HawkEye 360 ​​aims for tactical RF information for the US military


The space-based RF data specialist says that as part of CRADA, he will “develop and demonstrate new commercial airborne RF sensing capabilities that could provide warfighter-relevant tactical support.”

SMDC will help test these capabilities in exercises relevant to assessing the usefulness of a tactical fighter, the company said.

“We are excited to partner with the U.S. military to rapidly develop and prove new techniques that can be rapidly transformed into high value operational capabilities,” said Alex Fox, Chief Growth Officer of HawkEye 360.

“This partnership will support the Army Modernization Initiative to develop more efficient, effective, and resilient systems that enhance how the U.S. Army mobilizes, protects, and sustains expeditionary forces by leveraging relevant commercial RF information about the tactical plan. Our goal is to seamlessly integrate our space-based RF data into their multi-domain operational environment.

HawkEye 360 ​​will perform in-orbit experiments and demonstrations of its satellites and ground systems, to provide tactical RF information. Activities mentioned include satellite assignment, direct downlink to mobile earth stations, signal detection, characterization, geolocation, integration and broadcast into army systems, and automated detection of army ISR resources.

“In the future, small satellite capabilities such as those offered by HawkEye 360 ​​could offer advantages to the tactical warfighter,” said Mr. Chip Hardy, Division Manager of SMDC’s Space Applications Division.

RF data

Based in Herndon, Virginia, HawkEye 360 ​​operates a constellation of satellites that detects, characterizes and geolocates radio frequency signals from a range of transmitters, whether used for communication, navigation or security.

By processing this RF data, the company says it provides “high-impact, actionable insights” for environmental and national security concerns.

HawkEye 360 ​​plans to launch a sixth group of three satellites before the end of 2022, which will bring its total constellation to 18 satellites, supporting defense, humanitarian, environmental and commercial applications.


In November 2021, ICEYE, the Finnish satellite imagery specialist, entered into a similar R&D agreement with the US military to advance Earth observation technology in support of military missions.

More specifically, the CRADA was to explore concepts related to synthetic aperture radar (SAR) in orbit and at low cost.

See also: HawkEye opens manufacturing facility for RF sensing satellites


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