DARPA Robots to Help with Satellite Maintenance

Apr 25, 2019

The new Space Force program being developed by the Pentagon aims to increase the number of satellites and other military, government, and commercial equipment being sent into orbit. According to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, the U.S. currently has more than 400 satellites and equipment in orbit, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is already seeking ways to repair the new technologies sent to space.

Currently, the majority of this equipment orbiting Earth is not programmed to return for routine maintenance. As was demonstrated with NASA’s recent Mars Rover, once a piece of equipment breaks or dies in space there are very limited options to repair it, and more often than not that piece of equipment is no left to die and remain in outer space.

Through its new “Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites” program, DARPA is proposing to send robot engineers to space to handle maintenance services for this equipment, such as the upkeep and upgrading of satellites, as well as moving the various equipment to desired locations in space. DARPA explained that the goal of these robots is to “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.

DARPA will be sponsoring a one-day Proposers Day to provide information to those interested in partnering on the RSGS program. The Proposers Day will take place May 22 in Washington, DC. Those interested in attending must register by May 6. To request a Proposers Day registration form, email: DARPA-SN-19-49@darpa.mil, and reference RSGS Special Notice number (DARPA-SN-19-49).

For further information, click here: https://www.fbo.gov/index.php?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=92e60411e8520e240abee2f937d8f462&tab=core&_cview=0