Disposable Satellites Envisioned for Warfighters


DARPA envisions a constellation of small satellites that would allow deployed warfighters overseas to hit “see me” on a handheld device and in less than 90 minutes receive a satellite image of their precise location.

Today, the lowest echelon members of the U.S. military deployed in remote overseas locations are unable to obtain on-demand satellite imagery in a timely and persistent manner for pre-mission planning. This is due to lack of satellite overflight opportunities, inability to receive direct satellite downlinks at the tactical level and information flow restrictions.

DARPA’s SeeMe program (Space Enabled Effects for Military Engagements) aims to give mobile individual US warfighters access to on-demand, space-based tactical information in remote and beyond-line-of-sight conditions. If successful, SeeMe will provide small squads and individual teams the ability to receive timely imagery of their specific overseas location directly from a small satellite with the press of a button—something that’s currently not possible from military or commercial satellites.

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