University of Alaska Fairbanks

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is soliciting innovative approaches to address challenges in the area of foundational technologies to enable sustained very low Earth orbit (VLEO) operations. For the purposes of this solicitation and program, VLEO is defined as orbits less than 450 km (<1,476 kft) in altitude. Proposed research should investigate innovative approaches that enable revolutionary advances in science, devices, or systems that optimize mission capability and lifetime. Specifically excluded is research that primarily results in evolutionary improvements to the existing state of practice.

The Daedalus program is a classified effort. In order to be considered for award, all primary contractors must have an existing facility clearance (FCL) and personnel with existing or the ability to obtain a collateral secret personnel clearance (PCL). This unclassified Program Solicitation provides generalities for the Daedalus program; program specifics are detailed in the Classified Addendum that will be made available to potential proposers after verifying eligibility. See PS Section 7. Classified Addendum and Security Classification Guide (SCG) for instructions on how to request the Classified Addendum and the SCG for the Daedalus program.

In the Daedalus program, DARPA will advance the scientific and technical understanding required for revolutionary advances in performance metrics while simultaneously developing and demonstrating key technologies for long-term VLEO operation. Successful solutions will advance multiple performance objectives simultaneously in order to realize future VLEO systems. For a given VLEO orbit, DARPA expects substantial improvements in key metrics over the capability of current approaches that result in substantial improvement in functionality. See Classified Addendum for details.

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