"One thing I can say for certain is that with regards to ideas, the more the better. And if you can look across the broad space ecosystem and pull in as many ideas as possible, regardless of the size of the vendor that's promoting that idea, you're going to be more successful at it putting solid innovative ideas on the plate."
U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. B. Chance Saltzman, during his confirmation hearing for Chief of Space Operations
Space Development Agency Systems, Technologies, and Emerging Capabilities (STEC) Broad Agency AnnouncementOriginal Date Offers Due: January 16, 2024
SDA Requests Information about Datalinks and Waveforms Application for Tranche 2 Demonstration and Experimentation System (T2DES)Response Date: December 15, 2022
SDA Issues DRAFT Solicitation for Battle Management Command, Control, and Communications (BMC3) Application FactoryResponse Date: December 9, 2022
SDA Releases New Small Business Innovation Research Topic for Integrated Architecture Technology (IAT)Original Response Date: April 12, 2022
The Space Development Agency (SDA) has released via sda.mil an update to the Department of Defense Optical Communication Terminal (OCT) Standard. Version 3.0.0 of the OCT Standard is designed to ensure interoperability, enable a strong 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 Proliferated Warfighter 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.