Recently the Air Force SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) program has circulated a new list of issues for firms to present proposals. On the bucket list for the latest round of SBIR proposals are technologies for missions far beyond geosynchronous Earth orbit, near the lunar’s orbit. Cislunar operation is one of three space-targeted regions in the SBIR pre-solicitation notice circulated in this month by the Air Force technology accelerator called AFWERX. The bids are due for February 12 and the full list comprises of 19 topics. The pre-solicitation reported, “As the space further than geosynchronous orbit becomes additionally competitive and crowded, it is essential for the Air Force to extend its space arena awareness responsibilities to take in this new administration. The Air Force is looking for commercial innovation supporting space domain awareness for potential cislunar operations.”
Definite items the Air Force needs are payloads for presenting space domain awareness from the Moon’s surface, weightless sensors, and methods for orbit determination & catalog safeguarding in cislunar space. The Air Force is also interested in ideas for providing location, navigation, & timely solutions for cislunar space missions; understanding of cislunar orbits; and terrestrial-based ideas for attaining space domain alertness of cislunar space. The addition of cislunar space competencies in the SBIR plan was unanticipated, stated Shawn Usman, Founder of Rhea Space Activity.
On a similar note, a cislunar plan was made to propel space outreach for the upcoming 50 Years. During its inaugural call to act, Purdue Engineering’s cislunar proposal took a big step forward in advancing humankind’s existence in space. The plan was also made for the growth of the economy in the “cislunar area,” the orbital area including the Earth and Moon. Mung Chiang, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said, “The set of connections of human space investigation has been expanding rapidly.”