– 18 May 2019
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has released solicitation seeking Other Transaction (OT) proposals under the authority of 10 U.S.C. § 2371b for a U.S. space industry builder-owner-operator team that will partner with DARPA to jointly develop and demonstrate a robotic servicing vehicle (RSV) in GEO. DARPA has established the Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) program within the Tactical Technology Office (TTO). Please check FBO.gov for more info.
DARPA expects this team to have the ability to manufacture a GEO-qualified spacecraft bus, integrate a Government-provided payload onto that bus, launch the RSV, provide ground communications across the GEO belt, and operate the vehicle commercially for many years after successful completion of DARPA-specified demonstrations on-orbit. It is anticipated that the RSV owner will benefit from revenues derived from servicing operations provided to both commercial and Government operators of GEO satellites.
The objective of the RSGS program is to create a dexterous robotic operational capability in Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO) that can both provide increased resilience for the current U.S. space infrastructure and be the first concrete step toward a transformed space architecture with revolutionary capabilities. The long-term vision of the RSGS program is to enable persistent robotic servicing capabilities in GEO, beginning with the robotic servicer developed under the RSGS program and operated by a commercial entity, with the goal of achieving an enduring, reliable, cost effective GEO satellite servicing presence.