DARPA Releases Research Solicitation for Space Superiority

On September 18, 2023, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) released a research solicitation calling on small businesses and “nontraditional” defense contractors to provide innovative concepts for defensive and offensive space systems. The goal is to provide the modern warfighter with more options in the space domain for defending and disrupting satellites in orbit. Space superiority is the second topic under the Bringing Classified Innovation to Defense and Government Systems (BRIDGES) initiative which aims to connect all innovators directly to challenging problems which are typically only tackled by a small handful of cleared companies that dominate most of the DoDs classified contracts. Companies interested in answering the call are required to submit a minimum four-page proposal for review by the DARPA agency by 5pm EST on Oct. 1st of this year. Some examples of satellite defense and disruption services include ground-launched missiles, space-based and ground-based lasers meant to disrupt the optics of an enemy satellite, space-launched projectiles, satellite-to-satellite robotic mechanisms, chemical sprays, and of course cyber-attacks on both space-based and ground-based systems.