DOD SBIR 24.2 Annual

Active
No
Status
Open
Release Date
April 17th, 2024
Open Date
May 15th, 2024
Due Date(s)
June 12th, 2024
Close Date
June 12th, 2024
Topic No.
SF242-D022

Topic

Uncertainty Management for Space Domain Awareness of Non-Standard Threats

Agency

Department of DefenseN/A

Program

Type: SBIRPhase: BOTHYear: 2024

Summary

The Department of Defense (DOD) is seeking proposals for the topic "Uncertainty Management for Space Domain Awareness of Non-Standard Threats" as part of their SBIR 24.2 Annual solicitation. The Air Force branch is specifically interested in this topic. The objective of this research is to develop algorithms and methodology to improve the propagation of uncertainty for objects in the beyond-GEO region of space, which is characterized by highly nonlinear dynamics, stochastic excitation, and uncertain initial conditions. This research is crucial for accurately assessing the threat posed by objects in this region and for space domain awareness. The project will be conducted in two phases, with Phase I being a Direct-to-Phase-II (D2P2) effort. In Phase II, awardees will develop algorithms to characterize uncertainty propagation and evaluate its behavior in various mission profiles. The project will also involve identifying sensor network placement and tasking strategies to maximize information gain and satisfy object custody requirements. The ultimate goal is to develop a strategy for transitioning the prototype capabilities and incremental proliferation based on operational requirements. The project duration and funding specifics are not provided in the document. For more information and to submit proposals, interested parties can visit the solicitation agency's website at [solicitation_agency_url].

Description

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

 

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.

 

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this topic is to develop algorithms and methodology to allow for better uncertainty propagation of beyond-GEO trajectories, which are subjected to more highly nonlinear dynamics, stochastic excitation, and uncertain initial conditions than typical GEO-and-below trajectories.

 

DESCRIPTION: One of the significant technical challenges in space domain awareness is the accurate and consistent propagation of uncertainty for objects governed by highly nonlinear dynamics with stochastic excitation and uncertain initial conditions. This challenge is even greater in the beyond-GEO region where three-body gravity becomes significant, resulting in the dynamics being more nonlinear. Additionally, the increased distance between an Earth-based sensor and the object reduces the apparent motion between them, resulting in little independent information to initialize an orbit. The initial uncertainties in xGEO orbits are therefore highly non-Gaussian, which inhibits the effectiveness of traditional propagation and filtering methods. Orbits within this area of regard enable low-cost options for spacecraft to rapidly alter course and threaten terrestrial and space-based assets. Being able to accurately understand and propagate the uncertainty of objects within this area is necessary to assess whether they pose a threat.

 

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(s) to demonstrate feasibility by means of a prior “Phase I-type” effort that does not constitute work undertaken as part of a prior or ongoing SBIR/STTR funding agreement. Applicant(s) must have developed a concept for a workable prototype or design to address at a minimum the basic capabilities of the stated objective. Proposal must show, as appropriate to the proposed effort, a demonstrated technical feasibility to meet the capabilities of the stated objective. The documentation provided must substantiate that the proposer's technology is currently at an acceptable stage to be funded at the D2P2 level. Documentation may include reports demonstrating prior work demonstrating feasibility, results of prior efforts, success criteria of a prototype, or any other relevant documentation as applicable. GFE will not be provided.

 

PHASE II: Awardee(s) will develop algorithms and methodology to characterize uncertainty propagation, including contribution of higher-order moments, of xGEO trajectories. Awardee(s) will identify uncertainty propagation behavior in presence of variety of mission profiles, including low-thrust, long-duration maneuvers, quasi-periodic trajectories, and Lyapunov and transfer orbits. Awardee(s) will evaluate uncertainty propagation across sensor exclusion and occultation geometries and assess impact of maneuvers in this space. Awardee(s) will identify sensor network placement and tasking strategies to maximize information gain of xGEO objects and satisfy object custody requirements. Identify and develop estimation techniques applicable to the identified uncertainty distributions. Awardee(s) will evaluate the resultant uncertainty from initial orbit determination as well as catalog maintenance (filtering) algorithms. GFE will not be provided.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Develop a strategy to transition prototype residual capabilities and incremental proliferation based on operational USSF requirements.

 

REFERENCES:

T. Wolf, E.M. Zucchelli and B. A. Jones, "Multi-Fidelity Uncertainty Propagation for Objects in Cislunar Space," AIAA 2022-1774. AIAA SCITECH 2022 Forum. January 2022;
C. Freuh, K. Howell, K.J. DeMars, S. Bhadauria, and M. Gupta, "Cislunar Space Traffic Management: Surveillance Through Earth-Moon Resonance Orbits," 8th European Conference on Space Debris, ESA Space Debris Office, Darmstadt, Germany, Apr. 2021;
M.R. Thompson, N.P. Re, C. Meek, and B. Cheetham, "Cislunar Orbit Determination and Tracking via Simulated Space-Based Measurements," Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Conference, Maui, HI, Sept. 2021;

 

KEYWORDS: beyond-GEO, xGEO, cislunar, space traffic management, space domain awareness, uncertainty propagation, orbit determination, space sensor tasking

Similar Opportunities

DOD SBIR 24.4 Annual - Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA) Advanced Capability Development Open Topic
Department of Defense
The Department of Defense (DOD) is seeking proposals for the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA) Advanced Capability Development Open Topic. The Space Development Agency (SDA) is looking for novel architecture concepts, systems, technologies, and capabilities that enable leap-ahead improvements for future tranches of currently planned PWSA capability layers or address emerging warfighter needs. The research areas include 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, and advanced manufacturing. The solicitation is open for Phase II proposals only, and proposers must demonstrate the scientific and technical merit and feasibility of their projects. The research will support the development of the PWSA, a resilient military sensing and data transport capability in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The solicitation provides specific themes and focus areas for potential deliverables, such as integrating commercial sensing to the transport layer, developing optical inter-satellite link (OISL) technology, advancing cyber and networking capabilities, and increasing power for spacecraft bus. The Phase III applications of the research include improving low Earth orbit communication systems and space-based processing for effective distribution of sensor data. The proposal submission deadline is March 31, 2025. For more information and to access the proposal template, visit the DOD SBIR website.