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Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA) Advanced Capability Development Open Topic


OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Trusted AI and Autonomy; Advanced Computing and Software; Integrated Sensing and Cyber; Hypersonics; Microelectronics; Integrated Network Systems-of-Systems; Space Technology; Renewable Energy Generation and Storage; Advanced Infrastructure & Advanced Manufacturing


OBJECTIVE: Provide novel and innovative new technology supporting the USSF Space Development Agency continued development of the PWSA (Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture).  – The Space Development Agency (SDA) is soliciting proposals for novel architecture concepts, systems, technologies, and capabilities that enable leap-ahead improvements for future tranches of currently planned PWSA (Proliferated Warfare Space Architecture) capability layers, or, enable new capability layers to address other emerging or evolving warfighter needs.


IMPORTANT: For SDA DP2 proposal template, please click here or visit Go to the bottom of the page and click “Supporting Documents and Attachments”, then SDA DP2 Proposal Template – Vol 2


DESCRIPTION: SDA is responsible for defining and monitoring the Department’s future threat-driven space architecture and accelerating the development and fielding of new military space capabilities necessary to ensure U.S. technological and military advantage in space for national defense. To achieve this mission, SDA is responsible for unifying and integrating next- generation space capabilities to deliver the Proliferated Warfare Space Architecture (PWSA), a resilient military sensing and data transport capability via a proliferated space architecture in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). SDA will not necessarily develop and field all capabilities of the PWSA but rather orchestrate those efforts across DoD and fill in gaps in capabilities while providing the integrated architecture.


PHASE I: This topic is accepting Direct to Phase II proposals ONLY. Proposers must provide documentation to substantiate that scientific and technical merit and feasibility of their proposed project.  Including references and/or documentation in their proposal demonstrating the technology is ready for the Phase II stage of development.  If the small business has performed the Phase I stage-type of research through other funding sources or with their own independent research and development funding and show adequate feasibility with existing research, models, analysis, test or verification, that supports a Direct-to-Phase II award.  This allows a small business that has already built a technology prototype and tested its feasibility (i.e. completed Phase-I- type R&D) to move directly into a Phase-II-type R&D.  The Direct-to-Phase-II SBIR mechanism eliminates the need for the Small Business Concerns to propose or submit additional small feasibility studies.


PHASE II:  SDA has multiple themes and will look at work throughout each of these open topic focus areas.  Please review and submit proposals that are based on your best skills, experience and capability to deliver innovative technology to support the SDA mission.

  • Theme 1:  Integrate Commercial Sensing to Transport Layer
    • Support integration of crosslinks into commercial space sensing
    • Potential Deliverables:
      • On orbit demonstration of commercial data crosslinking directly to SDA Transport Layer
      • BMC3 on-orbit software application
      • Demonstration of space-to-space transfer of PWSA Transport timing and positioning to inform and enhance PNT capabilities of commercial space sensing missions.
    • Must maintain conformance to existing SDA RF and optical standards.
  • Theme 2:  Develop OISL Technology and Industrial Base
  • Focus Area 1:  Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC) technology
    • Potential Deliverables: Packaged modem and amplifier, SDA-compatible
  • Focus Area 2:  Low SWaP OISL user terminal for space, air, maritime or ground, asymmetric solutions, such as a modulated retroreflector, that minimize SWaP burden on spacecraft, SDA interoperable
    • Potential Deliverables:  EDU, automation of OCT – reduce dependency on satellite bus (give power, data, pointing vector)
  • Focus area 3: OCT components and subsystems to reduce SWaP
    • Potential deliverables: Lasers and optical amplifiers (EDFA, SOA, high power, low noise), increased sensitivity optical detectors
  • Focus area 4: Technologies to mitigate atmospheric effects of an optical ground station
    • Potential deliverables: Technologies to simplify or eliminate adaptive optics, devices to couple light into single mode fiber for space-to-ground, ground telescope arrays, reducing atmospheric effects on ground-to-space uplink
  • Focus area 5: Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT)
    • Deliverables: technologies to achieve sub-nanosecond time transfer, integration of PNT calculations into the OCT as an intrinsic capability
  • Focus area 6: All-optical routing / networking
    • Deliverables: optical amplifiers, optical ROADM and related technologies to demonstrate multi-hop routing of data in the optical domain
  • Focus Area 7:  Transportable Lasercom Ground Station
    • Transportable lasercom ground station, fits within ISO shipping container volume
    • Potential Deliverables
    • Prototype ground terminal
    • Interoperable with SDA, eventually SpaceBACN
    • Tested with SDA space assets
    • Ground modems compliant with SDA standard
    • Provides time transfer to user applications
  • Focus Area 8:  Non-mechanical beam steering
    • Potential Deliverables:  Low reaction-mass gimbal, SDA-compatible
  • Theme 3:  Cyber
    • Advanced encryption technology
    • Higher throughput
    • Cross domain solution in space
    • Potential Deliverables:  Brass board prototype
  • Theme 4:  Networking
    • High throughput packet router in space
    • Potential Deliverables:  Router prototype, ground test
  • Theme 5:  In-Space Processing
    • Flexible on-orbit processing for sensor fusion
    • Use of artificial intelligence and machine learning
    • Potential Deliverables:  Prototype cards ready for integration
    • On-orbit lightweight, distributed, geospatially-enabled database--to maintain near-real time structured or unstructured data on heterogenous processing platforms
    • Potential Deliverable:  new or existing modified database technology
  • Theme 6:  Increase Power for Spacecraft Bus
    • Double the power capability for SDA sized buses
    • Potential Deliverables:  Engineering architectures, brass board prototypes
  • Theme 7: Generic BMC3 hardware and middleware solutions providing varieties of compute capabilities
    • BMC3 Modules in space
  1. Image and/or Signal processing
  2. Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML)
  3. Parallel processing
  4. Multi-INT fusion – Multi-Hypothesis Tracking/Increased Tracking Sensor Mix/Tracking problems
  5. CDS in space – MLS (multi-level security), ingesting commercial ISR data into the PWSA to transport data
  6. Distributed Database/Storage Nodes
  7. Translator / Firewall Router - extending National vs. commercial capabilities
  8. Application specific implementation of Cloud solutions
  • Theme 8: Seamless multi-level security (MLS)
    • Robust MLS solution(s) to protect and defend SDA’s proliferated architecture operations across heterogeneous platforms, multiple warfighting domains, and at multiple levels of security
    • Potential Deliverables:
    • Prototype cards ready for on-orbit MLS processing
  • Theme 9: High performance, low size, mass, and power clocks for space
    • Advancement of clocks and frequency sources for space-based timekeeping in proliferated LEO space vehicles maintaining synchronization of < 100 ns / day and using no more than 3 W of power.
    • Candidate clocks proven at TRL6 and clearly demonstrate manufacturing readiness for incorporation into LEO space vehicles by 2028
    • Potential Deliverables:
    • Clock and frequency system ready for risk reduction space-based test by 2026


PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Phase III work can apply to providing proliferated low earth orbit communication systems and space based pocessing that allows the effective and efficient distribution of overhead sensor data.  Improving the industrial base to provide more effective optical satellite communications, with more power for the satellite bus and high performance clocks will enhance Phase III development.





KEYWORDS: Space Platforms; Space Systems; Space Sensors; On-orbit processing; optical inter-satellite links; position, navigation and timing; MLS (Multi-Level Security); Effective Space Power Systems; High performance clocks for space

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