US-based small satellite solutions provider Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT) has secured a contract from Nasa’s Ames Research Centre.

Under the contract, the company will support the agency’s Starling technology demonstration mission.

BCT will be responsible to design, produce and deliver engineering assistance for the commissioning of four flight-qualified 6U CubeSats.

Sterling is part of Nasa’s Small Spacecraft Technology Program and expected to lift off in mid-2021.

The mission is undertaken with the view of proving the competency of swarms in low-Earth orbit (LEO). Swarms are cost-effective, distributed spacecraft missions.

Blue Canyon Technologies systems engineer Nick Monahan said: “Ultimately, swarm technology will enable a new way to explore the vastness of space, as well as the complexity of our solar system.

“BCT is honoured to contribute to making the technology possible.”

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According to the company, flight-qualifying swarm technology enables low cost, highly capable platforms to conduct missions in near-Earth and deep space environments.

Last week, Nasa’s Space Technology Mission Directorate selected BCT to develop a technology that will enable small spacecraft bus to perform autonomous navigation.

BCT is focused on developing reliable and affordable solutions for space missions. It is currently contracted to develop more than 60 spacecraft for government, commercial and academic missions.

The company is planning to expand its operations with the new 80,000ft² headquarters and production facility. It will open in 2020.