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IET Milsatcoms Online: 9-12 March 2021

Raytheon Intelligence & Space Blackjack sensor passes major milestone

(7 January 2021 - Raytheon Intelligence and Space) Raytheon Intelligence & Space’s sensor payload for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Blackjack program passed critical design review on schedule.

Blackjack is a low Earth orbit satellite constellation program that aims to develop and demonstrate the critical elements for persistent global coverage against a range of advanced threats.

“Our Blackjack design has required little change throughout reviews,” said Dave Broadbent, vice president and chief operating officer for Space & C2 Systems at RI&S. “That design stability as well as procurement and integration of parts has been key to meeting DARPA’s rapid delivery schedule.”

During critical design review, the team demonstrated that vital sensor components – focal plane, cryocooler, telescope and electronics – are already in fabrication, which significantly reduces schedule risk.

The team also provided updated sensor analysis, which dictates optimal performance parameters for missions, like orbit and type of mission. It showed that the Blackjack objective constellation can deliver persistent overhead access to any point in the world with a high degree of fidelity.

RI&S will continue to reduce integration timelines for rapid deployment, engaging with major subcontractors to be ready for production. RI&S is on contract to deliver two prototype sensor payloads and to support the systems integrator for integration with the Pit Boss mission management system and the space vehicle. It also includes launch campaign support and the on-orbit demonstration.

About Raytheon Intelligence & Space

Raytheon Intelligence & Space delivers the disruptive technologies our customers need to succeed in any domain, against any challenge. A developer of advanced sensors, training, and cyber and software solutions, Raytheon Intelligence & Space provides a decisive advantage to civil, military and commercial customers in more than 40 countries around the world. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, the business generated $14 billion in pro forma annual revenue in 2019 and has 35,700 employees worldwide. Raytheon Intelligence & Space is one of four businesses that form Raytheon Technologies Corporation.