Raytheon and SpiderOak partner to secure satellite communications

Raytheon Technologies’ BBN division and SpiderOak have formed a strategic partnership to develop and field a new generation of zero-trust security systems for satellite communications in proliferated low-Earth orbit, or pLEO.

SpiderOak’s OrbitSecure solution will be combined with Raytheon BBN’s Distributed, Disrupted, Disconnected and Denied (D4) secure cloud solution to ensure resilience of mesh networks in contested environments.

“This partnership is paving the way toward secure, on-demand, Geostationary Equatorial Orbit network-like pLEO communications,” said Raytheon BBN President Jason Redi.

“Raytheon’s networking technology ensures that the satellite constellation provides the best routing solution during normal operation, while also dynamically supporting autonomous cross-link routing during disrupted environments. SpiderOak’s technology allows us to maintain distributed secure operations with high efficiency, particularly when the constellation is reconfiguring and paths are not preplanned,” Redi added.

“This cooperative effort reflects a common vision for a disruption-tolerant space networking future, which will be important for all mesh networks, and absolutely vital for the future of battle management command and control,” said Charles Beames, SpiderOak executive chairman.

The combined solution can be applied across multi-vendor constellations despite orbital or malicious dynamics and will provide maximum resilience and efficiency in difficult or hostile operating environments. This includes cyber and kinetic threats that require on-orbit network and network function redundancy and flexibility.

During this one-year effort, Raytheon, Raytheon BBN, SEAKR Engineering, and SpiderOak will integrate the capability developed during phase one into space-qualified hardware with the goal of making it flight-ready.

Work on D4-Secure is being conducted in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Reston, Virginia; and Centennial, Colorado.

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