US Air Force Awards Skyloom $18M to Develop Hybrid Space Optical Satellite Communications to Support Assured C3ISR

Air Force Ventures Strategic Funding Investment will accelerate the development of high-performing Joint All-Domain Optical Connectivity and Data Networking

Denver, Colorado, April 08, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Skyloom Global Corp announced today that it has been selected by SpaceWERX for a Strategic Funding Increase (STRATFI) contract in the amount of $18M. The contract will allow Skyloom to develop network infrastructure elements of Space Optical Satellite Communications for a Hybrid Space Architecture to augment assured communications in a contested environment. Skyloom and SkyBridge, a subsidiary of Knowledge Bridge International, Inc. (KBI) will collaborate to bring the solutions to use. As part of the STRATFI effort, Skyloom will perform testing and qualification of a high-performance mesh network controller, combat cloud edge node processor, and Optical Communications Terminals (OCTs) for airborne, ground, maritime, and space domains. Each of these elements are fundamental building blocks for the future of U.S. and Allied assured communications that are already evolving through free-space optical technology. 

“Skyloom is honored to have been selected by AFWERX to help bring Joint All-Domain operations into the age of optical communications,” said Campbell Marshall, Chief Operating Officer at Skyloom. “These technologies significantly enhance the capacity and resilience of platforms at every altitude for both the U.S. and her allies. Because STRATFI is investing in commercially viable technologies that can also contribute to national security, Skyloom takes this vote of confidence by the Air Force and Department of Defense very seriously.”

“The Air Force Ventures STRATFI program will play a critical role in advancing the development and commercialization of Skyloom’s emerging Space Optical and Mesh Networking technologies,” said Eric Moltzau, Skyloom’s Chief Commercial Officer and former USAF officer. “STRATFI accelerates the production and operational readiness of Space Optical Satellite Communications for Government and Commercial End-Users. Optical communications’ game-changing combination of performance, security, and affordability will be leveraged by spaceborne, airborne, maritime and terrestrial platforms to enable Joint All-Domain Operations.”   

Skyloom is already partnered with Space Compass, a Japanese joint venture between telecoms giant NTT and Asia’s largest satellite owner/operator SKY Perfect JSAT. This partnership is focused on fielding the first geostationary optical-data-as-a-service node by 2025. Moltzau linked the commercial and government investment, saying that “together with Space Compass, Skyloom will begin to offer commercial Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite data transfer services beginning in 2025, and, by extension, will be prepared to offer similar services to US and Allied Forces during this time. The STRATFI award will only enhance that ability.”

Kevin Baugh, KBI's CEO agreed: "As the digital age continues to evolve, investing in next generation communications capabilities provides the foundation for timely decision-making and fosters collaboration between allies by enabling coordinated responses to emerging threats.”

The Air Force Research Laboratory and SpaceWERX, the innovation arm of the U.S. Space Force and a unique division within AFWERX, have partnered to streamline the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) process by accelerating the small business experience through faster proposal to award timelines, changing the pool of potential applicants by expanding opportunities to small business and eliminating bureaucratic overhead by continually implementing process improvement changes in contract execution. The Department of the Air Force (DAF) began offering the Open Topic SBIR/STTR program in 2018, which expanded the range of innovations funded by the DAF, and now, on February 27, 2024, Skyloom will start its journey to create and provide innovative capabilities that will address the most pressing challenges in the Department of the Air Force (DAF) and strengthen the national defense of the United States of America.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Air Force, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

About Skyloom

Skyloom is a Broomfield, Colorado-based telecommunications innovator founded with the mission to develop, deploy, and operate one of the fundamental pieces of tomorrow's space-based telecommunication infrastructure for the provision of data transport services on a planetary scale. They leverage deep heritage in space optical communications networking technologies to enable real time data transfer so that customers and decision makers can leverage perishable information.

About KBI 

KnowledgeBridge International, Inc. (KBI) founded in 2008 is a bespoke provider of machine learning and artificial intelligence-based technologies and services, offering scalable solutions for a diverse range of organizations to include the Department of Defense and private clients in the healthcare and educational sectors. KBI has brought together a team with unique experience, capable of bringing cutting-edge communication and computation technologies to warfighters and other communities of interest under their SkyBridge subsidiary.  KBI provides its clients with a disruptive advantage, whether they are on the battlefield or in the marketplace. At its core KBI is a company that is focused on bringing the right minds to difficult problems.

About SpaceWERX 

As the innovation arm of the U.S. Space Force and a unique division within AFWERX, SpaceWERX inspires and empowers collaboration with innovators to accelerate capabilities and shape our future in space. Headquartered in Los Angeles, SpaceWERX employs 40 military, civilian and contractor personnel executing an annual $457 million budget. Additionally, SpaceWERX partners with Space Systems Command's Commercial Space Office (COMSO) as a collaborative program. Since it was aligned under AFRL in Aug. 2021, SpaceWERX has executed 906 contracts worth more than $690 million to strengthen the U.S. defense industrial base and drive faster technology transition to operational capability. For more information, visit 


As the innovation arm of the DAF and a directorate within the Air Force Research Laboratory, AFWERX brings cutting-edge American ingenuity from small businesses and start-ups to address the most pressing challenges of the DAF. AFWERX employs approximately 370 military, civilian and contractor personnel at five hubs and sites executing an annual $1.4 billion budget. Since 2019, AFWERX has executed 6,028 new contracts worth more than $4 billion to strengthen the U.S. defense industrial base and drive faster technology transition to operational capability. For more information, visit:  

About AFRL  

The Air Force Research Laboratory is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 12,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit

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