Northrop Grumman’s LEO Satellite Payload for US DARPA Blackjack Program
Northrop Grumman’s LEO Satellite Payload for US DARPA Blackjack Program

Northrop Grumman’s LEO Satellite Payload for US DARPA Blackjack Program

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Blackjack program has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a contract for Phase 2 development of an advanced, software-defined positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) payload, with options to build units destined for space flight. The PNT payload work is led by Northrop Grumman’s Future PNT Systems Operating Unit in Woodland Hills. The team supports the DARPA Tactical Technology Office’s goal of achieving capable, resilient and affordable national security space capabilities from low Earth orbit (LEO).

“Northrop Grumman’s software-defined Positioning, Navigation and Timing technology will offer military users an agile new signal from LEO that is not dependent on existing satellite navigation systems,” said Dr. Nicholas Paraskevopoulos, chief technology officer and sector vice president, emerging capabilities development, Northrop Grumman. “Warfighters depend on assured PNT for traditional missions like force projection and joint operations, but also for emerging autonomous and distributed missions.

The positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) payload payload features Northrop Grumman’s Software Enabled Reconfigurable Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Embedded Architecture for Navigation and Timing (SERGEANT) capability. The Phase 2 development effort is valued at $13.3 million if all options are exercised through emulation, critical design and build.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is an American multinational aerospace and defense technology company. With 90,000 employees and an annual revenue in excess of $30 billion, it is one of the world’s largest weapons manufacturers and military technology providers. Among its other current projects are development and production of the James Webb Space Telescope, an orbiting observatory slated for launch in 2021; and production of the solid rocket boosters for NASA’s Space Launch System program. It was the sole bidder on the Air Force’s Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program, which aims to develop and build a new intercontinental ballistic missile.

Northrop Grumman’s advanced, software-enabled positioning, navigation and timing payload has been developed to keep forces on target in difficult environments against advanced threats – even if the availability of existing satellite navigation systems are degraded or denied.