COMPETITION OPPORTUNITIES

**SPECIAL NOTICE** SDA Tranche 1 Transport Layer (T1TL) Industry Day

Original Response Date: August 15, 2021

The Space Development Agency (SDA) will host an in-person and virtual Industry Day on Thursday, August 26, 2021. This Industry Day will focus on the anticipated solicitation for National Defense Space Architecture’s (NDSA) Tranche 1 (T1) Transport capability to support a high-end regional conflict. Please see the attachment for additional information and registration details.

SDA Releases DRAFT Request for Proposal (RFP) for Transport Layer Tranche 1

Original Response Date: July 30, 2021

SDA released a draft solicitation for the Tranche 1 Transport Layer (T1TL) space segment which establishes the foundation for the National Defense Space Architecture’s initial warfighting capability. With up to 144 space vehicles spanning six planes in low earth orbit, T1TL will provide global communications access with regional persistence and serve as the backbone for Combined Joint All Domain Command and Control (CJADC2) built upon low-latency data transport, sensor-to-shooter connectivity, and direct-to-weapon connectivity. Please see the full Draft RFP for details and submission instructions. Feedback is due by July 30, 2021.

SDA Releases DRAFT Request for Proposal (RFP) for Transport Layer Tranche 1

Original Response Date: July 30, 2021

SDA released a draft solicitation for the Tranche 1 Transport Layer (T1TL) space segment which establishes the foundation for the National Defense Space Architecture’s initial warfighting capability. With up to 144 space vehicles spanning six planes in low earth orbit, T1TL will provide global communications access with regional persistence and serve as the backbone for Combined Joint All Domain Command and Control (CJADC2) built upon low-latency data transport, sensor-to-shooter connectivity, and direct-to-weapon connectivity. Please see the full Draft RFP for details and submission instructions. Feedback is due by July 30, 2021.

SDA Seeks Feedback on Space Mesh Networking

Original Response Date: June 04, 2021

The Space Development Agency recognizes the critical importance of network planning, management, and monitoring operations. The effective operations of a complex integrated space and ground mesh network comprising the National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA) is central to the delivery of all of the supported operational mission capabilities. SDA seeks feedback on in-space networking capabilities and interoperability—specifically on potential space networking solutions for Tranche 1 to transport IPv4 and IPv6 traffic, possibly using a sub‐IP technology such as MPLS or switched Ethernet—to inform SDA’s future solicitations, including the Tranche 1 solicitation anticipated in Fall 2021. All responses received to this Request for Information (RFI) are solely for information and planning purposes. Please see the RFI for details and submission instructions.

SDA Seeks Feedback on Ground and Operations Segment Concepts, Methodologies, Approaches, and Systems for Tranche 1

Original Response Date: June 03, 2021

The Space Development Agency (SDA) seeks feedback on ground operations concepts, methodologies, approaches, and systems related to the operations and monitoring of the National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA). SDA requests input on potential integrated Government-Owned Contractor-Operated (GOCO) solutions for dual-node, geographically separated ground operations centers to operate a proliferated Low Earth Orbit (pLEO) constellation of approximately 150 satellites during Tranche 1 with growth potential for an estimated 400-satellite constellation during Tranche 2 (beginning in Fiscal Year 2026). All responses received to this Request for Information (RFI) are solely for information and planning purposes. Responses to this RFI may be used to support future solicitations. Please see the RFI for details and submission instructions.

SDA Broad Agency Announcement for Participation in DoD’s SBIR/STTR Program 

SDA released a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) to launch its participation in DoD’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program.  These programs are competitive opportunities to encourage domestic small businesses to engage in research and development with the DoD.  SDA will utilize the SBIR/STTR program to enhance future tranches and to inform the overall architecture of spiral development projects to demonstrate warfighter capability via proliferated LEO. Through a competitive awards-based program, SDA’s SBIR/STTR efforts will enable small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization.  SDA will post updated Small Business Opportunities under this BAA throughout the year as we identify specific technical topics for industry consideration and will consider partnering with other organizations such as DARPA or AFRL based on their research interests and the quality of small business proposals. This overall BAA closes Sept. 30, 2021.

SDA Releases New Small Business Opportunities for Commercial SAR and Scatterometry (COSAS)

Original Response Date: August 26, 2021

SDA is issuing new Small Business Opportunities (SBO) under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, inviting submissions of innovative research concepts supporting the advancement of our national defense space capabilities. This SBO pertains to Space Based Environmental Monitoring (SBEM). This project looks to remove technical barriers for nascent commercial synthetic aperture radar (SAR) constellations and to enter a new market for ocean surface vector wind (OSVW) and tropical cyclone intensity (TCI) data delivered by commercial augmentation of the NDSA. This SBO is issued under the SDA Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for SBIR/STTR, HQ085021S0001. All proposals in response to the technical area(s) described herein must be submitted in accordance with the instructions provided under HQ085021S0001, found here: https://go.usa.gov/x6hPs.

SDA Releases New Small Business Opportunities for Space-Based Environmental Monitoring

Original Response Date: June 15, 2021

SDA is issuing new Small Business Opportunities (SBO) under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, inviting submissions of innovative research proposals supporting the advancement of the National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA). Weather conditions critically impact the effectiveness of Department of Defense missions. The Space Development Agency (SDA) is issuing an SBIR/STTR Opportunity (SBO) inviting submissions of innovative research concepts for space-based environmental monitoring (SBEM). To deliver SBEM products from the NDSA, SDA seeks a preliminary system design for a next-generation compact passive polarimetric microwave radiometer and sounder (CP2MRS) with modular imaging and sounding capability to measure ocean surface vector wind, tropical cyclone intensity, and vertical temperature and atmospheric moisture profiles from low Earth orbit. The SBO is issued under the SDA Broad Agency Announcement for SBIR/STTR, HQ085021S0001. The opportunity opened under pre-release rules on April 27, with proposal submissions accepted from May 12, 2021 through June 15, 2021. All proposals in response to these technical areas must be submitted in accordance with the instructions provided under HQ085021S0001

SDA Releases New Small Business Opportunities for Target Recognition Algorithms for OPIR Sensors

Original Response Date: April 27, 2021

SDA is issuing new Small Business Opportunities (SBO) under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, inviting submissions of innovative research proposals supporting the advancement of the National Defense Space Architecture. The SBO is issued under the SDA Broad Agency Announcement for SBIR/STTR, HQ085021S0001. This opportunity looks to advance the capability and utility of algorithms for low-latency recognition and acquisition of targets in complex environments by overhead persistent infrared (OPIR) sensors in low Earth orbit (LEO). Recognition - or the more common term automatic target recognition (ATR) – is defined as an OPIR system’s ability to identify or classify a target based on sensor measurements of its physical characteristics, motion, and effects. The opportunity opened under pre-release rules on March 10, with proposal submissions accepted from March 25, 2021 through April 27, 2021. All proposals in response to these technical areas must be submitted in accordance with the instructions provided under HQ085021S0001.

SDA Releases First Six Small Business Opportunities

Response Date: March 31, 2021

SDA issued six Small Business Opportunities (SBO) under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, inviting submissions of innovative research proposals supporting the advancement of the National Defense Space Architecture. These six SBOs are issued under the SDA Broad Agency Announcement for SBIR/STTR, HQ085021S0001. The opportunities open under pre-release rules on February 12, with proposal submissions accepted from March 9, 2021 through March 31, 2021. Technical focus areas include:
  • Free-Space Optical Communication (FSOC) Technology for Optical Intersatellite Links (OISLs) (SBIR)
  • L-Band Multiband/Interleaved Electronically Scanned Array (ESA) Antenna (SBIR)
  • Mesh Network NSA Certifiable Cryptographic Solution (SBIR/STTR)
  • Advanced Space Mesh Networking (SBIR/STTR)

All proposals in response to these technical areas must be submitted in accordance with the instructions provided under HQ085021S0001, found here.

SDA Releases Updated Systems, Technologies, and Emerging Capabilities (STEC) Broad Agency Announcement

Response Date: January 24, 2022

Through this updated STEC Broad Agency Announcement (BAA), SDA is soliciting executive summaries, white papers/abstracts, and full proposals for novel architecture concepts, systems, technologies, and capabilities that enable leap-ahead improvements for future tranches of currently planned National Defense Space Architecture capability layers. SDA is also interested in ideas to enable new capability layers that address other emerging or evolving warfighter needs in the future. SDA is seeking architecture studies, concepts of operations (CONOPS), modeling and simulation, system designs, key technologies, and/or risk reduction prototypes that are responsive to the following topic areas:
  • Real-Time Global Awareness and Connectivity
  • Comprehensive Space-Based Sensing
  • Omniscient Command, Control, and Execution

Please see the BAA for details and submission instructions.

SDA Resources

The Space Development Agency (SDA) has issued a notification to industry on a Department of Defense Optical Communication Terminal (OCT) standard (draft). This is a first of its kind optical standard document designed to ensure interoperability, create a marketplace, and provide advanced communication capabilities to terrestrial, maritime and airborne warfighting elements. More importantly, this standard provides interface specifications that enable space vehicles and payloads developed and operated by multiple organizations to readily exchange data via optical intersatellite links and to integrate with the National Defense Space Architecture allowing more partners to leverage the Transport layer.

Laser optical links provide a large number of advantages over radio-frequency (RF) communications. Inherent to their design is the capacity to transport very large volumes of low latency data. Additionally, optical links provide anti-cyber capabilities that significantly reduces the vulnerability associated with RF communications. Many warfighting elements would also prefer communication capabilities defined by low probability of intercept (LPI) and low probability of detection (LPD). Laser optical links are by their very nature LPI/LPD and very difficult to jam.