MARK YOUR CALENDARS for March 2022!

During the week of 21-25 March 2022, the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Space Community of Interest (CoI) is staging the 2022 Space Independent Research and Development (IR&D) Technology Interchange Meeting (TIM).  This invitation is open to all industry with IR&D and corporate investments, including large and small businesses, academia, National Labs, and FFRDCs with a signed and certified DD form 2345 (Military Critical Technical Data Agreement).  This event will be held in coordination with the Professional Aerospace Contractors Association (PACA) of New Mexico Briefings for Industry (BFI) Meeting in Albuquerque NM at multiple locations, including the Hotel Albuquerque and Kirtland AFB.

This engagement has broad goals to increase awareness, stimulate collaboration, and identify alignment between industry’s independent research investments and DoD’s high-priority science and technology needs and corresponding acquisition sustainment roadmaps.  Leading Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) from the DoD Space CoI will participate as they have in the past. However, in an effort to increase collaboration and capitalize on opportunities, this event will expand from one to four primary objectives, as follow:

  1. Solicit industry IR&D abstracts for government Subject Matter Expert (SME) review, with interest in:
    1. What you are doing
    2. Potential capability enhancements
    3. Gaps or barriers to the R&D effort
  2. Enhance attendee networking in a manner that encourages shared investments
    1. We intend to follow this event with a Mentor/Protégé out of cycle SBIR call to help enable these engagements and drive toward implementable solutions
    2. AFOSR inclusion to foster STTR opportunities
  3. Bring all federal stakeholders in Space (OUSD, USSF, USAF, SSC, USASMDC, MDA, NASA, SRCO, AFOSR, and more) to one location for a series of GOVERNMENT ONLY engagements to identify and coordinate upcoming opportunities to set the stage for the industry engagements. This means industry-funded R&D nominations will be shared with multiple agencies within the DOD, but all will be US only. Every nominated abstract will be reviewed by government SMEs with appropriate technical background.
  4. Leverage the PACA Briefings for Industry (BFI) event to ensure industry is aware of publicly releasable information related to desired capabilities or major programs on the horizon.

We are attempting to make the coordinated BFI and Space TIM events a practical means of engaging with multiple federal agencies, coordinating and multiplying networking opportunities, and removing barriers to critical technology transitions.

Technical Taxonomies for the Space TIM

United Stated Space Force (USSF), working with DoD and other federal agencies with equity in space, is in the process of constructing a new framework and strategy to guide space Science and Technology development to confront the growing challenges to continued US space leadership.  In support of this effort, we are requesting Industry nominate IR&D abstracts on their current efforts within this framework under three overlapping classes of architecture maturity:

  • Evolutionary IR&D to optimize current operational systems and those in advanced states of acquisition or planning.  This includes S&T enabling the on ramping of capabilities for these systems to increase their mission performance and assurance toward a hybrid space architecture.
  • Revolutionary IR&D to enable a hybrid space architecture of interconnected and interacting space assets diversified by orbit, size and function that can continually adjust autonomously or with humans-in-the-loop to optimize mission performance and mission assurance in a dynamic space and across domains conflict.
  • Technology Surprise IR&D of sufficient scope to guard against S&T and operational surprises to the US from our adversaries and/or to create uncertainty and impose cost on US adversaries as to future space capabilities the US is pursuing or could possess.

In addition to the three classes of architecture maturity, nominated abstracts will be evaluated based on relevance to one or more of the following three pillars: Command, Control, and Communication (C3), Multi-domain Sensing, and Space Control; or as part of the foundational pervasive and enablers supporting them. The pillar structure shown below is consistent with the force structure planning of the US Space Force and cross‑domain operational nomenclature.

These pillars are:

  • Command, Control and Communication (C3): The space element of the integrated Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) system that provides to, from, in, and through space advantage in Battle Management Command and Control (BMC2), Domain Awareness (DA), and Decision Superiority (DS).
  • Multi-Domain Sensing:  The critical, space-based and terrestrial space-supporting, information sources and systems required for military Information Dominance in space and across domains including space surveillance.
  • Space Control:  Military defensive and offensive operations and associated space domain awareness to support those operations, in and from space and to space from the terrestrial domains required to project and maintain Space Superiority as needed in space and to support all domain operations.

Additional details regarding each pillar are provided below as a means of providing industry partners technical clarity that will foster nominations with clear relevance to the associated pillar(s).

C3 Pillar

The three layers of the C3 Pillar are defined as:

  1. Physical Layer – System and subsystem hardware at the node level for computation/data storage, performance monitoring at the node, and transmitting data/information over media between nodes in the JADC2 system.
  2. Network Layer – Capabilities for monitoring, management, and operation of data and information transfer and storage, and software distribution and execution across the network of physical elements to maintain and adapt the system to provide continuity of key functions and capabilities.
  3. Application Layer – Protocols and software dynamically distributed across the network to enable user interactions; establish, reconfigure, and terminate connections between nodes; and operate on the physical elements of the network to provide Battle Awareness (BA), DS, and BMC2.

Specific Advances of Interest

Physical Layer

Evolutionary: GPS/MILSATCOM mission assurance/performance optimizations and ground infrastructure interconnection

Revolutionary: Systems for adaptable interconnection of space nodes with threat awareness and distributed computation/storage; Space networked MILSATCOM within heterogeneous commercial/military systems; Alternative, ubiquitous Position, Navigation, & Timing (PNT)

Evolutionary: Monitor/manage interconnected space/ground infrastructure for agile/rapid operation/reconfiguration of information transfer paths, storage and computation within JADC2 infrastructure

Revolutionary: Continuously monitor/manage/agilely reconfigured integrated/optimized ground and in space nodes for transport of MILSATCOM, data/info/commands, and PNT within integrated JADC2

Battlespace Awareness

Evolutionary: Exploit, fuse & display data/information across terrestrially interconnected space systems and across domains

Revolutionary: Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities distributed across space and cross domain nodes of JADC2 to integrate/fuse/exploit/display data and

Decision Superiority

Evolutionary: Adaptable/distributes ML/AI across terrestrial interconnected space nodes for autonomous/human-in-the-loop decision making

Revolutionary: Adaptable/distributed ML/AI across all space nodes within cross domain integrated JADC2 for autonomous/human-in-the-loop decision making

BMC2

Evolutionary: Optimized MILTSATCOM & space and space-enable C2 across heterogeneous nodes within integrated terrestrial nodes for increased bandwidth/speed/mission assurance

Revolutionary: Agile/continuous MILSATCOM SATOPS and space/space enable C2 across all space/terrestrial nodes integrated within JADC2

Multi-Domain Sensing Pillar

To address the increased importance of, and threat to, space information services and systems, an architecture must be developed and employed in space and across domains that balances maintaining or improving space information capabilities and their mission assurance.  This architecture must include space information services and systems that support:

  • The broad range of Intelligence Community (IC) missions
  • Strategic Missile Warning
  • Strategic Missile Defense
  • Tactical Missile Defense
  • Tactical ISR find, fix, track, target (F2T2) for offensive and defensive operations across all domains in support of US kill chains and to disrupt the kill chains of adversaries
  • All-Space Domain Awareness, in particular Space Domain Awareness, in space and from the other terrestrial domains except for late or terminal defensive and offensive operations
  • Space and Terrestrial Environmental Monitoring and Prediction

This strategy assumes the requirements of these areas, and the S&T to address them, are converging and increasingly overlapping.  As a result, these requirements can be met by research, development, and fielding of an integrated, interdependent, and interactive set of space information capabilities within a hybrid space architecture that constitute the space element of a military “sensor web” operating within a cross-domain JADC2 structure.

The elements of the Multi-Domain Sensing pillars are defined as:

  1. Sensing modes and sensors in space and in the terrestrial domains generating the data and/or information that:
    • Maximizes the diversity of EO/RF modes available to see and hear the battlespace across domains from space and to see space from the terrestrial domains.
    • Optimizes for each mode the quantity and quality of data and information provided.
  • Provide sensor control and data processing to:
    • Optimize sensor performance, and rapidly and accurately convert the data/information into knowledge products.
    • Fuse space-based and cross-domain information and services to support rapid military operations.
    • Increase the speed, continuity and quantity of information generation through distributed data processing across all nodes.
  1. Sensor Employment that maximizes employment modes for space information services and systems in space and across the terrestrial domains, including Space Domain Awareness from terrestrial-based systems to include:
    • Sensor hardware systems and subsystems that have monolithic and distributed apertures across single, distributed, diversified, and proliferated space and terrestrial nodes.
    • Interconnected and agilely coordinated proliferated, diverse, and distributed, heterogeneous, & homogeneous sensing nodes in space and across domains.
    • Optimized data generation at the node, constellation, and system of systems levels for space and cross domain information services and systems.
  2. Mission Assurance to enable optimum architectures for the space information services or systems through diversification, distribution, disaggregation, deception, proliferation, and protection that includes:
    • Sensor protection against EO systems blinding and damage within the optical train and RF system jamming or damage, and for both protection against material/physical structural damage.
    • Sensing systems at the sensor and node to detect, identify, and attribute attacks on the sensor with the autonomous capability to respond to preserve the sensing system or negate the attack.
    • Software and algorithms at the node and constellation level that monitor the state of the information services and reconfigures the systems’ operations to continually optimize their performance.

Required advances

Sensor Hardware/Software

Evolutionary: Advances in cognitive-based sensing, structures, focal planes, optics, all-purpose characterization & ground-based radars/telescopes

Revolutionary: Improved SWAP-C/performance to enable integrated, cross-mission, space sensor web

Evolutionary: Heterogeneous sensor deployment; operations & data fusion/exploitation across monolithic, diverse and distributed US/allies military and commercial systems within unified data network

Revolutionary: Optimally allocated monolithic, diverse, distributed & proliferated space information capabilities within interconnected/agile space sensor web

Evolutionary: EO filters/blockers, RF anti-jamming, rad-hardening, cyber/electronic warfare resiliency, physical/software distribution, threat/attack detection/attribution/ response, agile reconfiguration for ops continuity

Revolutionary: Optimized performance by rapid/agile, allocation/routing of tasking/data/ information and reconfiguration of location/ops of space sensor web systems

Space Control Pillar

We define the elements as:

  1. The defensive and offensive delivery systems/carriers: This includes systems that transport offensive and defensive capabilities to or into the zone of engagement, systems that carry offensive capabilities within the zone of conflict and systems where the carrier and effect are an integrated weapon.  This includes delivery systems in and from space or in the other terrestrial domains that can project physical capabilities and/or effects into space.
  2. The full spectrum of kinetic and non-kinetic (to include cyber) offensive and defensive effects that are executed across these delivery systems in, and from space, and to space from the other domains.
  3. The optimize set of local, cooperative, interacting of offensive and defensive systems embedded/operating within the JADC2 system – This includes
    1. Offensive and defensive systems’ capabilities to agilely interconnect interact and cooperate in the local region of engagement to increase the speed and quality of human-in-loop and autonomous decision-making and operations on the short-time scales of highly dynamic, end game, offensive and defensive operations.
    2. Capabilities for such local networks to adaptively configure within the larger JADC2 system to optimize information flow and operations.
    3. AI/ML enabled capabilities to support developing, expanding, testing, and teaching Tactics Techniques and Procedures for new space platforms.
  4. Mission assurance of the offensive and defense capability – This includes ensuring the survivability and effectiveness of the offensive or defensive effect across adversary kinetic and non-kinetic (to include cyber) actions through resilience (proliferation, diversification, distribution, disaggregation, deception, and protection) and reconstitution.

Required advances

Delivery Systems

Evolutionary: Systems for dynamic, local, space domain awareness; Space propulsion for superior, velocity, acceleration and range for defensive and offensive platforms

Revolutionary: Agile, flexible, pervasive space access; increased maneuverability; Cost effective refueling, rearming, upgrading, & repairing of defensive/offensive capabilities

Revolutionary: Full range of kinetic/non-kinetic/cyber, reversible and non-reversible effects; Optimized employment/distribution/collaborations across platforms; increased effectiveness through combined effects

Evolutionary: Systems/subsystems for reliable/agile, local interconnection and distributed sensing/information sharing/decision making; Adaptive local networks; Processes/algorithms, flexible/agilely distributed across nodes for optimized local sensing for human/semi- and fully-autonomous decision making/ops

Revolutionary: Synergistic local, flexible and agile networks at the local level within JADC2 that continual self-assesses and adjust to optimize offensive/defensive ops

Evolutionary: Decreased cost/complexity of effects integration on standard bus; Protection against kinetic/non-kinetic effects; Cyber hardening/security; kill chain defeat

Revolutionary: Modularized effects systems; Induced adversary uncertainty on system/effect employed; Rapid, flexible space access for reconstitution/augmentation

Pervasive Space S&T required advances

  • Power in space: 100% improved specific power density; 30% increase volumetric power density; triple KW-hrs/kg; doubled operating temperature; millisecond threat detection/ response; retractable solar arrays; 25% reduction in size, improved PMAD
  • Thermal Control: Oscillating Heat Pipes for high-power/high-performance spacecraft; Variable Emissivity Materials for flexible hear rejection
  • Structures: X10 improvement in deployable structures; In-space manufacture/assemble of 1km2 structures; Improved digital engineering models.
  • High Performance Electronics: Increased memory density/speed; >x2 decreased space qualification time; x10 increased processing throughput; Improved compression; Distributed
  • Passive Protection: EO filters/blockers; Survivable materials/component; Design tools; Distributed awareness sensors/algorithms; Autonomous threat response systems
  • Guidance Navigation and Control: Autonomous spacecraft coordination; Chaotic three-body dynamics exploitation; XGeo navigation; Rapid autonomous RPO/inspection; Grappling; Large structure control; V&V; Autonomous rendezvous, proximity and docking
  • Space Logistics: Rapid/assured fuel/material, transport/storage and autonomous, robotic assisted refueling/repair/resupply, assemble and upgrade;
  • In Space propulsions: In-space separate and combined chemical and electric propulsion systems for extended lifetime, range, speed, and maneuver agility
  • Space Access Propulsion: Develop small, modular thrust cells, turbomachinery design and a flexible exit cones for reduced launch and development cost and reduced engine development time

Planning Schedule

For planning purposes, a high-level schedule of milestones is provided below.  Please note additional details will be provided to companies upon formal expressions of interest (response to this announcement).  Dates listed are subject to change.

We look forward to hearing from you as we prepare for this exciting government-industry technology dialogue!  Our nation’s warfighters count on you and your innovations!  Any questions should be directed to dtic.belvoir.ecm.list.space@mail.mil

Date Activity
7 Jan 2022 Window closes for IR&D Abstract Nominations
11 Feb 2022 Nominated Abstract Evaluations Complete
18 Feb 2022 Results Shared with Companies/Invitations to Selected Companies
4 Mar 2022 Company Briefings Due to DAF IR&D Team
21-25 Mar 2022 2022 Space TIM

Disclaimers

  1. COVID-19 – There are still uncertainties related to the pandemic that may affect the plan to conduct this event as a face-to-face (F2F) engagement. State restrictions will be monitored closely and all health and safety protocols (masks and physical spacing) will be strictly enforced for an in-person event. Other options that may be considered include a hybrid F2F/virtual or entirely virtual.
  2. The government is not obligated to enter into a contract with any entity as a result of IR&D collaborations from our dialogue.
  3. Government technical support contractors may serve as government subject matter experts at the event. In those cases, company-to-company Non-Disclosure Agreements between the contractor SME and presenting company will be required before the contractor can serve as government SME in a given session.
  4. All unclassified company Proprietary Data and Intellectual Property will be treated as Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). The information considered in, and generated by, this event will not be approved for unlimited public release.

NOTE:  This webpage supplements the announcement in SAM.gov -- https://sam.gov/.  Changes and/or updates regarding this event will only be made on the Defense Innovation Marketplace (DIM) site; therefore, please check the DIM site often.