COMPETITION OPPORTUNITIES

SDA Posts DRAFT RFP Seeking Industry Feedback on Tranche 1 Demonstration and Experimentation System (T1DES)

Original Response Date: November 8, 2021

The Space Development Agency (SDA) seeks input on a DRAFT Request for Proposal (RFP) to augment the Tranche 1 Transport Layer (T1TL) constellation with demonstration and experimental capability. The Tranche 1 Demonstration and Experimentation System (T1DES) leverages the low latency data transfer and beyond line of sight command and control infrastructure established by the T1TL program to field and connect additional space vehicles with different mission payload configurations. T1DES space vehicles (SVs) will be interoperable with T1TL SVs, to include compatible optical communications terminals (OCTs), networking and data routing, and ground system operations.

SDA Posts RFP Seeking Proposals in Support of Tranche 1 Transport Layer

Updated Response Date: October 08, 2021

The Space Development Agency (SDA) seeks responses to their Request for Proposal (RFP) to help build the Tranche 1 Transport Layer (T1TL). T1TL is a mesh network of over one hundred optically interconnected satellites that provide a resilient, low-latency, high-volume data transport communication system. T1TL will provide global communications access and deliver persistent regional encrypted connectivity in support of Warfighter missions around the globe by serving as the backbone for Combined Joint All Domain Command and Control (CJADC2) built on low-latency data transport and sensor-to-shooter connectivity. T1TL will consist of six near-polar orbital planes of SVs in a 1000 km altitude proliferated low Earth orbit constellation, linked together to form a global space mesh network. SDA expects to make multiple awards from this solicitation. Proposals are due by October 8, 2021 at Noon EDT.

SDA Tranche 1 Transport Layer (T1TL) VIRTUAL Industry Day

The Space Development Agency (SDA) hosted a VIRTUAL Industry Day on Thursday, August 26, 2021. This Industry Day focused 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 links below for additional information and registration details.

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.