NASA Awards Research Contract to Traverse City’s ATLAS Space Operations

ATLAS Space Operations Inc., a Traverse City-based space communications provider, announced May 6 it has been awarded a NASA contract to study ways to assist the space agency enable new and greater scientific discovery, improve communication and navigation services, and reduce development and operations costs for both networks and missions.
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ATLAS
ATLAS Space Operations Inc. in Traverse City has been awarded a grant from NASA to improve space communication and navigation services. // Image courtesy of ATLAS

ATLAS Space Operations Inc., a Traverse City-based space communications provider, announced May 6 it has been awarded a NASA contract to study ways to assist the space agency enable new and greater scientific discovery, improve communication and navigation services, and reduce development and operations costs for both networks and missions.

ATLAS, the study’s prime contractor, partnered with Reston, Va.’s Laser Light Communications Inc., an industry leader in advanced optical communications and data distribution via its proprietary HALO Global Network. Both firms are founders of the Empower Space Alliance.

The project is called the Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Program’s Space Relay Partnership and Services Study.

“ATLAS is pleased to be among the selected community which represents the depth and breadth of the emerging field of optical communications,” says Sean McDaniel, CEO and founder of ATLAS. “NASA’s awarding of this contract to participate in the study is the latest step in ATLAS’ mission to demonstrate the value of integrating advanced commercial communication technology in government applications. We are especially proud to be the only small business and new entrant in this sector, which represents NASA and the government’s interest in new approaches and applications in space communications.”

During the evaluation process, NASA found that ATLAS’s proposal “would provide substantial value to the government through completion of its study.”

“Working with ATLAS on its submission to NASA for this study, was a tangible extension of our existing relationship as founders and partners in the Empower Space Alliance,” says Bob Brumley, CEO of Laser Light. “This study will enable us to outline and validate for NASA, the benefits of a secure, commercially owned and operated solution for space-based optical communications in near Earth and Deep Space.”

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