AFVentures Awards Solstar Space SBIR Phase 1 Contract

Integration of Solstar’s Critical Data Relay on satellites to demonstrate viability of crucial continuous communications for spacecraft in LEO orbit.

April 28, 2021 – SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO, USA 

Solstar Space, the company making continuous space-based communications accessible, announced today that it has been awarded a U.S. Air Force, AFWERX SBIR Phase 1 contract. As a participant in the Phase 1 cohort, Solstar Space will conduct feasibility studies with the Department of Defense (DOD) to demonstrate how its onboard satellite Critical Data Relay supports continuous connectivity and provides vital global communications for spacecraft in LEO orbit.

“Space-based connectivity is critical to providing immediate notification of spacecraft anomalies and to support worldwide recovery command capabilities,” says M. Brian Barnett, Founder and CEO, Solstar Space. “Today, LEO satellite communications are typically limited to a few minutes during each scheduled pass over downlink stations. Under this Phase 1 contract, the practicability of Solstar’s short burst data (SBD) services and the Critical Data Relay will be assessed,” continues Barnett.

LEO smallsat operators, including the DOD, have limited opportunities to communicate with spacecraft to ensure optimal operation. Troubleshooting of any issues is constrained to pass over windows where downlink stations are available leading to downtime, protracted recovery processes, and risk for catastrophic loss. Continuous 24/7 connectivity through a space-based IP network will seek to increase asset utilization and efficiency while mitigating risks associated with limited communications links.


Media Inquiries | Lisa Dreher | | +1 425-442-1301

Investor Inquiries | Brian Barnett | |+1 505-389-2299

Business Inquiries | Brian Barnett | | +1 505-389-2299


Solstar Space is the leading commercial space-based connectivity company pioneering the use of continuous communications services for low earth orbit (LEO/NGSO) satellites. We provide bandwidth for smallsats, bi-directional data services for payloaders, and enable orbital and suborbital communications for crewed missions. 

Our fast, reliable services, space-tested routers, Wi-Fi hotspots, and satellite space communicators deliver on-orbit continuous connectivity for crew, spacecraft, and Earth-based satellite operations teams, and are supported by 24/7 customer care. Visit Solstarspace to learn more.