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LRAD Long Range Atmospheric Defense

The Advanced Technology Development program [0603175C] develops technology to counter missiles in all phases of flight by investing in technologies according to engineering discipline. The Engagement Systems Technology area consiste of Advanced Discrimination Initiative (ADI), Long Range Atmospheric Defense and Multiple Kill Vehicles (MKVs) in the 2004-2005 timeframe.

The goal of LRAD is to develop a long-range, high endoatmospheric interceptor that can engage intercontinental ballistic missile threats in the terminal phase of flight. It is based on using atmospheric interaction with the threat cloud as the key metric for discrimination of the lethal object(s). LRAD would provide a backstop for midcourse tier leakage and would hedge against technological surprise in adversaries' countermeasure capability elements including any attempt to fly under existing defense architectures. LRAD would enhance the effectiveness of the multi-tier system and provide total United States terminal defense coverage with a small number of defense units.

An LRAD system could serve as an element of the overall multi-tiered Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) under development by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) by providing effective defense in the terminal phase of flight against inbound Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs). A secondary LRAD capability to defend against asymmetric threats, including Short Range Ballistic Missiles (SRBMs), may arise and will be investigated as the program develops.

The Long-Range Atmospheric Defense or LRAD concept provides a very large footprint as a result of committing interceptors on early track data from the BMDS sensor suite. The early commit results in sufficient time for the interceptor to fly-out to a designated location near the expected atmospheric pierce point of the threat complex. As the LRAD interceptor arrives at its designated location and the threat begins to pierce the atmosphere, LRAD system sensors discriminate the lethal object based on observations of the threat complex as it interacts with the atmosphere coupled with track data provided by the forward based and midcourse elements of the BMDS which could be used to localize lethal objects given multiple cluster deployment. Upon identification of the lethal object, the LRAD kill vehicle will initiate endgame and begin divert toward its target for a hit-to-kill engagement. The ability of the kill vehicle to intercept a target successfully depends on threat characteristics, discrimination performance, interceptor state at the start of endgame, and kill vehicle performance parameters.

The LRAD seeker will measure signatures of objects within the threat complex and deliver data to the LRAD processor in real time. Conceptualization and development of revolutionary algorithms for discrimination based on flight article slowdown using passive, angle-only data from KV born sensors is sought. Improved, lightweight, sensor technology (electro-optic or radio-frequency) will be required to perform discrimination of the lethal object(s) within the threat complex. The ability to observe atmospheric reentry phenomenology is key for this discrimination phase and the selection of seeker band(s). In addition, maneuvering targets will force high data rates; precise, narrow pulse widths; and, high spatial resolution in order to have sufficient target data for intercept. This combination of conditions necessitates innovative solutions to develop sufficiently robust sensor techniques that also have requisite light weight to enable kill vehicle maneuver.

Past LRAD studies indicate a preferred engagement geometry for addressing larger threat complexes or multiple cluster deployment. The ability of the interceptor part of the LRAD system to correctly orient to this geometry greatly mitigates endgame divert requirements; therefore, conceptual configurations for high lift/drag ( > 4 ) endo-atmospheric kill vehicles is desired.

Given the uncertainty of the availability of forward based assets coupled with degradation in track accuracies, LRAD may have to address threat complexes that require additional divert systems beyond current state-of-the-art. Technology to enable increases to the delivered impulse/mass efficiency of small kill vehicle divert subsystems is therefore desired. The asymmetric threat timelines will also drive the need for technology to improve the efficiency of small, multi-pulse, solid or gel rocket motors. This mitigates firepower and mobility issues associated with defending the United States against the shorter range threat.

Additional divert schemes would facilitate addressing larger threat complexes. Technologies to slow interceptor stages from 4-5 km/s to a virtual standstill in the 90 - 50 km altitude regime is sought.

LRAD is currently in the Concept Definition Phase. A number of revolutionary technology advancements have been evaluated indicating the most promising set for development including an approved development plan. Execution of this LRAD development plan will yield component demonstration and concept down select for an eventual proof-of-principle prototype integrated flight test of the LRAD interceptor. The purpose of the LRAD program under this BAA is to sufficiently mature the enabling technologies and/or system concepts to position the Government to proceed with a System Concept Demonstration program beginning in the 2008 timeframe. This could support insertion of an LRAD system as an element of the BMDS in the 2012-2015 timeframe.

The purpose of the amendment to BAA DASG60-03-0003 is to solicit concept papers for the development of Long Range Atmospheric Defense (LRAD) concepts and the critical technologies required to implement LRAD concepts. The Government solicited concept papers for system concept development and risk reduction demonstrations. The concept papers should contain a description of the proposed program and deliverables including a statement with respect to the data rights associated with end products, a program schedule, rough order of magnitude funding requirements, and statement of benefit of the proposed technology to an LRAD system. Concept papers for this special LRAD opportunity were due on or before 1 October 2004.

The Government will review all concept papers submitted. The Government intended, subject to availability of funds for FY05, to request proposals for LRAD through this BAA following review of the LRAD concept papers. The request for LRAD proposals will be accomplished via another amendment to this BAA. That amendment will contain more detailed instructions regarding proposal preparation and content and may further refine the LRAD proposal topics based on the government's review of the LRAD concept papers and the latest input from the Missile Defense Agency. Please do not submit full-blown LRAD proposals in response to this amendment at this time. Full-blown LRAD proposals should be withheld at this time and submitted only in response to the follow-on BAA amendment which specifically requests them and describes their content in more detailed and finalized terms.

Multiple contracts under this BAA may ultimately be awarded. Concept papers for programs that address the Basic and Option Phase descriptions were solicited. It was expected that contracts awarded would contain a basic and an option phase. The value of the basic phase was not expected to exceed $1M for a period of performance of approximately 9 months. The value for the option phase was not expected to exceed $20M for a period of performance of up to 24 months.

The contractor shall develop an overall LRAD system concept, including a preliminary concept for an LRAD interceptor (booster/delivery and kill vehicle). Desired functional characteristics include: integration into the MDA's BMDS Block 2010+ architecture; long-range flight capability to limit the numbers of launch sites; leveraging atmospheric reentry phenomena to aid in discriminating between decoys and actual enemy warheads, and upper atmospheric intercept with high kill probability. Trade studies leading to overall concept definition shall address issues such as mobility, fly-out timelines, and handover from other missile defense elements (space based, ground based, and/or forward based sensors). Threat considerations for the Basic Phase of the contract shall be based upon postulated capabilities of "Nations of Concern" in the 2010 time frame and beyond. For the purposes of these studies, the threat characteristics include medium to long-range ballistic missiles containing reentry vehicles and simple to sophisticated countermeasures. The proposed booster/kill vehicle configuration and supporting trade studies and analysis shall be a subject of the In-Process Reviews (IPR), Concept Design Review, and Final Report.

For the LRAD concept, the contractor shall perform trade studies and simulations in sufficient detail to quantify and balance critical subsystem performance requirements, identify critical issues, and optimize LRAD performance within the BMDS in the 2010+ timeframe. Subsystem definition such as seeker/sensor type, guidance and control method, maneuver capability, BMDS integration, etc. shall be addressed and could be based on trade studies of LRAD maximum range versus number of launchers. The contractor must address how he intends to ensure accurate intercept point prediction (including ballistic coefficient estimation), how he would approach midcourse guidance (including trajectory shaping), and the requirements for sensor support for midcourse-to-terminal guidance handover. Results of LRAD simulations and synthesis trade studies and subsystem definition shall be documented in a Technology Capability Description Document (TCDD). The TCDD shall be submitted to the government at the end of the basic phase and be updated periodically throughout the prospective option phase(s).

The contractor shall perform an assessment of all relevant technology programs, such as ongoing government technology demonstration efforts that could be applied to proposed LRAD concepts including Government specified Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and other applicable subsystem or component development efforts. The contractor shall participate with the MDA / Missile Defense National Team / USASMDC Integrated Product Team (IPT) for LRAD BMDS integration and establishment of an LRAD BMDS block insertion plan. The contractor shall provide a detailed program plan for the development, integration, and demonstration of subsystem/component technologies through innovative low-cost flight testing of their proposed LRAD concept that meets the requirements of the block insertion plan. This plan shall include a Critical Technology Resolution Plan (CTRP) that identifies high risk components and the mitigation strategies for eliminating those risks through a series of testing/demonstration activities in the Option Phase of this effort. Assessments of the applicability of ongoing technology development efforts to the contractor's proposed concept and detailed development/program plans shall be a subject of IPR, Final Review, and Final Report.

The contractor shall further develop their integrated LRAD booster/delivery and kill vehicle concept. Updates to the TCDD and CTRP shall be conducted and presented at IPRs and final Review. The contractor shall demonstrate the functionality of critical technology elements of their LRAD design through focused development and test efforts. The contractor shall update the plan submitted in the above paragraph for the prototype development, integration, and conduct of innovative low-cost flight testing.




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