ATK was awarded a study contract by the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to better understand innovative surveillance technology for battlefield imagery. ATK will apply its expertise in small, cost-effective space system solutions as part of the Space Enabled Effects for Military Engagements (SeeMe) program to develop practical surveillance methods for the warfighter. The SeeMe program is aimed at developing technologies capable of providing reliable surveillance data in the field, using small, low-cost satellites that are launched quickly to support the speed of military operations.

As part of the contract, ATK intends to transition advanced, imagery-processing algorithms used on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to small satellites in space, taking advantage of the latter’s strategic advantages. By partnering on the contract with Logos Technologies, Inc. and the University of Southern California/Information Sciences Institute, ATK hopes to shave satellite size, weight, power, and cost.

ATK Space Systems Division Vice President and General Manager Tom Wilson explains: “This award allows ATK to demonstrate our ability to deliver on every aspect of design, development, and integration for low-cost, low-risk flight systems.” He adds: “We have proven ourselves as an industry leader in developing cost-effective spacecraft systems and tactical intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) programs through the success of the military’s TacSat-3 and ORS-1 programs. Our team is prepared to provide similar innovative solutions to DARPA in its mission to provide large global coverage to warfighters at lower cost.”

In addition, the development of ATK’s new A100 small satellite product line, aimed at serving the microsat market, could provide a unique capability to transition SeeMe technology to industry, research, and military operational markets.