AFRL releases ASTRO RFP
On April 21, the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) released the request for proposals (RFP) for the Advanced Space Technology Research and Optimization (ASTRO) acquisition. Proposals are due by 4:00 p.m. Mountain on June 6.
The Space Electro-Optics (EO) Division (AFRL/RDS) is responsible to the Directed Energy Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, for the development of EO and directed energy (DE) technologies in support of advancing the nation’s space superiority capabilities. The Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site (AMOS) on Maui, HI is one of the locations where world-class Space Domain Awareness Research and Development (R&D) is performed. AMOS R&D shapes operational capabilities as breakthroughs are transitioned locally and nationally through their stakeholders. The site’s mission is an ongoing effort to fulfill AFRL commitments to mission partners, special projects, and other customers to operate, maintain, develop, improve, innovate, replace, and enhance AMOS capabilities to better meet mission execution requirements. Mission execution includes operations, maintenance, research and experiment support, modernization and optimization efforts, program management, and systems engineering at AMOS.
The purpose of Advanced Space Technology Research & Optimization (ASTRO) acquisition is to provide support on operations and equipment maintenance to ensure operations at AMOS for data collection, development, and demonstration of ground-based optical Space Domain Awareness (SDA) technologies, such as characterization and identification of space objects, and support post-test and operational data processing, analysis, dissemination, and archival to meet customer data needs and other SDA commitments to operational customers. These efforts include cost-effective trades between procuring systems/components/software externally versus in-house fabrication of parts using the machine shop, design/fabrication of electronic circuits/sensors and optical systems, and software development/integration.
ASTRO efforts also include site modernization and recapitalization efforts to the existing legacy SDA capabilities at Maui. These efforts will allow Maui to remain a world leader in optical resolved and non-resolved imaging of space objects. Long term savings will result from regular maintenance of the mission and experimental equipment to include the Advanced Electro Optical System (AEOS), 1.6m, 1.2m, and Raven telescopes, while executing sound engineering, cost estimating, and programmatic principles.
Lastly, ASTRO scope will include realization and implementation of new and innovative ways to efficiently and effectively conduct long-term operations, maintenance, and sustainment of the AEOS, 1.6m, 1.2m, Raven telescopes, weather equipment, other small systems, and all mission-associated hardware and software on the development and classified networks. Proposals to improve or modernize site assets are aimed at increasing reliability of mission and experimental equipment through upgrades in hardware and software. Furthermore, the intent of the modernization and recapitalization efforts are to replace end of life components and software of mission systems and ultimately improve our operational capabilities. Close collaboration and cooperation among the ASTRO contractor, Government personnel, and other on-site or visiting entities is necessary and essential.
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