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Derek Tournear: SDA to Issue Tech Demo BAAs in Support of Space Layer Development

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Derek Tournear
Jeff Brody
Derek Tournear

Derek Tournear, acting director of the Space Development Agency, said SDA plans to issue before the end of this year broad area announcements to ask potential vendors to compete for technology demonstrations in support of the agency’s plan to develop “layers” of satellites, SpaceNews reported Wednesday.

SDA plans to issue the first BAA for the transport layer or a network of low-Earth orbit satellites designed to provide global communications and another BAA for the tracking layer, which will work to detect hypersonic missiles and other advanced weapon systems.

The agency expects the tracking and transport layers to move into the production phase in 2022 and be operational by 2024.

Tournear said SDA will oversee the deployment of the transport layer and will work with the Missile Defense Agency to develop and field the tracking layer. “Our vision is that MDA will build out the tracking layer in coordination with SDA to make sure it plugs into the overall architecture.”

He noted that the agency will use commercial components for the SDA transport layer, which will be a government-owned platform.

Other layers SDA plans to advance are the deterrence layer for cislunar space monitoring; custody layer for mobile target tracking in the battlefield; a navigation layer that will serve as a GPS alternative for positioning, navigation and timing; and a battle management layer that will transmit data to ground commanders using artificial intelligence.