Array Wins $1.25M Air Force Award for High-Bandwidth Comms

Array Labs Secures Air Force Contract to Develop Communications Technology

June 5, 2024
Palo Alto

Array Labs has secured a $1.25M AFWERX contract to develop high-bandwidth cubesat comms hardware, aiming for a significant improvement in data rates. The award accelerates the development and deployment of this technology, culminating in a 2025 demonstration mission.

PALO ALTO, June 5, 2024 – Array Labs, the leading 3D imaging company, today announced a recent $1.25M contract win with AFWERX, a program of the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL). The Direct-to-Phase II SBIR award will support development of next-generation, high-bandwidth cubesat communications components, poised to dramatically improve data throughput. 

Today, the comms link is often the greatest limiting factor in the design, operational utility, and revenue-generating potential of small satellite missions. This is particularly salient in Earth observation, where data transmission size and downlink latency are mission-critical concerns.

With its developmental system, Array intends to demonstrate a significant improvement in space-to-ground data rates, when baselined against low Earth orbit systems with similar sensors and SWaP-C (Size, Weight, Power, and Cost) budgets. The system is a key component technology of Array’s formation-flying satellites and distributed imaging capability, which will offer 3D data with ~60X more detail than today’s spaceborne sensors. 

Today’s Air Force contract supports Array’s ambitious plans by accelerating the development and deployment of the next-gen communications system. Ultimately, this hardware will support low-cost, high-bandwidth downlink to Earth terminals–and Array customers–across the globe. 

“We’re very excited to partner with the Air Force to field this capability as quickly as we can,” Array CEO Andrew Peterson said. “This will directly enable Array to supply the Air Force and our other partners with a global, high-resolution 3D dataset, and low latency.” 

Over the course of the contract, which is already underway, Array will develop, test, and validate the system, build the first production unit, and demonstrate it on orbit in 2025. 

This award follows a separate AFWERX contract, supporting formation flight technologies, announced by Array earlier this year.

Note: The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Air Force, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

About Array Labs

Array Labs is building a distributed radar imaging constellation to power the first real-time, high-fidelity 3D model of Earth. Array’s ambition is to scale to multiple imaging clusters and sub-daily remaps, providing a never-before-seen, low-latency 3D view of our planet, delivered by space systems with far greater cost efficiencies than conventional 2D-imaging constellations flying today.

About AFRL

The Air Force Research Laboratory is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 12,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit

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