New Maxar Satellite Bus Successfully Completes Critical Design Review

Maxar Technologies has announced that its new satellite bus, the Maxar 300 series, has successfully completed its first critical design review (CDR). The company is developing this satellite bus to support L3Harris on its contract for the Space Development Agency’s Tranche 1 Tracking Layer missile warning constellation. Maxar will be building a total of 16 satellites for L3Harris.

While 14 buses in the order were previously announced, Maxar has confirmed that satellites 15 and 16 will have a missile tracking demonstration that was not previously announced. The Maxar 300 series bus was formally announced in April, along with a rebrand of Maxar’s satellite portfolio. It is the company’s smallest and most modular bus, described as the “width of a conventional oven.” The bus is designed to accommodate eight or more space vehicles per launch and has the low jitter and high power required for the missile defense mission.

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The Maxar 300 series is being built in California, and the CDR examined all the principal elements of the new system, including structural design, power, attitude control, and command and data handling. Chris Johnson, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Space at Maxar, stated that the team completed the CDR just 10 months after the award, and they are on schedule to begin production of the platforms later this year with initial deliveries expected in early 2024. Johnson emphasized that speed and agility are crucial for their customers, and Maxar’s commercial experience allows them to deliver a superior technical product.