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Kestrel Eye 2

Kestrel Eye [US Army]

Andrews Space, now Spaceflight Industries, announced in January 2013 that they have been funded by the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command to design and deliver a Kestrel Eye Block 2 Earth imaging spacecraft as part of the Army's Kestrel Eye program.

Under the current effort, known as Kestrel Eye Block 2, Spaceflight Industries will develop, build and deliver an Earth imaging nanosatellite based on their Sentry-4000 platform The spacecraft embodies a paradigm shift to lower-cost, higher persistence overhead reconnaissance capabilities. While not meant to replace traditional imaging assets, Kestrel Eye Block 2 seeks to augment the current approach to remote sensing by demonstrating the application of low-cost, commercial technologies to enable a new tier of reconnaissance capability.

The overall Army effort is a Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) that requires the demonstration program be completed in 24 months, or 2014. Incremental subsystem hardware demonstrations will occur regularly during development to build confidence in the system and assess subsystem performance against threshold objectives and goals.

Up to 30 Kestrel Eye satellites are considered to be launched, if the concept proves to be viable.

For the Kestrel Eye II prototype, a launch to the ISS is planned, from where it will be deployed.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Reconnaissance, electro-optical
Operator: US Army
Contractors: Spaceflight Industries, Inc. (formerly Andrews Aerospace)
Configuration: Sentry-4000
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Kestrel Eye 2 - 201x with ?
Further Kestrel-Eye missions: