Incorporated in 2005, Space Information Laboratories (SIL) is a California-based small business that develops, manufactures, and environmentally qualifies flight unit products for launch vehicles, missiles, hypersonic vehicles, reentry vehicles, aircraft, and UAS. These products include Li-Ion Polymer Intelli-Pack® avionics, telemetry and flight termination batteries, VBITS Autonomous Flight Termination System (AFTS), and Space-Based Range Flight Units, IntelliAvionics®, and Chameleon 12U to 27U Flexible Bus. SIL has a complete in-house Space environmental flight unit test capability, including thermal cycle, vacuum, random and sine vibration, and shock. SIL accomplishes this work at the highest quality with an independently certified AS9100D Quality Management System to design, manufacture, and test flight units.
SIL’s first product was the Vehicle-Based Independent Tracking System (VBITS) patented technology (Utility Patent #5,739,787, issued 14 April 1998) GPS Tracking and Autonomous Flight Termination System. In 2006-2007, SIL designed a VBITS unit for the DoD missile program. In 2008-2011 designed a VBITS unit for ULA Atlas and Delta Rockets that enable GPS tracking real-time Range Safety instead of Radar for the Department of Defense programs. The VBITS technology was the first United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Intellectual Property for GPS tracking and Autonomous Flight Termination System for Space Launch Vehicles and missiles. In 2012-2013 via the DARPA ALASA program, we worked on VBITS Autonomous Flight Termination and Space-Based Range System in one consolidated unit. In 2017, Missile Defense Agency awarded SIL a contract in regards to their Vehicle-Based Independent Range System patented technology to transition missiles, interceptors, hypersonic vehicles, and reentry vehicles to Autonomous Flight Termination System and Space-Based Range architecture methodology to reduce Test and Evaluation, and Operations and Maintenance life cycle cost by eliminating ground instrumentation assets. SIL will perform Range Safety environmental qualification of VBIRS Autonomous Flight Termination Unit in 2021 and start flying in the technology on missiles in shadow mode flight tests in 2022.
SIL’s VBITS Autonomous Flight Termination System and Space-Based Range technology reduces the cost to track, destroy, and send high-speed telemetry supporting missile tests by 95%. This cost-savings is achieved by eliminating the need for ground-based launch range instrumentation assets (Radar, Flight Termination System, and Telemetry Systems) for missiles launched from 30th Space Wing, Vandenberg AFB, 45th Space Wing, Cape Canaveral, Florida, and any other DoD launch and test range.
SIL’s VBITS and Vehicle Based Independent Range System (Utility Patent # 10,302,398 B2 issued 29 May 2019) technologies significantly reduce the test and evaluation, and operations and maintenance cost of DoD launch and test ranges by eliminating all ground Radar, Flight Termination System, and Telemetry Systems, thus saving at least $1 million a Space Launch and for DoD missile and hypersonic vehicle test mission in the tens of millions by not requiring significant DoD assets like ships, human-crewed and uncrewed aircraft and ground instrumentation sites to be used for test and evaluation of weapon systems.
In 2011, Lockheed Martin Space selected SIL’s patented Li-Ion Polymer Intelli-Pack® Pack Battery technology (Utility Patent # 9,748,541 B2 issued 29 August 2017) for use on the DoD missile programs. This application saved over 150 lbs by switching out older battery technology (Silver Zinc and Nickel Cadmium), thus significantly increasing missile range.
SIL’s Li-Ion Polymer Intelli-Pack® Battery technology enables a high energy, intelligent and safe battery for Space Launch Vehicles, missiles, strike weapons, reentry vehicles, and aircraft satellites. SIL’s Li-Ion Polymer Intelli-Pack Battery has an advanced Battery Management System in the enclosure that ensures system safety and works in the most extreme mission-critical Aerospace platform applications. SIL’s Li-Ion Battery with an advanced Battery Management System in the battery provides the safest Li-Ion Battery technology in the marketplace to ensure platform power system safety.
SIL’s Chameleon 12U to 27U Nano/Micro Satellite technology (Utility Patent #9,730,339 B2 issued 8 August 2017) enables high-reliability missions in LEO, HEO, and GEO orbits with 3 to 5-year on-orbit design life. SIL’s Chameleon Nano/Micro Satellite Combat Flexible Bus is Open, Modular, Scalable, and Reconfigurable to meet changing customer requirements and designed to work in Space with RF payloads with extreme electromagnetic interference and also during an Electromagnetic Pulse from an adversary. The company’s Avionics and Power system technology is open, modular, scalable, and reconfigurable to meet new customer requirements. SIL’s technology easily upgrades with the latest state-of-the-art GPS L1/L2 receiver, Satellite LEO and GEO modem technology, Li-Ion Polymer cells, and advanced Battery Management System electronics as technology evolves that gives us a key advantage.
The company is providing various solutions to their DoD and commercial Space customers. For instance, for the LM Space DoD missile, SIL provided high energy and reliability and safe Li-Ion Polymer Battery that replaced the existing Ni-Cad Battery and saved over 150 lbs with a battery switch allowing a missile to fly a much longer distance. SIL designed a VBITS GPS Tracking Unit that transitioned the industry to GPS tracking andAutonomous Flight Termination instead of ground Radar to track a rocket for real-time Range Safety and terminating a vehicle with a man-in-the-loop that saved millions a launch not requiring ground based Radar and Flight Termination Sites any longer. For Firefly Alpha Rocket, SIL provided a standard dual redundant battery to increase reliability for all rocket avionics, telemetry, and flight termination system, saving high costs through standard battery interfaces throughout the rocket.
SIL plans to purchase a new facility and triple its existing capacity to design, manufacturing, and environmental test products. Their Li-Ion Polymer Intelli-Pack® FTS and Avionics/Telemetry Battery and VBITS Autonomous Flight Termination System and Space-Based Range technologies have the potential to double their revenue within the next five years. Also, SIL has entered the Nano/Micro Satellite market with their 12U to 27U Chameleon Combat Flexible Bus. This product has the potential to grow significantly once their first satellite is placed on-orbit.