Space Development Agency to consider commercial LEO options to augment DoD network

Sandra Erwin 8/17/23

U.S. Space Force’s Space Development Agency (SDA) providing $1.6M for spacex, aalyria, and Kuiper to conduct studies on “LEO backhaul” services to add resilience to the DOD space network.

This is in support of SDA’s Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture – a layered network of satellites being built by the SDA for communication, missile tracking, etc.


  • DoD space resources utilize a large amount of data
  • This DOD network needs to continue to function even under stressed conditions, data surges, satellite incapacitations, and disruptions.
  • Exploring the augmentation of the defense networks with commercial networks makes sense
  • AAlyria – Google spinoff. Mesh networks. atmospheric laser communications – coherent light freespace optics technology
  • SpaceX – existing constellation and launch vehicles
  • Kuiper – Amazon’s broadband constellation
  • Could help with resiliency and cost
  • Need to consider limited launch capacity
  • Study funding is limited. How much will they discover for this amount of money?
  • Opens up concerns about security with the commercial networks and how this may open up vulerabilities in the military systems for attack – this needs to be explored further, beyond the studies.

SDA Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture