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Digital Battlespace

COTS hardware supports Blackjack risk reduction

12th May 2021 - 15:21 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Conceptual image of the DARPA Pit Boss demonstration. (Graphic: SEAKR Engineering)

An orbital platform was used for a tactical maritime experiment by DARPA.

SEAKR Engineering on 12 May claimed ‘operational success’ for its COTS processing hardware as part of a technology demonstration supporting the DARPA Blackjack programme.

The low Earth orbit (LEO) demonstration, known as Mandrake I, is a risk-reduction mission undertaken in parallel to the Pit Boss programme in Blackjack, which features SEAKR technology for radiation mitigation and processor performance validation.

SEAKR stated that the fully operational orbital platform, launched in late 2020, ‘affords risk buy-down for future Blackjack payloads and has shown success executing a tactical maritime experiment’.

The experiment demonstrated engineering complexities such as mission autonomy, over-the-air updates and massless payload deployment, as well as sensor edge processing and exploitation.

These were enabled by the SEAKR payload incorporating a high-performance multi-core Advanced RISC Machines processor and multiple GPUs. 

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