AFRL awards record-breaking $1B space tech contract to university

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), which is based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, has awarded a space technology contract whose value could reach a record-breaking $1 billion, the lab said Monday.

The contract was awarded to the Utah State University Space Dynamics Laboratory (USU/SDL).

The scope of work covered under the award includes space-related research and development activities for AFRL and its partners.

“It will allow us to focus on proactively out-innovating our peer competitors to ensure the Space Force continues to have the technology required to deter conflict and assure our nation’s critical space capabilities are available whenever and wherever needed,” Col. Eric Felt, director of the AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate, said in a release.

Research areas include space-related sensor systems, nuclear-related science and technology deterrence operations, advanced satellite navigation, precision quantum and photonic sensors and more.

“This is a great example of how government and university researchers can partner together to solve the difficult problems that exist in space,” said Col. Jon Luminati, Integrated Experiments and Evaluation Division chief. “By bringing together the top minds from academia and those working in our labs, we will be able to greatly advance our understanding of space, and the challenges we face operating in that domain.”

“This contract represents a vital contribution to assuring that the United States remains on the leading edge of research and development for space-based technologies,” said Dr. Jed Hancock, president of SDL.

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