Translator Payloads

The Space Development Agency is working to develop the National Defense Space Architecture. This consists of multiple constellations of satellites, primarily in LEO, that communicate with each other and provide real-time targeting information for the warfighters beyond line of sight. As part of this an optical communication network is being developed called Network Established Beyond the Upper Limits of the Atmosphere (NEBULA).

In addition to the new architectures SDA is planning to develop “translator” satellites that allow communication and data sharing with existing assets. This poses very interesting security concerns. Depending on the age of the assets being added to this network the level of security built into the satellite could vary drastically. These “translator” satellites are also planned on being used to communicate with commercial networks that will have different security controls compared to a network developed for national defense.

Luckenbaugh, J. (2022, 10 25). JUST IN: SDA Developing Translator Payloads for National Defense Space Architecture. Retrieved from National DEFENSE: