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Space


Space Based Radar (SBR)

Innovative Space Based Radar Antenna Technology (ISAT)

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has designated the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate (AFRL/VS) to execute the Innovative Space Based Radar Antenna Technology (ISAT) Demonstration System flight experiment program. AFRL/VS is requesting proposals (technical and cost) in response to this. The objective of this project is the system design and risk reduction activities of the ISAT flight demonstration system through Preliminary Design Review (PDR) only. The ISAT flight demonstration system will demonstrate in a realistic space environment (specific orbit based on proposals received) the key risk reduction technologies that are critical to the development and fielding of an objective Space Based Radar (SBR) system capable of providing tactical-grade Ground Moving Target Indication (GMTI) from a medium earth orbit (MEO). Key demonstration technologies include space-capable structural materials, mechanisms for the deployment and control of large apertures, and calibration and compensation across structures several hundred meters in length for coherent transmit beam forming. This effort shall include system design, system trade studies; trade studies quantifying linkage and relevance to the ISAT objective system goals; design, development, fabrication, integration and test of prototypes for ground and space evaluation; and the design for a dedicated space experiment.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has designated the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate (AFRL/VS) to execute the ISAT Demonstration System flight experiment program. The ISAT flight demonstration system will demonstrate in a realistic space environment (specific orbit based on proposals received) the key risk reduction technologies that are critical to the development and fielding of an objective Space Based Radar (SBR) system capable of providing tactical-grade Ground Moving Target Indication (GMTI) from a medium earth orbit (MEO).

Key demonstration technologies include space-capable structural materials, mechanisms for the deployment and control of large apertures, and calibration and compensation across structures several hundred meters in length for coherent transmit beam forming. This effort shall include system design, system trade studies; trade studies quantifying linkage and relevance to the ISAT objective system goals; design, development, fabrication, integration and test of prototypes for ground and space evaluation; and the design for a dedicated space experiment. Refer to the attachments for additional information regarding requirements and proposal preparation instructions.

The objective of the ISAT program is to create and demonstrate technology for very long space-borne electronically scanning antenna. The demonstration experiment will use an antenna extending about 100 meters (325 feet) in length; the full scale version is designed to extend 300 meters. The full scale antenna payload would be folded up to about the size of a sport utility vehicle and placed inside a payload fairing atop the launch vehicle. Once deployed in space, the antenna's length would be similar to the height of the Empire State Building. Such a lightweight and lengthy antenna could significantly increase global persistent surveillance coverage.

In 2003 three prime contractor teams developed competing concept designs and identified the necessary technology demonstrations. In 2004/2005 the three prime contractor teams successfully demonstrated key components of large structure deployment, metrology and calibration technologies and passed the preliminary design review for the ISAT demonstration system. In 2005 DARPA down selected to two prime contractors who will conduct ground ground-based risk reduction experiments for the deployment, metrology and calibration of the ISAT demonstration system and conduct a critical design review. The Boeing Co. and Raytheon Co., as well as Lockheed Martin Corp. and Harris Corp., were competing to construct the 100 yard sized flight demonstrator.

Working with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Special Projects Office and the Air Force Research Lab's (AFRL) Sensors Directorate, Rome, New York, Harris is studying the development of an advanced spaceborne antenna system for the Innovative Space-Based Radar Antenna Technology (ISAT) Study. Harris is leading the effort to investigate and study an innovative concept for a lightweight, space-based, extremely large deployable radar antenna designed to address tactical tracking of moving targets on the ground. Ultimately, ISAT will help provide a solution to the challenge of integrating Space Based Radar (SBR) and a Moving Target Indication from Space (MTIS).

On April 23, 2004 Boeing Satellite Systems, El Segundo, Calif., was awarded a $9,848,783 cost plus fixed fee contract and Northrop Grumman Space Technology, Redondo Beach, Calif., was awarded a $9,850,000 cost plus fixed fee contract to provide for Innovative Space Based Radar Antenna Technology (ISAT). The objective of this effort is for all offerors to provide proposals within the Broad Agency Announcement funding guidelines for Preliminary Design Review and address the Broad Agency Announcement requirements to develop ISAT designs and program plans for an Objective System Concept; Flight Demonstration System; Ground Based risk reduction demonstrations; and how they plan to meet the requirements to provide for demonstration of large structure deployment and control and a method to achieve antenna calibration and compensation to form a coherent beam. The locations of performance are: Boeing Satellite Systems, El Segundo, Calif. (46%) and Northrop Grumman Space Technology, Redondo Beach, Calif. (39%). At this time $9,783,000 of the funds has been obligated to Boeing Satellite Systems and total funds have been obligated to Northrop Grumman Space Technology. This work will be complete January 2005. Solicitation began June 2003 and negotiations were complete March 2004. The Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force base, N.M., is the contracting activity (Boeing Satellite Systems FA9543-04-C-0035 and Northrop Grumman Space Technology FA9543-04-C-0036).

The U.S. Air Force announced 23 May 2005 that Lockheed Martin had been selected to continue development of the Innovative Space Based Radar Antenna Technology, known as ISAT. The contract, valued at $19.5 million, is for the next phase of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's (DARPA) ISAT project, administrated by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). Lockheed Martin will continue development of the ISAT Flight Demonstration Experiment design over the next 14 months, which will take it to the Critical Design Review (CDR) maturity level. Following the CDR, DARPA and the Air Force plan to select a contractor to build and deploy a scale version of the antenna for a one-year proof of technology experiment in low earth orbit.




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Page last modified: 21-07-2011 00:48:28 ZULU