The Space Development Agency has released a draft solicitation for a program to design and build satellite prototypes for the first tranche of the National Defense Space Architecture’s tracking layer and will use other transaction authority as a contracting mechanism for the prototyping effort.
SDA expects the Tranche 1 Tracking Layer to help detect, identify and track hypersonic weapons and other advanced missile threats and plans to award contracts to multiple vendors to build a constellation of up to 28 space vehicles that will be divided into four orbital planes, according to a notice published Monday.
Each company should propose to build two of the orbital planes with related ground support, sustainment capability and operations support, according to the draft solicitation.
The agency said it expects the T1 Tracking Layer’s first plane to launch no later than Nov. 30, 2024.
Each satellite should be equipped with optical communications terminals, an infrared mission payload, a Ka-band communications payload and multiple pointing modes and should be able to perform continuous operations without thermal or power constraints.
Responses to the draft solicitation are due Jan. 7.
In October, SDA issued a new solicitation for the Tranche 1 Transport Layer program and will use OTA for the satellite procurement effort.