USA flag logo/image

An Official Website of the United States Government

Distributed Satellite Systems

Award Information

Department of Defense
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2012 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2012
Title: Distributed Satellite Systems
Agency / Branch: DOD / DARPA
Contract: D12PC00124
Award Amount: $1,124,889.00


Aurora proposes to radically advance the concept of distributed satellite systems through a combination of technology development to enable precision 3-axis control and a demonstration of a distributed CubeSat system capable of performing a militarily significant geolocation of signals mission. During phase I we identified architectures that enable the greatest performance and reliability while minimizing cost. Under phase II we will build upon this by defining cluster geometry, orbits, and CONOPS that maximize the performance of a SIGINT system. We will leverage funded work on the MotherCube 1-axis thruster slice, a full 3-axis slice can be developed and prototypes fabricated. This modular system will enable future CubeSat missions to achieve precise positioning using the microspray thruster technology. Utilizing MotherCube and PayloadCube buses fabricated under the MotherCube phase II, the DSS effort can focus on design of the geolocation payload, integration of receivers onto the PayloadCube and the MotherCube, interfaces with the Cube"s DGPS for signal timing and position knowledge, and integration of additional processing power required to prepare signals packages for downlink. This provides DARPA with hardware capable of performing a useful mission with distributed hardware.

Principal Investigator:

Javier Luis
Chief Scientist
(617) 500-0249

Business Contact:

Diana Eichfeld
Contracts Manager
(703) 396-6329
Small Business Information at Submission:

Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation
9950 Wakeman Drive Manassas, VA -

EIN/Tax ID: 541502935
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Bldg. E19-750
Cambridge, MA 02139-
Contact: Stacey Sullaway
Contact Phone: (617) 324-7210