WASHINGTON — Slingshot Aerospace announced today it is developing a digital replica of the space environment for the U.S. Space Force as part of a new $25 million contract aimed at quickly delivering training and war gaming capabilities.
The company’s Digital Space Twin simulates the space environment and maps on-orbit objects and space weather in real-time. Slingshot has been developing the tool as a commercial product for the last two years and, through the new contract, will adapt it for Space Force missions to “enhance their ability to analyze and respond to current and future threats,” Slingshot said in a press release Thursday. The company plans to deliver the commercial version before it completes the government product.
As an analysis tool, the digital twin could be used in war gaming and mission planning or to design future constellations. Digital products like this are a priority for the Space Force as it builds out its cloud-based Digital Engineering Ecosystem — an environment for industry to collaborate with the service, conduct program reviews and share virtual models.
Under the 39-month contract, the company will also deliver its Slingshot Laboratory space simulation platform, which can be used by the Space Force to teach the fundamentals of advanced aerodynamics. Slingshot will develop four pilot programs to support Basic Military Training, the National Security Space Institute, the 319th Combat Training Squadron and the 533rd Training Squadron.
The company’s chief executive, Melanie Stricklan, said the combined delivery of the laboratory product and the digital twin offer the Space Force “an extraordinary product suite.”
The contract was funded by Space Systems Command as well as SpaceWERX, through its Strategic Financing (STRATFI) Program, designed to help bridge the “valley of death” between technology development and fielding. SpaceWERX awards contracts through STRATFI each year for technologies that have the potential to address important mission needs.
Courtney Albon is C4ISRNET’s space and emerging technology reporter. She has covered the U.S. military since 2012, with a focus on the Air Force and Space Force. She has reported on some of the Defense Department’s most significant acquisition, budget and policy challenges.