You are here

Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) Pitch Day


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials, Electronics, Human Systems, Information Systems, Sensors, Space Platforms, Battlespace


The Space and Missile Systems Center, a subordinate unit of U.S. Space Force, is the center of technical excellence for developing, acquiring, fielding and sustaining military space systems. SMC's mission is to deliver resilient and affordable space capabilities. The center is responsible for on-orbit check-out, testing, sustainment and maintenance of military satellite constellations and other Department of Defense space systems.


A Phase I award will be completed over three months with a maximum award of $50K. The Space Force is seeking commercial solutions to improve our portfolio of military space systems. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Battle Management Command and Control (BMC2): Ability to observe, control, and assess the space domain on tactically relevant timelines to support joint, multi-domain operations. Secure interoperability and networking of multiple proliferated military and commercial 100+ satellite constellations
  • Data Analytics: Ability to quickly convert data, stored in various locations and levels, to actionable information for Space Domain Awareness (SDA), Intelligence and Warning (I&W), Battle Management Command and Control (BMC2), anomaly detection and predictive analysis, etc. Distributed on-orbit automated processing of sensor data to reduce downlink requirements. Capture lessons learned, best practices, and repeated errors to inform operator training and battle plans.
  • Combat Cloud: Secure communication options to create path diversity between operations center and satellite for Telemetry, Tracking, and Commanding (TT&C) and mission data. Ubiquitous satellite communication to include crosslinks, multi-purpose ground antennas, and automated data routing creating a robust data transport layer.
  • Theater Delivery/Integration: Collect, process, exploit, and disseminate data to support warfighter Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), missile warning, Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT), Space Domain Awareness (SDA), weather, and Satellite Communication (SATCOM) requirements.
  • Warfare Center: Enhanced, end-to-end combined architectures, infrastructure and tools that enable enterprise scheduling, testing, training, and Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTP) development against realistic, representative threats. Virtual environment enabling rapid architectural design studies and change analysis enabling data-driven decision making.
  • Advanced Production/Scalability of Capability: Options such as non-traditional weather sensors, launch, data exploitation, and use of allied and commercial capabilities. Affordable employment of on-orbit servicing, hosted payloads, proliferation, diversification, and production on demand (both ground and on-orbit). Rapid/innovative production technologies such as additive manufacturing and enabling factors such as standardized interfaces and common components.Machine learning to accelerate analysis of SV payload/sensor integration using 3-D digital models.
  • Space Logistics: Opportunities to provide mission capabilities in non-traditional orbits, including sub-orbital, very low LEO, beyond GEO, and cis-lunar space. Enable resiliency through maneuverability by opening up trade spaces for high delta-v propulsion systems and on-orbit refueling/servicing
  • Space Domain Awareness:Knowledge of space objects, status, activities, threats and environments to enable courses of action.
  • Space Cyber: Capabilities to enhance space system mission assurance across all segments and across highly cyber-contested system lifecycles, including cyber-secure processing architectures, and tailorable assurance modules. Interest in machine learning and Artificial Intelligence for increased system efficiency, network security monitoring, autonomy, and resilience (AIC2, etc.).
  • Commercial Cyber Threat Intelligence: Capability/Options to gather and provide commercial intelligence for current and advance persistent threat (APT) on cyber vulnerabilities. Capability to provide threat agent's Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) for use in weapons system cyber risk determination.
  • Adopting Commercial Technologies and Practices by the DoD:Opportunities for the DoD to leverage best commercial practices while meeting strict mission requirements and system certifications.Enable incorporation of cutting edge technologies and practices into solutions that will be accepted by United States Space Force (USSF). Leverage cradle-to-grave Digital Engineering practices to achieve greater performance and affordability in space programs and space enterprise (from requirements development, through system design, V&V, operation, and disposal.)
  • Space hardware/software test: Enhancing and accelerate test data reviews through continuous aggregation of component, subsystem, and system levels test results, utilizing data analytics (AI/ML) to identify and/or predict defects, bad trends, triage test results.
  • Interactions between on-orbit AI and the production environment:Integrating the results of on-orbit AI experiences and learning with the production floor to accelerate the transfer of real-world experience to responsive changes/updates to the product.
  • Confidence in AI/ML:How to gain confidence that a non-deterministic, self-directed, learning system operates as intended.As AI/ML become more prevalent, how to gain incremental confidence prior to fielding.
  • Weather Monitoring: Technologies to enhance existing space and terrestrial monitoring capabilities to contribute towards a future DoD proliferated weather architecture:
  • Terrestrial:
  • Enhanced scatterometer technology (terrestrial monitoring for high-resolution boundary layer ocean winds)
  • Enhanced Microbolometer technology to contribute to future Electro-Optical Infrared (EO/IR) weather mission
  • Terrestrial Weather using Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS): Use SBIR/OPIR Data Records to forecast low atmospheric turbulence in order to enhance mission operations for UAVs and aircraft.
  • Space Weather:
  • Enhanced Far Ultra-Violet technologies (day/night ionospheric LIMB profiles) for space environment monitoring
  • Position Navigation & Timing (PNT):Devise and deliver technologies, systems, and techniques to improve PNT accuracy and availability, especially in contested environments.Specific areas of interest include
  • Resilient and rapid signal acquisition and signal tracking in adverse conditions (spoofing, jamming, urban canyons, etc.)
  • Ability for deployed receivers to use non-core GPS signals
  • Reduced SWAP-C for resilient military PNT receiver systems
  • Information assurance for use of non-GPS GNSS signals
  • Advanced high-speed (100+ MSPS), high-accuracy (14 ENOB) A/D converters for GPS receivers
  • Innovative multi-GNSS solutions for assured PNT applications that are resilient to jamming, spoofing, and other emerging threats, employ software defined security features, have low size, weight, and power characteristics.
  • Real time signal analysis, playback, and simulation reference systems are needed to support GPS program activities.
  • Satellite Communications (SATCOM):Devise and deliver technologies, systems, and techniques to improve SATCOM link resilience, throughput, and reduce user equipment.
  • Missile Warning:Devise and deliver technologies, systems, and techniques to improve MW detection and tracking in contested environments.
  • Operator Training: Training capabilities that enhance operator's understanding of satellite structure, terminology, fuel usage, orbital elements, command and control, etc that could be accessed and edited anywhere by multi-modal means.
  • Miscellaneous: Other missions and focus areas not listed above may be the breakthrough that the Space Force needs to maintain its competitive edge - but doesn't yet realize (e.g. Advanced Telemetry, Tracking, & Commanding (TT&C) Communication, range management and logistics, etc.)


Phase I efforts will focus on technical feasibility.This may include but is not limited to: analysis of existing technologies, conceptualization of new technologies, prototyping activities, user needs identification, and systems integration requirements.

PHASE II: Phase II efforts will focus on prototyping, demonstration, integration, and analysis of innovative technologies.


Phase III efforts will focus on transitioning the developed technology to a working commercial or warfighter solution.

KEYWORDS: space; command and control; logistics; cyber;


Chaplain, C. T. (2016). Space Acquisitions: Challenges Facing DOD as it Changes Approaches to Space Acquisitions. US Government Accountability Office Washington United States.

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government