CNCE Block 2 Satellites

CNCE Block 2
Spacecraft CNCE Block 2
Type CubeSat
Units or mass 3U
Organisation Missile Defense Agency
Institution Military
Entity type Government (Civil / Military)
Nation US
Manufacturer AIVT by Blue Canyon
Operator Blue Canyon
Single platform: $1.3 million

The cubesats will mimic two suborbital missile interceptor vehicles and test communications between them.


The CNCE Block 2 is part of MDA’s Nanosat Testbed Initiative (NTI) and supports the development of MDA’s Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor (HBTSS) and other MDA and DOD space efforts. It uses small, low-cost satellites to demonstrate networked radio communications between nanosatellites while in orbit.

Transmitting data between interceptors, sensors and communication systems is critical to a missile defense architecture that must quickly identify, track and destroy incoming enemy missiles before they reach their targets.

CNCE Block 2 will also test a new type of software-defined radio as well as demonstrate technology that supports space-based High Assurance Internet Protocol Encryption (HAIPE). The mission will last 90 days with provisions for a one-year extension.

For HACSSAT 1,2, Blue Canyon provided Space Dynamic Lanoratories with bus electronics for 2 3U Cubesats, integrated the payloads, and completed environmental testing on both spacecrafts.

Mobile CubeSat Command and Control, or MC3, ground station network, Space Dynamics laboratory (Mission Integrator), Space Micro Inc. (Payload) and Blue Canyon Technologies (Spacecraft Bus).

Sources [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
Photo sources [1] [2] [3]
COTS subsystems
  • PLATFORM - Blue Canyon
Subsystems sources [1]

Related Spacecraft

Satellite Status Launcher Launch date Orbit
CNCE V4 (CNCE4, Cubesat Networked Communications Experiment, CNCE Block 2, HACSSAT-1) Reentry 2024-04-23. Was operational (Press release on 2022-05-31) Falcon 9, (Transporter-5) 2022-05-25 530 km, 97.5 deg
CNCE V5 (CNCE5, Cubesat Networked Communications Experiment, CNCE Block 2, HACSSAT-2) Reentry 2024-04-18. Was operational (Press release on 2022-05-31) Falcon 9, (Transporter-5) 2022-05-25 530 km, 97.5 deg

Last modified: 2024-05-29

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