satellite constellations such as those envisioned by Blackjack as well as the SDA’s National Defense Space Architecture.