Telesat Teams with Lockheed Martin on Space Development Agency Transport Layer


October 20, 2020

Telesat U.S. Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of leading global satellite operator Telesat, is now part of the Lockheed Martin team which was recently awarded the Space Transport Layer Tranche 0 contract by the U.S. Space Development Agency (SDA). The Lockheed Martin-led team will provide on-orbit delivery of 10 space vehicles with optical inter-satellite links (OISLs), contributing to a total of 20 satellites in Tranche 0. As part of this team, Telesat will support a commercial interoperability exercise by working with the Lockheed Martin team to demonstrate interoperability between the OISLs of the SDA’s Transport Layer satellites and those of Telesat’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation. The OISLs native to Telesat LEO will be compatible with the SDA’s OISL standard for an assured, resilient and secure network.

OISL technology is the enabler of vastly improved network security, resilience and performance in any space communications network. As a commercial OISL leader, Telesat will work with Lockheed Martin to explore interoperability of the SDA Space Transport Layer Tranche 0 satellites with the Telesat LEO network.  

“Lockheed Martin took a visionary approach to their SDA Transport Layer team, incorporating commercial space solutions to provide the U.S. government greater communications system resiliency and flexibility. We’re proud to bring Telesat’s system engineering expertise to the team,” said Don Brown, General Manager of Government Services at Telesat. “With the Telesat LEO advanced space architecture, governments worldwide can leverage commercial innovations. This approach, underpinned by Telesat’s OISL expertise, will enable space network performance on par with terrestrial networks, helping Lockheed Martin and the SDA demonstrate how interoperability with the commercial space networks can effectively drive better results for government connectivity.”

As part of the project, Telesat will conduct hardware and software testing on their LEO emulator at Telesat’s U.S. Government facility.

This project comes on the heels of numerous government partnerships for Telesat, including exploring the future of space-based government communications with the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s (DARPA) Blackjack program and the U.S. Space Force, Space and Missile Systems Center’s (SMC) CASINO program.

Through these partnerships, Telesat continues to showcase the possibilities of Telesat LEO in supporting government efforts and meeting the U.S. Government’s unique unilateral requirements, including offering true global connectivity throughout the polar regions.