Latest News

MDA Seeks New Technology In Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering, Sensors, Other

By | August 7, 2006

      The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is seeking new technology in an array of areas, and is open to proposals from industry, universities and governments, both those in the United States and overseas, the agency announced.

      This search is led by the MDA Advanced Technology Innovation Cell (ATIC).

      Specific research areas for each missile defense phase encompass surveillance, acquisition and tracking, discrimination, communications, engagement planning, threat engagement, and kill assessment.

      These are the areas where the MDA is seeking new technologies that can aid the drive to develop the U.S. multi-layered missile defense shield:

      * Radar systems: including integrated system concepts, cross sections and signatures, measurements (waveforms, data extraction), transmit/receive modules, signal processing, data visualization, data compression, image interpretation, and passive RF systems.

      * Lasers and electro-optical systems: including high energy lasers, light weight/scalable fiber, solid state, gas and liquid phase lasers, improved diode laser arrays, chemical laser improvements, high energy laser power supplies and thermal control systems, optical beam control and stabilization technologies, large light-weight, space qualifiable optical telescopes, optical beam combining and phased array concepts, fast beam steering concepts, laser target acquisition, pointing and tracking concepts, Light- weight LADAR transmit/receive subsystems including light-weight, efficient laser transmitters, integrated LADAR optical systems, high bandwidth photon counting receiver arrays and novel LADAR signal processing concepts/algorithms.

      * Integrated active/passive IR sensor systems: LADAR transmit/receive systems, optical signal processing, all digital signal processing. passive EO/IR systems including ideas and concepts for IR materials and focal plane arrays (FPAs) having the following desired features: large format size, multicolor capability, manufacturable, and affordable, capability to extend to VLWIR detection at temperatures higher than 35K, and associated read-out electronics. In addition: lightweight EO/IR kill vehicle sensors and seekers with high frame rates, fast readout large format FPAs for hyperspectral imaging, non E/O sensors for post impact warhead typing (in-situ or standoff). Hardware-in-the -loop (HWIL) testing of multi-/hyper-spectral sensors, HWIL testing of LADAR systems in a thermally controlled vacuum environment, test of ground, air, space, sea-based operations (all wavelengths will be considered).

      * Computer science, signal and data processing: including digital electronics and signal processing, novel signal and guidance processing architectures for high frame rate seekers, algorithms, machine implementation of algorithms, analog circuits and communications, computer vision, distributed computing, decision systems, estimation, prediction, homing navigation, data fusion, pattern recognition, identification, discrimination, and sensor fusion.

      * Physics chemistry, and materials: including the study of phenomenology associated with missile detection, tracking, and discrimination, infrared and optical signatures, energy conversion, rocket plume analysis, spectral imaging for threat/decoy discrimination, and the integration of the conventional silicon technology with new nanostructures (i.e., carbon nanotubes or nano materials) for the next generation of interceptor sensors.

      * Mechanical and aerospace engineering: including space Systems, Micro satellites to include: bus and payload designs, precision guidance, navigation & control; target tracking and prediction; subsystems, and components-such as precision propulsion and constellation networking, missile system aerodynamics, high maneuverability divert/axial propulsion, liquid and solid divert and attitude control systems (dacs), reentry physics, guidance and control, kill vehicle lethality enhancement and discrimination augmentation, materials science: to include lightweight, thermo-resistant materials for boosters and kill vehicles, lightweight structures with embedded radiation shielding, also of interest are the prediction, quantification, and compensation of aero-optic effects of turbulence on imaging sensors.

      * Battle management/command and control: including engagement planning, tactics, intelligence exploitation, countermeasures, decision theory and modeling, target tracking, classification; launch platform-interceptor communications, interceptor-interceptor communications, interceptor-launch platform communications, aircraft mountable high bandwidth communications (T1 minimum with T3 or greater preferred) for line of sight and over the horizon data transfer; lethality assessment technologies, non-real-time, non-tactical (not kill assessment) test applications; discrimination and fire control; and, distributed real-time simulations using reconfigurable objects (all digital, hardware-in-loop or live).

      To respond to the invitation, send MDA the following:

      * A summary concept paper (no more than five pages) which succinctly illustrates the proposed technical approach, as well as its rationale and objectives, methodology, expected results, and potential contribution to the MDA program

      * Rough Order of Magnitude Cost (ROM Cost)

      * A suggested period of performance

      * A description of your capabilities, relevant experience, and facilities.

      The point of contact is Jim Kelly, contract specialist, phone (703) 882-6634, fax (703) 882-6356, and email

      Leave a Reply