Founded in 2020, Rogue has been a pioneer in the satellite servicing industry. The company's Orbital Robots, also known as Orbots, provide a range of services- from inspections to transportation- for satellites and other space assets situated in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), Medium Earth Orbit (MEO), and Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO). These Orbots leverage advanced AI-driven sensory observation platforms to maximize operational efficiency.
The newly-awarded contract has specific emphasis on the development of a sensor system that combines active light detection and ranging (LiDAR), high-resolution cameras, and a unique 3D shape reconstruction algorithm. This confluence of technologies is not just for academic or exploratory purposes; it is targeted at directly assisting the United States Space Force by providing comprehensive details about objects residing in space. The technology will initially be integrated into Rogue's existing Orbot platform.
Alexander Kuyper, the Principal Investigator for the project, stated, "The development of the 3D Resident Object in Space Inspection (3DROSI) technology, under the AFWERX Phase II contract, harmoniously fuses advanced sensors, hardware, and algorithms. It's pivotal for the sensing and perception required for the autonomous operations of Rogue Orbots, benefiting both the Space Force and commercial satellite tasks such as in-space assembly, docking, transport, and repairs."
This latest AFWERX Phase II contract marks the third such award for Rogue Space Systems in recent weeks, taking their total United States Air Force (USAF) and United States Space Force (USSF) award funding to $7.5 million over the last 18 months. Additionally, the company has announced plans for the launch of its first spacecraft, Barry-1, scheduled for November 2023 on SpaceX's Transporter-9.
AFWERX, in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory, has been refining the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) processes to expedite the development and deployment of technological innovations. Introduced in 2018, the Open Topic SBIR/STTR program by DAF has widened the scope of innovations it funds. This award demonstrates how Rogue Space Systems is aligned with this mission, contributing to the national defense capabilities of the United States through its specialized technologies for safe and effective space operations.
1. Space Industry Analyst: 9/10
2. Stock and Finance Market Analyst: 7/10
3. Government Policy Analyst: 8/10
Comprehensive Analyst Summary:
The article discusses Rogue Space Systems Corporation's selection by AFWERX for a Direct-to-Phase II contract focused on sensor fusion technology for space applications. This technology will be used in Rogue's flagship fleet of Orbital Robots, which provide various services like inspection and transportation for satellites and space assets across multiple orbits (LEO, MEO, and GEO). Rogue has developed 3DROSI (3D Resident Object in Space Inspection) technology, designed to enable advanced sensing and perception for their autonomous Orbital Robots, with applications for both the United States Space Force and commercial satellite operations.
For Space Industry:
The development and deployment of advanced sensing platforms like 3DROSI can set a new standard for In-Space Servicing Assembly and Manufacturing (ISAM). Given the recent boom in satellite launches and the need for servicing these assets, Rogue's technologies could become a key player in ISAM solutions. This will shape industry standards and may open new markets for other players.
For Stock and Finance Markets:
The announcement strengthens Rogue's financial position, evidenced by their recent accumulation of contracts worth $7.5M from the USAF and USSF. Companies in the space sector and their investors should consider Rogue as a growing competitor. Given the upcoming launch of their inaugural spacecraft, Barry-1, there is potential for further financial growth.
For Government Policy:
Rogue's contracts with the Department of the Air Force (DAF) suggest that the U.S. military is increasingly investing in private space companies for national defense solutions. The partnerships between AFWERX and small businesses streamline the innovation cycle, offering speed and efficiency in the development of new technologies.
Over the past 25 years, the space industry has moved from being primarily government-driven to a booming commercial sector. Public-Private Partnerships like those between SpaceX and NASA are no longer exceptions but increasingly the norm. Rogue's contract signifies the blending of commercial and defense interests in space technology, aligning with the broader trend of commercial entities supporting national defense and vice versa.
1. How does Rogue's 3DROSI technology compare to other existing sensing technologies in terms of capability and cost?
2. What are the long-term financial projections for Rogue given its recent string of contracts?
3. How might Rogue's technology influence future regulations or policies related to space traffic management?
4. Are there other competitors developing similar sensor fusion technologies for in-space services?
5. How will the integration of Rogue's technology with the U.S. Space Force impact the balance of power in space between the U.S. and other countries?
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