Home Air US Air Force awards record $1B contract to Space Dynamics Laboratory

US Air Force awards record $1B contract to Space Dynamics Laboratory

AFRL Cislunar Highway Patrol System
The AFRL Cislunar Highway Patrol System is one of many programs that will benefit from a more rapid contracting vehicle, to advance space research and development. (AFRL graphic)

The US Air Force Research Laboratory has awarded its largest-ever contract for space-related technology development and mission support.

Worth up to $1 billion, the contract was awarded to Utah State University Space Dynamics Laboratory, a University Affiliated Research Center to ensure an essential engineering, research, and development capability, provided by an educational or other nonprofit institution.

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

“This contract solidifies the long-term strategic partnership between AFRL and USU/SDL,” said Col. Eric Felt, director of the AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate. “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.”

The Space Vehicles Directorate will serve as the single center of excellence for space within AFRL, with respect to the utilization of USU/SDL in their capacity as a non-profit research center.

“The overarching objective is to conduct scientific investigations and technology, research and development without the bureaucracy and delay of awarding multiple smaller individual contracts,” Felt said.

Research areas will include space-related sensor systems, space-cyberspace and information related capabilities, nuclear-related science and technology deterrence operations, as well as advanced satellite navigation and global positioning systems (GPS) technology, among others.

Col. Jon Luminati, Integrated Experiments and Evaluation Division chief, explained what this record-breaking contract will do for those working at AFRL, and at USU/SDL.

“This is a great example of how government and university researchers can partner together to solve the difficult problems that exist in space,” he said. “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.

“As a University Affiliated Research Center established by the DOD, to operate in the public interest, USU/SDL remains committed to developing and for the nation,” he added.