Space Force's acquisition arm is looking to expand the scope and capabilities of its terrestrial network of data transport nodes.

First reported by DefenseScoop, the Space Systems Command (SSC) is seeking to issue a production contract for a ground-based system that provides data-transfer-as-a-service.

US Space Force
US Space Force – US Space Force

The new contract, for which the Space Force is seeking $42.1 million in research and development funding, is set to go to Sev1Tech, which in 2021 was awarded $46.5m by the SSC to develop a prototype terrestrial network of data transport nodes, called meshONE-T.

The new contract will increase the scope and capabilities of the system.

“It is a data-transport-as-a-service, where it provides a long-haul terrestrial fiber network to other programs that need it,” said Col. Peter Mastro, senior material leader for the tactical command, control and communication delta with SSC's battle management command, control, and communications (BMC3) office. “When a customer comes in and uses meshONE-T, it is a multi-path, resilient terrestrial comms to add that proliferated terrestrial path.”

The meshONE-T network is part of a bigger Pentagon-wide effort called the Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control (CJADC2) which seeks to deploy technologies that will connect platforms and weapons, including with foreign partners, under a single secure network.

Currently, programs often set up and use their own closed and 'mission-specific' networks which makes it challenging to share data with other services and mission areas. According to Col. Mastro, even when two networks have the same data repository, they still need to get authorization to connect to one another.

The updated meshONE-T network will be ideal for moving large capacity, big bandwidth, and high-performance data between two sites.

“You can buy into what we have, and in doing so you join an integrated network,” said Col. Mastro. “When you join the meshONE-T network — and even if you just get one node at your location — you now are connected to every other node in the mesh network.”

Thus far, the SSC has deployed 17 of the meshONE-T nodes both in the US and internationally. There is not a specific number of nodes planned, however, the end goal is to connect "just about every part of the Space Force" that is interested.

Eventually, the network is hoped to be able to connect to space-based networks, including military SATCOM, commercial low-earth orbit, and government-owned low-earth orbit satellite communications networks.

Sev1Tech provides IT modernization, cloud, cybersecurity, engineering, fielding, training, and program support services for the US government and other organizations. The company specifically targets mission-critical segments including defense intelligence, homeland security, health, space, and commercial markets.