Updated: Shields up! DND Wants to Protect our Satellites as Part of IDEaS Program Third Call

Credit: DND.

Update 1:15 pm: Please note SpaceQ made an error in publishing this story as the third call for proposals has already closed. We’ll keep this story online as reference for when contracts are awarded.

The Department of National Defence (DND) last week released its competitive projects third call for proposal for the $1.6 billion Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program.

The competitive projects third call for proposal has eight theme with 15 challenges. The themes are;

  • Enhancing C4ISR
  • Building Cyber Capabilities
  • Operating in Austere Environments
  • Protecting our Forces
  • Sustaining Operations
  • Defending Space Missions
  • Accelerating Next Generation Technologies
  • Putting our People First

Of particular interest to the space community is the Defending Space Missions theme which has three challenges. They are;

Shields up! Defend and protect satellites from natural and artificial threats: Satellites are susceptible to many different natural and artificial threats and adversarial attacks. Concepts, capability designs and prototypes are sought for defending against, but not limited to, the following:

  • Cyber data interception;
  • Cyber control command spoofing;
  • Electromagnetic threats (e.g., interference, jamming, spoofing, etc.);
  • Debris collision and co-orbital anti-satellite interceptions and collisions;
  • Physical manipulation by adversaries.

Innovators are free to propose concepts, designs and prototypes to counter other threat vectors so long as they provide a sufficient and reasonable case as to their threat significance. Below are examples of other threat vectors for which additional solutions are being sought.

  • Adversary co-orbital anti-satellite collision;
  • Solar Weather, Radiation Belts, Ionization, and Spacecraft Charging;
  • Adversary ground-launched anti-satellite missiles;
  • Adversary co-orbital and ground-based laser dazzling, etc.

Collision Course – tracking and de-orbiting space debris: The DND/CAF is looking for innovative space debris solutions for one or more of the following:

  • Reliable and robust solutions for tracking space debris below the 10cm diameter size;
  • Concepts, designs or prototypes for deorbiting multiple pieces of debris of any size.

Spot The Hack – Intrusion detection systems for avionics networks and bus technologies: Innovative research, tools, technologies and/or processes are sought that address, but are not limited to the following:

  • Anomaly-based IDS tailored to the MIL-STD-1553 protocol;
  • The ability to monitor and analyze bus traffic while it is in operation and process the information faster than it is produced by the bus recorders;
  • Solutions that can be customized to suit other similar aerospace systems or protocols;
  • Ability to minimize the false positive rates or provide a means to reliably prioritize the detected anomalies;
  • Information that can help guide analysts when responding to anomalous activity.

Additional information on the Defending Space Missions theme challenges and other challenges is available on the DND IDEaS website.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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