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Cultivating PWSA Innovations Through Collaboration

Description:

OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Space Technology

 

OBJECTIVE: Provide novel and innovative new technology to bolster the United States Space Force (USSF) Space Development Agency's (SDA) advancement of the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA). SDA seeks proposals encompassing novel mission, system, value and warfighting engineering concepts, technologies, and capabilities which facilitate leap-ahead improvements for planned PWSA segments, layers and tranches or enable the creation of new missions and capabilities to address emerging warfighter needs. This effort aligns with the imperative to fortify space capabilities, ensuring their resilience against potential attacks, and to counter adversaries' advancements in space-based military capabilities targeting terrestrial assets, especially high-value power projection assets.

 

DESCRIPTION: SDA is actively seeking innovative proposals to advance the PWSA and create additional capability for the warfighter while maintaining affordability and resilience across the architecture. This call encompasses a wide array of themes, ranging from integrating commercially-sensed data into the transport layer by advancing SDA-standard compatible Optical Inter-Satellite Link (OISL) technologies, to networking, in-space processing, power enhancement for commoditized spacecraft buses, and robust multi-level security and cross domain solutions. These themes aim to drive advancements in affordability, capability, viability and interoperability. The goal is to bolster the resilience and capabilities of space assets while enabling new layers of capabilities to address evolving warfighter needs in a dynamic and challenging space environment.

 

PHASE I: The focus of Phase I is to identify and demonstrate the feasibility of novel technologies aimed at bolstering the PWSA via a collaborative feasibility study in partnership with a Research Institution (RI). Leveraging the collective expertise of the research institution and the proposing small business, the emphasis should be on using analytical or computational methods to move beyond first principles and document proposed advancements, culminating in a demonstrative product that establishes the approach's viability and enables Phase II planning. While a complete production-level simulation may not be necessary, the computational intensity of the effort necessitates an unequivocal demonstration of the proposed methods, even if access to supercomputing resources is limited. This phase's goal is to affirm the potential and practicality of the outlined technological approaches, validating their computational foundations to efficiently create new warfighting capabilities enabled by a set of interoperable resilient, global, proliferated low Earth orbit spaceborne constellations. The successful collaboration between SDA, a small business, and an RI should contribute to widespread applications within the space enterprise, offering enhanced security and resilience for space-based architectures, and potentially extending benefits to broader national security interests.

 

PHASE II: Phase II builds upon the validated feasibility from Phase I by transitioning toward technology maturation and integration within operational contexts. Leveraging the established collaborative partnership between the Space Development Agency (SDA), a small business, and a Research Institution (RI), Phase II focuses on refining and advancing the demonstrated technological approaches. This phase emphasizes rigorous testing and validation, aiming to develop a prototype or functioning model that substantiates the viability of the proposed methods in practical settings. The emphasis remains on computational validation and real-world applicability, ensuring the technology's readiness for integration into Space Force systems. Alongside technical advancements, Phase II targets engagement with specialized government transition programs like Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Transition (STP) or Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) to facilitate the technology's integration into operational environments. This phase aims for a seamless transition from research and development to operational readiness, ultimately contributing to enhanced security and resilience for space-based architectures, aligning with broader national security imperatives.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: In Phase III, the focus remains on refining the technology developed within Space Force operational environments. Funded through non-SBIR/STTR sources, this phase builds upon validated prototypes and successful Phase II outcomes. The emphasis lies in advancing the technology for operational readiness via comprehensive testing, validation, and operational assessments. Leveraging established partnerships, Phase III is dedicated to transitioning the technology into established Space Force programs or operational systems. While SBIR/STTR applications may not fund this phase, engagement with government transition programs like the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Transition (STP) or Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) remains crucial for securing necessary resources and funding to seamlessly integrate the technology into existing defense programs. Ultimately, Phase III aims for the successful deployment of this technology to bolster the security, resilience, and operational capabilities of space-based architectures, aligning with broader national security objectives and the Space Force's mission imperatives.

 

REFERENCES:

  1. https://www.sda.mil/home/work-with-us/resources/;

 

KEYWORDS: Cryptography; Networking; Resilience; Interoperability; Affordability; Mission; Warfighting

 

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