MOUNTAIN VIEW, California ―Muon Space, a LEO satellite constellation company revolutionizing the way Earth is monitored from space, has been selected by AFWERX for a SBIR Phase I contract focused on weather intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and operational mission planning. Muon Space will perform a feasibility study to determine the benefit of modifying its multispectral Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) instrument to support the Department of Defense’s (DoD) cloud characterization observation capability.
The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and AFWERX have partnered to streamline the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) process by accelerating the small business experience through faster proposal to award timelines, changing the pool of potential applicants by expanding opportunities to small business and eliminating bureaucratic overhead by continually implementing process improvement changes in contract execution. The Department of the Air Force (DAF) began offering the Open Topic SBIR/STTR program in 2018 that expanded the range of innovations the DAF funded and now Muon Space will continue its journey to create and provide innovative EO/IR cloud characterization capabilities.
The USAF and USSF rely on timely, accurate cloud characterization and weather information for global defense and National Security missions; however, the DoD is navigating the challenge of replacing aging Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) satellites currently in operation past their end of life and at risk of failure. Muon Space is developing an EO/IR constellation solution that offers a commercial path to fill these gaps and ensure mission-critical data delivery.
“The DoD is pivoting to a more resilient distributed weather satellite architecture that counts on a new generation of space companies to develop more innovative integrated sensor and spacecraft constellations. This feasibility study is one of the first steps of many in Muon Space’s journey to develop a full cloud characterization observation capability and we are excited to partner with AFWERX to explore the potential applications of our technology solutions.” — Greg Smirin, President of Muon Space.
Muon Space’s core offerings of mission-tailored Constellation-as-a-Service have significant commercial traction across commercial, government, and civil sectors, including a recently announced contract with climate tech company Hydrosat. Muon Space also earned additional funding as an option to the company’s contract with Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLMC)'s Weather Systems Branch and the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) to collect ionospheric data on their MuSat-2 satellite mission. Announced in July, this is an expansion in scope to the original contract awarded to Muon Space in September 2022 to develop a space-based prototype for global weather sensing.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Air Force, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.
About Muon Space
Founded in 2021, Muon Space is launching a new generation of smallsats and sensors to monitor Earth's climate and ecosystems with unprecedented fidelity. Muon’s vertically integrated simulation, hardware and software stack accelerates customers’ time-to-market from concept formulation through launch and to scaled operations. state-of-the-art facility in the heart of Silicon Valley is optimized for manufacturing spacecraft and rapid, flexible payload integration at scale. Regular launches began in June 2023, providing data sets addressing important geophysical and environmental applications through the most scalable smallsat LEO constellation platform for delivering new technologies to space.
For more information on Muon Space, visit: https://www.muonspace.com/
About Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)
Sole organization leading the planning and execution of U.S. Air Force & U.S. Space Force science & technology programs. Orchestrates a world-wide government, industry & academia coalition in the discovery, development & delivery of a wide range of revolutionary technology. Provides leading-edge warfighting capabilities keeping air, space and cyberspace forces the world's best. Employs 10,800 military, civilian and contractor personnel at 17 research sites executing an annual $4B budget. For more information, visit: www.afresearchlab.com.
The innovation arm of the DAF and a directorate within the Air Force Research Laboratory brings cutting edge American ingenuity from small businesses and start-ups to address the most pressing challenges of the DAF. Employs approximately 325 military, civilian and contractor personnel at six hubs and sites executing an annual $1.4B budget. Since 2019, has executed 4,671 contracts worth more than $2B to strengthen the U.S. defense industrial base and drive faster technology transition to operational capability. For more information, visit: www.afwerx.com.
Muon Space Contact
Sarah Nickell Communications