MOIRE BAA released: DARPA formally asks industry to develop spaced-based electro-optical sensor

ARLINGTON, Va., 28 March 2010. Astronomers at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., released a formal industry solicitation Friday for an electro-optical sensor that can detect and track enemy missile launches from space.

Posted by John Keller

ARLINGTON, Va., 28 March 2010. Astronomers at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., released a formal industry solicitation Friday for an electro-optical sensor that can detect and track enemy missile launches from space.

DARPA released the broad agency announcement (DARPA-BAA-10-51) for the Membrane Optic Imager Real-Time Exploitation (MOIRE) program to develop a large, inexpensive, lightweight visible-light or infrared sensor able to capture real-time video from geosynchronous orbit over denied territory for missile launch detection and tracking.

MOIRE, a two-phase potential $45 million program, will develop a large, diffractive optics membrane and communications equipment for a space-based telescope, as part of a geosynchronous orbit-based video surveillance system.

The MOIRE program seeks to provide persistent, real-time, tactical video to the war fighter, and developing diffractive membrane optics could help pave the way to low-cost geosynchronous imaging, DARPA scientists believe.

Ultimately, DARPA wants to develop a 20-meter system providing 24/7 visible National Imagery Interpretability Rating Scale (NIIRS) 3.5+ coverage over denied areas with at least a 1 Hz rate, a field of view larger than 60 square miles, with a cost less than $500 million each. Phase-3 of the MOIRE program will develop a 10-meter diffractive membrane.

The MOIRE BAA seeks industry proposals that address large, inexpensive, lightweight, deployable, diffractive membrane optics for geosynchronous orbit imaging systems; near real time image stabilization and tactical geolocation knowledge; a telescope design that increases spectral bandwidth; stability and dynamics of the large structure in geosynchronous orbit; and target motion detection capability for highway speeds.

Companies interested must send proposals no later than 11 May 2010. To send proposals, or for questions or concerns, Derek Tournear, the DARPA program manager, by e-mail at BAA10-51@darpa.mil, or by post care of DARPA/TTO, Attn: DARPA-BAA-10-51, 3701 North Fairfax Dr., Arlington, VA 22203-1714.

The full BAA is available in .pdf format. More information is available online at https://www.fbo.gov/spg/ODA/DARPA/CMO/DARPA-BAA-10-51/listing.html.

Subscribe

Follow me on Twitter

Join the PennWell Aerospace and Defense Media Group on Linkedin at http://bit.ly/9MXl9

Become a fan of Military & Aerospace Electronics on Facebook at http://bit.ly/1VGM0Q

Post your aerospace and defense-related material to the #milaero community on Twitter. Use the #milaero hashtag.

Join your industry colleagues in the Command Post community online at http://community.milaero.com

More in Defense Executive