Lockheed tapped for next phase of antenna development

Lockheed Martin Corp. won a $19.5 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to continue developing new space-based radar antenna technology, the company said yesterday.

Under the contract, Lockheed Martin's Space Systems Co. will take the development of the Innovative Space Based Radar Antenna Technology, called ISAT, to the next level during the next 14 months by working on the technology's flight demonstration experiment design.

The Air Force Research Laboratory is administrating the project.

Once the project reaches the critical design review maturity level at the end of this period, DARPA and the Air Force will select a contractor to build and deploy a scale version of the antenna for a one-year test period in low-Earth orbit.

The program's objective is to create and demonstrate technology that can significantly increase global persistent surveillance coverage. The demonstration experiment will use an antenna that is approximately 325 feet long, but the full-scale antenna would be as long as the Empire State Building is tall. The payload would be folded up to about the size of a sport utility vehicle and stored inside a payload.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs roughly 130,000 people and had 2004 revenue of $35.5 billion. It is No. 1 on Washington Technology's 2005 Top 100 list of prime federal contractors. Its space systems division, based near Denver, designs, develops, manufactures and tests advanced technology systems for space and defense.

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