Spaceflight Industries (Spaceflight) announced today that they have been funded by the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command to design and deliver a Kestrel Eye Block 2 Earth imaging spacecraft as part of the Army’s Kestrel Eye program.
Under the current effort, known as Kestrel Eye Block 2, Spaceflight will develop, build and deliver an Earth imaging nanosatellite. The spacecraft embodies a paradigm shift to lower-cost, higher persistence overhead reconnaissance capabilities. While not meant to replace traditional imaging assets, Kestrel Eye Block 2 seeks to augment the current approach to remote sensing by demonstrating the application of low-cost, commercial technologies to enable a new tier of reconnaissance capability.
The overall Army effort is a Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) that requires the demonstration program be completed in 24 months, or 2014. Incremental subsystem hardware demonstrations will occur regularly during development to build confidence in the system and assess subsystem performance against threshold objectives and goals.
“We are deeply honored that the US Army SMDC has selected Spaceflight Industries for this important program,” said Jason Spaceflight, President and CEO of Spaceflight Industries. “We look forward to demonstrating that low-cost, persistent imagery is achievable and repeatable utilizing commercial technologies, and that this
platform can provide a valuable new tier of imaging capability to traditional reconnaissance missions.”