Department of Defense (DoD) said this agreement is to “ensure the continued viability of space surveillance capability” in the U.S. industrial base.
LeoLabs was awarded a $15 million contract funded under the Defense Production Act to shore up domestic industries financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
LeoLabs, a startup based in Silicon Valley, tracks satellites and debris in low Earth orbit using ground-based phased array radars.
DoD mentioned in a statement that as part of the national response to COVID-19, the Department of Defense entered into a $15 million agreement with LeoLabs Inc. to ensure the continued viability of space surveillance capability through the operation and maintenance of a worldwide highly capable phased-array radar network.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that Congress passed and President Trump signed on March 27 provided $1 billion for Defense Production Act efforts to ensure the availability of critical technology for national defense and to invest in domestic industrial base capabilities.
DoD also stated that Using funds authorized and appropriated under the CARES Act, the DPA Title 3 investment will offset the direct workforce and financial distress brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. The $15 million contracts for space situational awareness services will help ensure resultant critical capabilities are retained within the U.S.