London, 1 November 2023.- Space Systems Command (SSC) started its Technology, Applications, and Process (TAP) accelerator program at its newest TAP Lab on the 28th of October. It was supported by Virginia Tech’s Applied Research Corporation (VT-ARC) and MITRE Corporation. The opening day agenda welcomed more than 200 participants and showcased the mission of the Accelerator program and the physical space TAP Lab provides.
SSC’s Space Domain Awareness TAP Lab Accelerator program was developed to stimulate innovation and collaboration between industry, the Department of Defence, and academia. The program intends to provide the opportunity for SSC, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to work together to convert cutting edge software prototypes into commercial products.
There will be up to four cohorts each year, with a different project statement each time related to: space domain awareness, threat warning and assessment, and space battle management. Each cohort will collaborate for three months, with the possibility of follow-on contracts with the Space Force and other government agencies. The inaugural cohort is focused on protecting satellites in geosynchronous orbit from adversaries’ direct ascent anti-satellite weapons.
“Space domain awareness is a complex problem and we need industry to help solve it,” said Maj. Sean Allen, inaugural chief of the Space Domain Awareness TAP Lab Accelerator on the importance of utilizing cohort collaboration. “We are here to enable space superiority missions by avoiding operational surprise, denying the first mover advantage, and aiding responsible counterspace campaigns by collaborating across industry and government, providing expert mentorship, interacting with operators, and make measurable advances in space defence.”
SSC manages a $15 billion space acquisition budget for the DoD and works in partnership with joint forces, industry, government agencies, and academic and allied organizations to accelerate innovation and outpace emerging threats.