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SMi MilSatCom USA 2020  Satellite Communications Technology

US Government further invests in Blue Canyon Technologies’ next-generation reaction wheel components line

(18 February 2020 - Blue Canyon Technologies) Small satellite manufacturer Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT) has been awarded an agreement with the United States Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) serving as Department of Defense (DoD) Executive Agent for the Defense Production Act (DPA) Title III program.

The purpose of this Title III project is to establish and scale up domestic production capability for the manufacture of space-qualified Next Generation Reaction Wheels (NGRWs) and small Control Moment Gyroscopes (CMGs). BCT’s diverse and growing reaction wheel platform has the proven capability to enable a broad range of missions and technological advances, further reducing the barriers of space entry.

The DPA Title III program is one of three active authorities in the Defense Production Act, which was first signed into law in 1950. The Title III program provides the President broad authority to ensure the timely availability of essential domestic industrial resources to support national defense and homeland security requirements through the use of tailored economic incentives. The DPA Title III program is managed by the Office of Industrial Policy within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Manufacturing and Industrial Technologies Division serves as its Executive Agent.

The new attitude control technologies will be developed and implemented in two-phases: Phase one of the four-year project will focus on small satellite reaction wheels. BCT will ensure the availability of highly reliable, flight-proven reaction wheels for U.S. Government and commercial use in low-Earth orbit (LEO). The project will require BCT to refine the design of its existing reaction wheel line.

Phase two will include the design and development of a small CMG for highly agile small satellite missions. This phase will also focus on accommodating longer mission lives for Mid-Earth (MEO), Geostationary Earth (GEO), and Highly Elliptical Orbits (HEO).

Reaction wheels and CMGs provide critical attitude control management functions of spacecraft. These products, which offer low to mid-level energy storage capabilities, are an important requirement for the increasing use of small satellite systems.

“Our company is one built on innovation and advanced aerospace engineering, and we are proud to partner with the DPA Title III program and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory on these next-generation components that are critical to unlocking the New Space economy,” said George Stafford, CEO and President of Blue Canyon Technologies.

About BCT

Blue Canyon Technologies, Inc., (BCT) a Colorado-based private company founded in 2008 to bring innovative, reliable and affordable solutions to space missions, is an experienced integrator of aerospace systems and developer of advanced aerospace products and technologies. BCT is a vertically integrated spacecraft manufacturer supporting nearly 40 unique missions with over 70 spacecraft. The company currently has more than 60 satellites in production and is developing a new 80,000-square-foot facility for high rate production.

BCT has supported missions for the U.S. Air Force, NASA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and many others and provided the Attitude Control Systems for the first interplanetary CubeSats which successfully traveled to Mars.