SDA planning solicitation for BMC3 application factory

By Courtney Albon / December 16, 2021 at 12:49 PM

The Space Development Agency plans to launch a competition in the next year or two for an application factory to support its on-orbit and ground-based battle management assets, but has yet to answer a key question: Should it develop its own environment or leverage existing Defense Department and industry capabilities?

In a new request for information, the agency poses that question to industry, requesting feedback on the three options it’s considering: establishing its own application factory modeled on the Air Force’s Platform One; use an existing DOD or non-DOD environment that has a continuous authorization to operate (cATO) in place; or use a commercially available application factory that features DevSecOps principles and has, or could attain, a cATO.

The RFI notes the responses will inform a forthcoming solicitation slated for release in fiscal year 2022 or FY-23 and will be shared with DOD’s Fully Networked Command, Control and Communications directorate.

The application factory is meant to support SDA’s battle management command, control and communications (BMC3) layer, which will provide the hardware and software for mission processing, algorithms and applications across the agency’s proliferated low-Earth-orbit National Defense Space Architecture.

The BMC3 layer will include a satellite module, a secure interoperability middleware layer (SIL), the application factory and the eventual applications. The factory would provide continuous software updates to the other elements of the layer and the vendor would be responsible for delivering the SIL.