U.S. Space Force accelerator Hyperspace Challenge recently announced a program in partnership with the U.S. Space Force’s Space Rapid Capabilities Office (Space RCO) that is designed to convene a cohort of innovators and companies that can explore ways to make space assets, including satellites, more resilient to threats. The program will bring together companies from the traditional space and aerospace/defense industries, as well as from non-traditional industries such as automotive, manufacturing, and cybersecurity to engage with the U.S. Space Force to find innovative solutions.
Potential participants should submit an initial interest form by August 15.
“In addition to companies already targeting the space market, we need to be engaging now with non-space companies and innovators who can think creatively about the technologies they already use in their own fields that could have wider-reaching applications in space,” says Matthew Fetrow, Space RCO communications manager. “This is not necessarily your typical space cohort: we are interested in companies with advanced technologies that may or may not be operating in the space industry at all now. We’ve already said the future of space includes everyone. That future is now.”
Specifically, the 2023 cohort will be exploring the application of their proposed technologies to make space assets both more resilient and responsive to threats. Space RCO is pursuing products that:
- Increase Space Visibility and Awareness using threat and hazard awareness capabilities that can quickly and accurately detect and prioritize threats either from the ground or space.
- Advance Space Analysis and Vehicle Autonomy using artificial intelligence, machine learning, and/or autonomous technologies that reduce ground-based vehicle operator workload, inform intelligent vehicle response decisions, and decrease vehicle response time.
- Increase Space Vehicle Lifespan and Maneuverability using advanced propulsion, refueling capabilities, and/or other fuel conservation innovations that allow space assets to maneuver freely without future negative consequences.
While companies may address each need individually, Space RCO is particularly interested in addressing the needs collaboratively in order to unlock new opportunities in space, enable safer and faster readiness and training activities, and even create new operating concepts.
As part of the program, participants will work directly and develop relationships with government officials from Space RCO.
Candidates that should apply include:
- Companies outside of the traditional space and aerospace industries with relevant technological solutions that are currently applied to other industries or sectors, including (but not limited to) those in automotive, cybersecurity, or manufacturing
- Companies with technologies that could streamline the design, development, and deployment of solutions within the next few years
- Companies in the traditional space or aerospace industries with technologies supportive but adjacent to their core business that could have a relevant application to the needs, including those with sensor technologies, advanced computing solutions, propulsion systems, and refueling systems
- Companies interested in learning the details behind government needs and building relationships with potential government partners.
As concerns increase about threats to military, civil and even commercial satellites from deliberate actions such as physical attacks, signal jamming, or laser attacks that disable satellites, it has become more pressing to make sure that space is safe for everyone and that more advanced technologies are created to better maintain the security, stability, and long-term sustainability of space.