NRO opens up on R&D

Shutterstock image (by Andry VP): Satellites and networks.

(Andrey VP / Shutterstock)

WHAT: A broad agency announcement from the National Reconnaissance Office seeking R&D proposals.

WHY: The proposals sought would support NRO’s “Innovation Initiative,” an R&D program whose goals echo those of other defense and intelligence agencies, namely incorporating “non-traditional developers of NRO technology” and tolerating more risk and thus more reward in projects.

This BAA is seeking proposals in sensing, apertures, “revolutionary design” and “sensemaking.”

The NRO, which develops and operates satellites for intelligence purposes, has been described as one of the most secretive of the 17 U.S. intelligence organizations. The BAA thus represents an uncommon window into the R&D direction of the agency. The NRO expects to issue multiple awards, each with a maximum funding level of $450,000 and a nine-month period of performance.

Foreign-owned companies based in the United States are welcome to submit proposals -- if the foreign ownership “does not present an unacceptable security threat.” According to the NRO, most participants in the program so far have come from industry, while academia and government agencies have also participated.

Click here to read the full announcement. Responses are due Sept. 10.

Posted by Sean Lyngaas on Aug 13, 2015 at 8:52 AM


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