If the scientists at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) and their industry partners have their way, in a few years clusters of small satellites operating on ad hoc wireless networks may be taking the place of the large pieces of hardware currently in orbit. Dubbed “System F6” (Future, Fast, Flexible, Fractionated, Free-Flying Spacecraft), the program’s aim is to have the satellite clusters share tasks like processing, data storage, sensing, communications relay and ...


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