Boosting Space Situational Awareness: SMC Awards SBIR Phase 2 Contract

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  • Space and Missile Systems Center

The Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center's (SMC) Directorate of Special Programs (DirSP) awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 2 contract to Bluestaq LLC who will develop the Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Marketplace program under the auspices of AFWERX.

AFWERX was created in 2017 by then Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson to support rapid innovation within the Department of Defense. SBIR is a prime example of the AFWERX goal of fostering a culture of innovation.

A revolution in how SMC provides the best possible tools available to the warfighter, the SSA Marketplace – a digital storefront – will provide the prime solution to the DoD SSA commercial data acquisition needs by supplying the DoD with a central hub for connecting SSA data providers and customers. Simply put, customers submit their data requirements to the SSA Marketplace, and commercial companies will bid in real time, allowing the customer to pick the data source that best meets their data needs, efficiently and effectively.

By taking an enterprise, agile-driven approach to SSA, SMC is able to provide timely, applicable SSA data from multiple data sources, and streamline the SSA data acquisition process. Data providers can now connect to future customers across the SSA enterprise without an excessively long acquisition process.

The SSA Marketplace’s strengths lie in its ability to facilitate the matching of data producers and consumers, standardizing product formats, reducing contract complexity, and supporting transactions of any size. This results in more viable opportunities for non-traditional suppliers, increased supply and varied content for consumers.

“Once developed, the SSA Marketplace will streamline the manner in which commercial space domain awareness (SDA) data is purchased.  The storefront should drive both cost and schedule efficiencies, enabling DoD customers to purchase and rapidly gain access to only the data they need via a competitive commercial marketplace,” said Air Force Maj. Daniel Kimmich, Special Programs Directorate’s SSA and Data Portfolio Manager. 

“Using the SBIR approach to deliver new capability is a prime example of how we do business now,” said Col. Stephen Purdy, Program Executive Officer, Special Programs Directorate.  “By implementing the agile acquisition approach the Directorate of Special Programs has championed, we have centralized, streamlined and established an innovative and practical approach to obtaining software tools and resources. The result is a giant developmental step in maintaining space superiority. Congratulations to the winning team.”


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