COMPETITION OPPORTUNITIES

"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

SDA issues DRAFT Solicitation for Tranche 2 Transport Layer- Beta

Original Response Due: March 1, 2023

Through this updated Systems, Technologies, and Emerging Capabilities (STEC) Broad Agency Announcement (BAA), SDA is soliciting executive summaries, invited proposal abstracts, and invited proposals for novel architecture concepts, systems, technologies, and capabilities that enable leap-ahead improvements for future tranches of the agency’s proliferated network of currently planned capability layers, or, that enable new capability layers to address other emerging or evolving warfighter needs.

SDA issued a DRAFT solicitation for the first of several types of Tranche 2 Transport Layer (T2TL) space vehicles—T2TL Beta. This DRAFT solicitation establishes the foundation for Tranche 2 of the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA). To provide the warfighter full utility, the PWSA requires a global data and communications Transport Layer provided by a proliferated constellation of relatively small, mass-producible space vehicles in low Earth orbit.

The T2TL space vehicles will be similar to those currently under development for the Tranche 1 Transport Layer (T1TL) and Tranche 1 Development and Experimentation System (T1DES), with targeted technology enhancements, mission-focused payload configurations, increased integration, and greater production efficiencies.

T2TL will provide global communications access and deliver persistent regional encrypted connectivity in support of warfighter missions around the globe. Specifically, T2TL features multiple space vehicle and mission configuration variants procured through a multi-solicitation and multi-vendor acquisition approach.

Please review the full DRAFT solicitation for details and submission instructions. This DRAFT solicitation may be used to inform future solicitations.

Space Development Agency Systems, Technologies, and Emerging Capabilities (STEC) Broad Agency Announcement

Original Date Offers Due: January 16, 2024

Through this updated Systems, Technologies, and Emerging Capabilities (STEC) Broad Agency Announcement (BAA), SDA is soliciting executive summaries, invited proposal abstracts, and invited proposals for novel architecture concepts, systems, technologies, and capabilities that enable leap-ahead improvements for future tranches of the agency’s proliferated network of currently planned capability layers, or, that enable new capability layers to address other emerging or evolving warfighter needs.

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 capability vectors:

• Efficient Beyond Line-of-Sight Data Transport and Warfighter Communications

• Advanced Target Custody, Warning, Tracking and Defeat

• Global Battle Management

Although not required, SDA strongly encourages submitting an executive summary in advance of a full proposal to ensure interest and potential funding availability. SDA releases an updated Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) on an annual basis. Because SDA strives to always maintain an active BAA with similar focus areas, proposers are discouraged from submitting uninvited full proposals shortly before the BAA proposal due date simply to meet the submission deadline. They should consider instead submitting an executive summary to the subsequent BAA.

Please see the BAA for detailed descriptions of capability vectors and submission instructions.

SDA Issues DRAFT Solicitation for Sabre Payload

Original Response Date: January 30, 2023, 12:00 PM EST

The Space Development Agency (SDA) issued an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) solicitation for a payload system that will add multiple new mission capability demonstrations to NExT, SDA’s experimental testbed constellation. This payload system delivers three (3) independent functional capabilities collectively referred to as the Sabre payload. These three functions may be integrated into a single multi-function unit or may be delivered as multiple single-function units. These three functions will operate individually; they are not required to operate simultaneously.

The primary payload function of Sabre is a system to collect and relay telemetry from ballistic and hypersonic Vehicles Under Test (VUTs), thereby eliminating the need for a fleet of aircraft and ships that must be deployed to collect this telemetry. This system will also significantly reduce the latency of telemetry collection by using SDA’s Transport Layer (TL) to gather and transfer telemetry in near-real time. The secondary and tertiary functions of Sabre deliver SDA alternate navigation (S-NAV/ALTNAV) and Electronic Support (ES) capabilities. This solicitation is for the design, development, fabrication, integration, test, and delivery of four (4) Sabre flight units including support for integrating these flight units into NExT SVs and operating and sustaining them for future mission demonstrations.

SDA Requests Information about Datalinks and Waveforms Application for Tranche 2 Demonstration and Experimentation System (T2DES)

Response Date: December 15, 2022

The Space Development Agency (SDA) seeks U.S. industry feedback on advanced tactical datalink and waveform maturity, on-going work with other U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) agencies on datalinks and waveforms, and integrating datalinks and waveforms on future Tranches of the National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA). This would include risk reduction efforts to support command and control, sensor to shooter, and tactical satellite communication capabilities. Responses to this RFI will specifically inform SDA's Transport Layer Tranche 2 Demonstration and Experimentation System (T2DES) planning in fiscal year 2023 for subsequent contract award in FY2024. With this RFI, SDA will align datalink and waveform capabilities for baselining and/or demonstration in Tranche 2 (initial launch capability beginning September 2026).

All responses received to this RFI are solely for information and planning purposes. Responses to this RFI may be used to inform future solicitations. Submit responses by Dec 15, 2022.

SDA Issues DRAFT Solicitation for Battle Management Command, Control, and Communications (BMC3) Application Factory

Response Date: December 9, 2022

The Space Development Agency (SDA) issued a DRAFT solicitation seeking feedback from industry regarding the Battle Management Command, Control, and Communications (BMC3) software development and hosting environment for the National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA). The contractor ultimately selected will be responsible for the implementation of the BMC3 Application Factory (AppFac), the development of interfacing documentation, development processes for BMC3 Application deployment, and middleware to allow the NDSA BMC3 ecosystem to execute mission applications in support of warfighter needs.

This acquisition will establish software development capabilities to securely and rapidly field mission applications developed by BMC3 ecosystem participants in support of Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) objectives. The BMC3 ecosystem is made up of the AppFac, Secure Interoperable-middleware Layer (SIL), and all future BMC3 applications to be hosted throughout the NDSA.

The contractor will serve as the BMC3 Ecosystem Lead, with the responsibility for leading and coordinating development activities within the BMC3 ecosystem. The contractor responsibilities will enhance the capabilities of the NDSA to provide ubiquitous data communications and accelerated decision-making focused on enhancing the warfighters' ability to find-fix-finish, FAST.

This is a DRAFT solicitation; feedback gathered from it may be used to inform a future solicitation. Responses to this DRAFT solicitation are due December 9, 2022.

SDA Issues Request for Information for Tranche 2 PNT Service Payload

Response Date: November 21, 2022

SDA is issuing a Request for Information (RFI) for a Tranche 2 Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) service payload. SDA is interested in potentially proliferating a low cost L-band PNT service as a payload on the SDA Tranche 2 Transport Layer. The PNT payload would include an on-orbit reprogrammable PNT signal generator, mid-size High Powered Amplifier (HPA) and associated fixed wide beam width antenna.

The goal is to proliferate this low cost payload onto hundreds of satellites within future SDA Tranches. Size, weight, power and cost (SWAP-C) will potentially be significant constraints. The full RFI (link below) provides a notional technical concept of this PNT service and respondents are welcome to offer alternative hardware and/or software approaches and any perceived risks associated with these concepts. All responses received to this RFI are solely for information and planning purposes. Responses to this RFI may be used to support future solicitations.

SDA Participates in DoD’s SBIR/STTR Program

SDA participates in the DoD Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program. Starting in October 2021, SDA began leveraging the DoD SBIR 22.4 Annual Program Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) and the DoD STTR 22.D Annual Program BAA. These programs are competitive opportunities to encourage domestic small businesses to engage in research and development with the DoD. SDA will use the SBIR/STTR program to enhance future tranches and to inform the overall architecture of spiral development projects to demonstrate warfighter capability via proliferated low Earth orbit. 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 the DoD Annual SBIR and STTR BAAs throughout the year as we identify specific technical topics for industry consideration and will consider partnering with other organizations such as DARPA or Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), based on their research interests and the quality of small business proposals. The annual BAAs close Dec. 31, 2022.

SDA Releases New Small Business Innovation Research Topic for Integrated Architecture Technology (IAT)

Original Response Date: April 12, 2022

SDA is issuing new Small Business Opportunities (SBO) under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, inviting submissions of innovative research concepts supporting the advancement of our national defense space capabilities. This SBO (SDA224-001) pertains to modeling, simulation and analysis (MS&A).

This project looks to develop and demonstrate an integrated architecture technology solution that will serve as a testbed, enabling realistic and informative mission design that facilitates the formation of traceable requirements.

This SBO is issued under the DOD Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for SBIR, 2022.4. All proposals in response to the technical area(s) described herein must be submitted in accordance with the instructions provided under DoD SBIR FY2022.4, found at the link below. SDA is currently accepting and seeking proposals for Direct to Phase II (DP2) awards.

SDA Resources

 

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.