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DoD Innovation Unit Issues New Hybrid Space Architecture Solicitation

By Calvin Biesecker | November 29, 2023
      The Pentagon, headquarters for the U.S. Department of Defense. Photo: DOD.

      The Pentagon, headquarters for the U.S. Department of Defense. Photo: DoD.

      The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) on Wednesday issued a solicitation for a hybrid space architecture (HSA) that integrates commercial space sensor and communications capabilities with government space systems for rapid military, civil, and commercial communications across all domains while using commercial best practices for securing and defending the network.

      The DIU wants commercial solutions, open standards, and software-defined networking for the integration of the commercial and government systems.

      “This HSA will provide secure, assured, low latency, and multi-path communications across a scalable, resilient and multi-domain network,” says the solicitation. “The HSA must also be flexible enough to remain relevant and trusted during times of rapid technological change and dynamic threat environments.”

      Responses to the HSA II solicitation are due by Dec. 11. DIU issued its first HSA solicitation in October 2021.

      The DIU wants solutions that address at least one of four focus areas: persistent sensing; resilient data transport; high performance edge compute; and fusion.

      For persistent sensing, DIU wants commercial solutions that would be for integration into the larger HAS solution set within six months of award.

      Resilient communications include free space optical components for low latency, persistent broadband and narrowband line-of-sight and beyond line-of-sight communications.

      “In this context, resiliency will be assessed as the ability to rapidly constitute and reconstitute production-quality space systems in mission-designed orbits providing flexible spectrum requirements at an affordable cost, speed and scale to meet mission needs,” DIU says.

      The DIU also wants commercial solutions to be able to autonomously process advanced analytics such as computer vision and other algorithms at the edge to provide information more quickly to end-users. These edge computing solutions “will enable cross cueing suggestions or taskings to be made on orbit, drastically reducing the latency of terrestrial systems that typically traverse multiple uplinks and downlinks to coordinate the actions of different on-orbit sensors,” the solicitation says.

      The fusion focus area includes aggregating and analyzing data to “enable modeling and simulation, mission planning, mission management, and execution decision point criteria for end users and decision makers,” the DIU says.

      The use cases for multi-domain communications include supporting strategic decision making and warfighters at the tactical edge with time sensitive information.

      This story was first published by Defense Daily.