MBRYONICS Selected by DARPA to Provide Optical Terminal For Space-BACN Program

MBRYONICS Selected by DARPA to Provide Optical Terminal For Space-BACN Program

MBRYONICS, an innovative Satellite Communications and Photonics equipment provider, has been selected by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop the optical terminal, including the space telescope, the pointing, acquisition and tracking system and the optical amplifiers, as part of theSpace-Based Adaptive Communications Node (Space-BACN) program.

The goal of Space-BACN is to create a reconfigurable, multi-protocol inter-satellite optical communications terminal that is low in size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C), easy to integrate, and able to connect heterogeneous constellations that operate on different optical inter-satellite link (OISL) specifications that otherwise would not be able to communicate.

Mbryonics, who participated in earlier development phases of the program, successfully delivered Phase 1 within 14 months and were awarded this new Phase 2 contract for Technical Area 1 (TA) to design and deliver the Optical Terminal. Mybryonics will coordinate with TA2 (Modem) and TA3 (Satellite constellation operators) contractors over a 21-month period of performance to accelerate the development of Inter-Satellite Communications capable of connecting disparate LEO constellations using different communications protocols to cross-talk; ultimately aiming to create a high-speed internet in space.

John Mackey, CEO of  Mbryonics said “Mbryonics’ goal is to power a trusted communications infrastructure delivering the internet in space and connecting us like never before. Digital Empowerment will pave the way for society to meet the greatest challenges of today and fulfil our ambitions for tomorrow. We take immense pride in DARPA’s selection of the Mbryonics team and our StarCom optical terminal. This collaboration supports the Space-BACN vision for seamless interconnectivity between government and commercial systems, fortifying a resilient space layer for JADC2 operations. We are delighted to be continuing this close collaboration with DARPA and our Space-BACN partners. This contract award solidifies Mbryonics’ leadership in industrial-edge optical communications, affirming our strategy of pioneering fiber-coupled photonic systems and leveraging proprietary advanced manufacturing processes and materials to deliver disruptive SWaP-C solutions, unparalleled data rates, and sustainable volume production.”

TA2 contractors are Intel Federal and Arizona State University and are designing the back end of the terminal, a reconfigurable modem that can support multiple optical waveforms up to 100Gbps on a  single wavelength.

TA3 contractors are SpaceX, Kuiper Government Solutions, and Telesat Government Solutions and are helping DARPA design the cross-communications command and control system, including the development of standards, common application programming interfaces, and consist of operations to enable cross-constellation interoperability.

Phase 2 will focus on scaling the technology to create low-cost solutions that can meet growing market demand while meeting the technical parameters for performance and efficiency, and interoperability. Mbryonics believes Phase 2 will be key to demonstrating the full potential of a new era of space-data. 

Click here to learn more about DARPA's Space-BACN Program.

Publisher: SatNow

GNSS Constellations - A list of all GNSS satellites by constellations


Satellite NameOrbit Date
BeiDou-3 G4Geostationary Orbit (GEO)17 May, 2023
BeiDou-3 G2Geostationary Orbit (GEO)09 Mar, 2020
Compass-IGSO7Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)09 Feb, 2020
BeiDou-3 M19Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M20Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M21Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M22Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 I3Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M23Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019
BeiDou-3 M24Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019


Satellite NameOrbit Date
GSAT0223MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0224MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0219MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0220MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0221MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0222MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0215MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0216MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0217MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0218MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Kosmos 2569--07 Aug, 2023
Kosmos 2564--28 Nov, 2022
Kosmos 2559--10 Oct, 2022
Kosmos 2557--07 Jul, 2022
Kosmos 2547--25 Oct, 2020
Kosmos 2545--16 Mar, 2020
Kosmos 2544--11 Dec, 2019
Kosmos 2534--27 May, 2019
Kosmos 2529--03 Nov, 2018
Kosmos 2527--16 Jun, 2018


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Navstar 82Medium Earth Orbit19 Jan, 2023
Navstar 81Medium Earth Orbit17 Jun, 2021
Navstar 78Medium Earth Orbit22 Aug, 2019
Navstar 77Medium Earth Orbit23 Dec, 2018
Navstar 76Medium Earth Orbit05 Feb, 2016
Navstar 75Medium Earth Orbit31 Oct, 2015
Navstar 74Medium Earth Orbit15 Jul, 2015
Navstar 73Medium Earth Orbit25 Mar, 2015
Navstar 72Medium Earth Orbit29 Oct, 2014
Navstar 71Medium Earth Orbit02 Aug, 2014


Satellite NameOrbit Date
NVS-01Geostationary Orbit (GEO)29 May, 2023
IRNSS-1IInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)12 Apr, 2018
IRNSS-1HSub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO)31 Aug, 2017
IRNSS-1GGeostationary Orbit (GEO)28 Apr, 2016
IRNSS-1FGeostationary Orbit (GEO)10 Mar, 2016
IRNSS-1EGeosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)20 Jan, 2016
IRNSS-1DInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)28 Mar, 2015
IRNSS-1CGeostationary Orbit (GEO)16 Oct, 2014
IRNSS-1BInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Apr, 2014
IRNSS-1AInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)01 Jul, 2013