SDA Issues Request for Information for Future Optical Communication Waveforms

Posted On: April 4, 2024

Response Date: April 18, 2024

SDA seeks industry feedback on optical communications waveforms, ongoing work with other U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) agencies on datalinks and waveforms, and integrating datalinks and waveforms on future Tranches of the Proliferated Warfighter Defense Architecture (PWSA). This request for information (RFI) includes risk reduction efforts to support low data rate links, and long-range links, specifically space-to-space geometries of low earth orbit (LEO) to medium earth orbit (MEO) (L2M) and LEO to geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO) (L2G) ranges.

SDA previously issued the Future Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture Optical Communications Waveforms RFI (SDA-SN-24-0005) in November 2023. That RFI described two potential waveform types: low-data-rate pulse position modulation (PPM) and burst mode. Based on industry feedback, SDA selected the burst mode waveform. SDA will be adding two additional waveforms to the next version of the OCT Standard. The OCT Standard version 4.0 will provide the PWSA capability to achieve optical links over longer ranges at the expense of data rate.

Responses to this RFI will specifically inform SDA’s Tranche 3 Transport Layer planning beginning in fiscal year 2024 (FY 2024) for subsequent acquisition efforts to be slated to begin in FY 2025.

For more information on this RFI and for proposal submission instructions, please visit the link below. Responses are due by 4:00 pm ET on April 18, 2024.