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DEADLINE ALERT: US Space Development Agency PNT Service Payload Request for Information

The US Space Development Agency (SDA), which is now part of the US Space Force, has issued a Request for Information for developing a low-cost L-band Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) payload which can be added to potentially hundreds of satellites in the future.

Submissions close 5 pm EST 21 November.

The PNT would be handled as ‘a service as a payload’ on the SDA Tranche 2 Transport Layer. The PNT payload would include an on-orbit reprogrammable PNT signal generator, mid-size High Powered Amplifier (HPA), and associated fixed wide beamwidth antenna. The goal is to proliferate this low-cost payload onto hundreds of satellites within future SDA Tranches – potentially as early as Tranche 2. Ideally, solutions will be highly informed by the Tranche 1 Transport Layer and share technical approaches and hardware where possible as size, weight, power, cost (SWAP-C), technical readiness and manufacturability will be significant constraints.

 SDA is responsible for defining and monitoring the nation’s future threat-driven space architecture, thereby accelerating the development and fielding of new military space capabilities necessary to ensure US technological and military advantage in space for national defence. To achieve this mission, SDA will unify and integrate next-generation space capabilities to deliver the National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA): a resilient military sensing and data transport capability via a proliferated space architecture primarily in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). SDA will not necessarily develop and field all capabilities of the NDSA, but rather orchestrate those efforts across DoD and fill in gaps in capabilities while providing the integrated architecture. The initial “tranches” of the NDSA are predicated on the availability of a ubiquitous data and communications transport provided by relatively small, mass-produced satellites and tactically-relevant payload hardware and software.

Consistent with the continued evolution of the NDSA capabilities, the DoD and US Combatant Commands have identified the SDA-proliferated LEO constellation as a potential source for the transmission of a PNT service that would complement, augment, and, in extreme circumstances, be a back-up to GPS. In this way, the SDA PNT service could serve as a forward-looking capability within navigation warfare (NAVWAR) resilience planning and operations.

For further information go to the Space Development Agency web site.

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