Umbra Advances to Phase II of the DARPA DRIFT Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 1, 2024 – Umbra, a vertically integrated space technology company, has been selected by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to progress to Phase II of the Distributed Radar Image Formation Technology (DRIFT) program. This significant milestone underscores Umbra’s pivotal role in advancing cutting-edge capabilities for DARPA’s mission to create breakthrough technologies for national security.

The DRIFT program leverages data from multiple Umbra Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites flown in formation, paving the way for the development of groundbreaking processing algorithms. These U.S. capability advancements in formation flying and joint collection techniques are a testament to Umbra’s expertise in remote sensing space systems and its commitment to pushing the boundaries of innovation.

Phase II entails a comprehensive multi-month collection campaign, during which Umbra’s SAR satellites will generate bistatic and multistatic datasets for further analysis by DARPA and its partner contractors in the DRIFT program. At the culmination of Phase II, Umbra will conduct an on-orbit demonstration showcasing the multistatic capabilities it has developed.

Jason Mallare, Vice President of Global Solutions at Umbra, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “We’re grateful to contribute to DARPA’s vision, leveraging top-tier U.S. capabilities for asymmetric advantage. Umbra’s differentiated technology and relentless focus on tech evolution drive us forward. We’re excited about the future this technology and similar capabilities hold for Umbra and the nation.”

In March, Umbra released bistatic imagery from its tandem satellites. With six satellites currently in orbit, Umbra plans to deploy the remaining satellites in its licensed 32-satellite constellation in strategically designed pairs. 

With the unique ability to capture images at day/night, all-weather capable, Umbra’s SAR satellites are indispensable for monitoring change. Umbra’s satellites deliver the highest quality SAR data at unprecedented volumes and area density, enabling the U.S. Government, its allies, and commercial partners with actionable, all-weather insights.