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Space Dynamics Laboratory Awarded 10-Year Contract for up to $1 Billion

April 26, 2022

Utah State University's Space Dynamics Laboratory announced that it has received an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory valued at up to $1 billion over the next 10 years. (Credit: Jacob Given/Space Dynamics Laboratory)

NORTH LOGAN, Utah, Apr. 26, 2022 – Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory announced that it has received an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory valued at up to $1 billion over the next 10 years.

SDL will support the Air Force Research Laboratory and the United States Space Force with a broad array of tasks that fall under a specific set of SDL’s core competencies, including small satellite, satellite constellation, and sensor system technology research, analysis, integration, test, and evaluation.

“This contract represents a vital contribution to assuring that the United States remains on the leading edge of research and development for space-based technologies. The Space Dynamics Laboratory is honored to be a trusted partner of the Air Force Research Laboratory and the U.S. Space Force to develop technologies for new missions and maintain core capabilities for national defense,” said Dr. Jed Hancock, president of SDL. “As a University Affiliated Research Center established by the Department of Defense to operate in the public interest, SDL remains committed to developing new capabilities for the nation. With a strong UARC partnership in place, we look to a bright future in providing innovative solutions to expand our knowledge of space and how we work in it.”

The Department of Defense established University Affiliated Research Centers, or UARCs, in 1996 to ensure that essential engineering and technology capabilities are maintained. There are currently 14 Department of Defense UARCs in the U.S., and each one provides core capabilities to the government research and engineering community. In addition, SDL and other UARCs serve as trusted government advisors who leverage expertise in their respective core competency areas to quickly develop government-owned solutions to problems of national importance.

SDL has been delivering small satellite solutions since 1982. Recently, the small satellite industry has seen significant growth in the effectiveness of miniaturized satellite systems, such as scientific and electro-optical sensors, which can provide better capabilities than ever before. SDL has been at the forefront of this rapidly evolving discipline and has developed a wide array of small satellite hardware, from individual sensors and actuators to complete satellite systems.

SDL was founded more than six decades ago on early successes in remote and space-based sensor development. Sensor systems are vital tools to decision-makers in fields as diverse as defense, meteorology, ecology, and economics. Today, the men and women of SDL are leading experts in infrared, visible, ultraviolet, and radio frequency sensor research and development. These systems acquire critical imagery and other data for applications such as astronomy, atmospheric research, and missile detection and tracking. SDL also develops in-situ instruments for space and terrestrial weather sensing.

“SDL is honored to continue to work side by side with the Air Force Research Laboratory and Space Force to help achieve their goal to ‘re-imagine what’s possible, creating tomorrow’s technology, today,’” said Lance Fife, director of SDL’s Strategic and Military Space division. “Our dedicated engineers, scientists, business professionals and student employees remain resolute in SDL’s role as a trusted advisor to the government. We look forward to continuing to provide the country with research and development expertise for advanced space-based applications.”

Since 1959, SDL has been solving the technical challenges faced by the military, science community, and industry and supports NASA’s mission to drive advances in science, technology, aeronautics, and space exploration to enhance knowledge, education, innovation, economic vitality, and stewardship of Earth. SDL is a research laboratory headquartered in North Logan, UT, and has offices in Albuquerque, NM; Bedford, MA; Colorado Springs, CO; Dayton, OH; Houston, TX; Huntsville, AL; Los Angeles, CA; Stafford, VA; and Washington, DC. For more information, visit

Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Public Affairs release approval #AFRL-2022-1331

Video by Taylor Emerson, Digital Journalist, University Marketing and Communications.


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