OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Space Technology;Trusted AI and Autonomy;Advanced Computing and Software;Integrated Sensing and Cyber;Integrated Network System-of-Systems
OBJECTIVE: Brass-board level demonstration of a low SWaP smart multi-threat warning autonomous sensor with an extremely low false alarm rate. The design must have inherent manufacturing-friendly characteristics and be launch- and space-qualified for the SDA transport and tracking constellations in low earth orbit (LEO).
DESCRIPTION: Miniature Smart satellite threat warning sensor: Brass-board level demonstration of a low SWaP smart multi-threat warning autonomous sensor with an extremely low false alarm rate. The design must have inherent manufacturing-friendly characteristics and be launch- and space-qualified for the SDA transport and tracking constellations in low earth orbit (LEO).
PHASE I: As this is a Direct-to-Phase-II (D2P2) topic, no Phase I awards will be made as a result of this topic. To qualify for this D2P2 topic, the Government expects the applicant to demonstrate feasibility by means of a prior “Phase I-type” effort that does not constitute work undertaken as part of a prior SBIR/STTR funding agreement. "Phase 1-type" feasibility documentation for this DP2 effort consists of: a.) List of threat sensor microelectronic components and structural materials that have either flown in LEO or can be space certified within the work period. b.) Identifying machine learning software modifiable for whatever threat sensor suite is chosen. c.) Candidate list of low-power space-qualified processors. d.) Conceptual sketches to scale of minimum SWaP earth pointing observing system providing coarse quadrant angle-of-arrival of DEW threats and an Omni-directional burst signal warning communication capability to initiate threat warning relay throughout the SDA tranche constellations.
PHASE II: At Phase II, a laboratory brass-board demonstration is undertaken in a vacuum chamber with suitable access ports to stimulate the threat sensor prototype system with low-power threat-based RF and laser signals. A test plan will be devised and approved by the government before the demonstration. In addition, a draft manufacturing plan proving the capability to build the intelligent threat sensor system with minimal SWaP and ease of installation on spacecraft designs for SDA Tranches. A follow-up program (Phase III) draft flight test plan to examine sensor performance utilizing national ranges' resources to evaluate the system's LEO space environmental endurance and low false alert rate. The threat sensor system can only assume that the proposed spacecraft designs can only provide unregulated power and structural attachment.
PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Threat warning systems are valuable to commercial constellation systems for failure diagnostics. Commercial ISR services provide useful information to both the IC and DoD and commercial customers. Phase III is envisioned as a joint government and commercial-funded flight test experiment.
- Hilland, Dave, et al., “Satellite Threat Warning and Attack Reporting,” IEEE Aerospace Conference, 1998 Obal, Michael, et al.,” The Satellite Attack Warning and Assessment Flight Experiment (SAWAFE),” AGARD Conference Proceeding 531 on Smart Structures for Aircraft and Spacecraft, Lindau, Germany, Oct 1992 Moss, C.E. et al.,” A Space Fiber-Optic X-ray Burst Detector,” LA-UR-1993-3807
KEYWORDS: RF; DEW; lasers; threat warning; machine learning; low power space-qualified processors; manufacturability