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Space Acquisitions

Geosynchronous Inclined Orbit (GIO)


Orbit MapA geostationary orbit occurs when an object (satellite) is placed approximately 37,000 km (23,000 mi) above the Earth’s equator with the characteristic that, from a fixed observation point on the Earth’s surface, it appears motionless. A satellite is in an inclined orbit when its orbital plane is tipped some number of degrees from the horizontal defined by the equator. In the case of an inclined geosynchronous orbit, although the satellite remains geosynchronous (that is, completing one orbit around the earth every 24 hours), it is no longer geostationary. From a fixed observation point on Earth, it would appear to trace out a small ellipse as the gravitational effects of other stellar bodies (Sun and Moon) exhibit influence over the satellite, as the effect accumulates over time the trace becomes an analemma with lobes oriented north-southward. The satellite traces the same analemma once each sidereal day. [1]

A geostationary orbit is not stable. It takes regular maneuvers to actively counteract the above gravitational forces. The majority of the fuel of the satellite, typically hydrazine, is spent for this purpose. Otherwise, the satellite experiences a change in the inclination over time. At the end of the satellite’s lifetime, when fuel approaches depletion, satellite operators may decide to omit these expensive maneuvers to correct inclination and only control eccentricity. This prolongs the life-time of the satellite as it consumes less fuel over time, but the satellite can then only be used by ground antennas capable of following the north-south movement, Satellite Tracking earth stations. Before the fuel comes to an end, satellites can be moved to a graveyard orbit to keep the geostationary altitude free for subsequent missions. [1] 

NASA maintains a Java based real-time display of most commercial satellites which can be helpful in visualizing the various orbits. [1] 

AcqLinks and References:

Space Acquisitions

Evolutionary Acquisition for Space Efficiency (EASE)


Evolutionary Acquisition for Space Efficiency (EASE) is a procurement approach which seeks stable production and strategic subtier management through the block buy of two space vehicles employing fixed-priced contracting. In addition to block-buy procurement, EASE includes RDT&E funding for a Capability and Affordability Improvement Program (CAIP). CAIP seeks to improve manufacturability and lower recurring costs by addressing parts obsolescence through sustaining engineering.

  • EASE is an acquisition strategy that encompasses the following tenets: block buys of satellites, fixed price contracting, stable research and development investment, and a modified annual funding approach.
    • Block buys of satellites allows us to purchase economic order quantities of critical parts, run production lines more efficiently, & reduce non-recurring engineering costs –
    • Savings from EASE will be invested in research and development that will further improve the reliability and lower the cost of follow-on systems
    • We will be requesting a series of authorities from Congress to implement this strategy including advance procurement, multi-year procurement, and advance appropriations. If advance appropriations is granted, Congress will appropriate procurement dollars to fully fund the contract at program initiation
    • Allows the DoD to spread the cost of satellite block buys across multiple years
  • Commitment to satellite production and reinvestment in technology development provides stability and predictability for a fragile space industrial base.

AcqLinks and References:



Science & Engineering

Spectrum Supportability Risk Assessment


Spectrum Supportability Risk Assessments (SSRA) is used to determine and document if adequate spectrum is available to support system operation in DoD, Allied, and Coalition operations. It documents and assesses operational spectrum supportability (SS) and electromagnetic environmental effects (E3) risks and the steps that need to be taken to mitigate these risks.

The SSRA assessment is provided to the Military Department (MILDEP) Spectrum Management Office (SMO) who will review the SSRA and forward their recommendations to the Service Chief Information Officer (CIO) for approval. A statement on the spectrum supportability of an acquisition is then forwarded to the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA). Program Manager (PMs) should consult, as early as possible, with their respective MILDEP SMO regarding the application and tailoring of the SSRA, and to ensure that all user requirements are met.

  • Manages SS and E3 risks through systems engineering processes
  • Required for each milestone decision, updated for FRP and system upgrades
  • Each has a regulatory, technical, operational, and E3 component
  • Complex “system-of-systems” may require more than one SSRA

DoDI 4650.01“Policy for Management and Use of the Electromagnetic Spectrum.” requires system developers of spectrum dependent (S-D) systems and equipment to identify and mitigate regulatory, technical, and operational Spectrum Supportability (SS) and Electromagnetic Environmental Effects (E3) risks during the development process. The instruction also requires that the SSRA be updated to provide increasing levels of detail as the item’s design matures. The SSRA constitutes the basis for MDA determinations of spectrum supportability and provides increasing levels of detail regarding a system’s regulatory, technical, and operational requirements in Initial, Detailed, and Updated SSRAs.

The detail and scope of each SSRA depends upon the system’s entry point into the Defense Acquisition System, the complexity of the system, knowledge of the S-D systems to be acquired or integrated, and the intended operational EME. In general, each PM is required to prepare and submit an SSRA when the acquisition includes or incorporates an S-D system or equipment, including commercial items (CI) and Non-Developmental Items (NDI) that are S-D.

REGULATORY: Applicable to all systems/equipment that use the electromagnetic spectrum in the United States and in other host nations. The SSRA is due at milestone reviews and prior to requesting authorization to operate (for other than testing) in the United States or in host nations. [1]

Submission of SSRAs

SSRAs are to be prepared, updated, and submitted for approval to the appropriate Service review authority prior to each acquisition MS and readiness reviews.

1st Submission of SSRA

  • Prior to MS A, when applicable, with the components described earlier.
  • Evaluates the acquisition’s spectrum needs vs national and international spectrum regulatory requirements and availability as well as the ESC stage and status of possible candidate S-D systems.
  • Operational requirements, as stated in the Joint Urgent Operational Needs Statement (JUONS) or ICD, and the potential for technical issues, including E3, are to be assessed.

2nd Submission of SSRA

  • Prior to MS B.
  • Increase details in the Regulatory, Technical, Operational, and E3 components of the first SSRA based on new data and program maturity.
  • Discuss impact to system operation; potential risks and mitigation measures.
  • Operational EME should support early tailoring and development of E3 test requirements in the request for proposal and other acquisition documents during the Development Stage of the DAS.

3rd Submission of SSRA

  • Prior to MS C.
  • Components of the second SSRA are updated with more detailed spectrum and E3 analyses.
  • A Stage 4 ESC is required for this SSRA for ALL of the S-D items that are part of the acquisition program.
  • Operational EMEs should be refined; spectrum and E3 risks reduced to acceptable levels through mitigation measures and/or TTPs.

4th Submission of SSRA

  • Prior to Full Rate Production (FRP).
  • Components of the third SSRA should be updated with completed spectrum and E3 analyses.
  • This SSRA addresses final guidance from the ESC and, when applicable, HNC processes as well as changes to U.S., Federal, or civil regulations impacting the system’s frequency bands.
  • Risks should have been reduced to acceptable levels.

Updated SSRAs – SSRAs are to be updated as follows:

  • For production and fielded systems to reflect changes to the S-D system or equipment spectral output, its operational deployment, HN regulations, or modifications and upgrades of the integrated system, family of systems (FoS) or system of systems (SoS).
  • For readiness reviews
  • System is ready for operational deployment.

AcqLinks and References:

Space Acquisitions

Link Budget


A Link Budget shows all of the gains and losses from a transmitter, through the medium (free space, cable, waveguide, fiber, etc.) to the receiver in a telecommunication system. It’s used to predict the performance of a transmitter and receiver communication link to show in advance if its performance is acceptable, or if one option is better than another. It accounts for the attenuation of the transmitted signal due to propagation, as well as the antenna gains, feedline, miscellaneous losses and added margin. [1]

A simple link budget equation looks like this:

Received Power (dBm) = Transmitted Power (dBm) + Gains (dB) − Losses (dB)

The Information that is needed to perform a Link Budget include:

  • The saturated EIRP and saturated flux density of the transponder.
  • The satellite G/T figure appropriate to your planned uplink location.
  • Satellite transponder bandwidth.
  • Satellite transponder output backoff or attenuation.
  • Satellite transponder input backoff or attenuation.

You will also need the following information that you and your customer can supply:

  • Latitude and longitude of the uplink and downlink earth stations.
  • Planned data or information rate.
  • Modulation type (BPSK or QPSK)
  • Forward error correction rate (1/2 or 3/4)
  • Spread Factor – if any (use only for spread spectrum systems)
  • Uplink and Downlink frequencies.
  • Uplink and Downlink antenna sizes.
  • Uplink and Downlink antenna efficiency.
  • Uplink and Downlink transmit and receive gains at frequency.
  • Minimum digital signal strength (EB/No) for desired Bit Error Rate (BER) performance.

*The above information can generally be obtained from the satellite operator and customer.

Often link budget equations can become messy and complex, so there have evolved some standard practices to simplify the link budget equation

  • The wavelength term is often considered part of the free space loss equation. This complexity reduction is acceptable for terrestrial communication systems, where only line of sight is considered.
  • Considering all carrier wave propagation to be wavelength-independent. This is justified by the conservation of energy law that requires that the electric field decrease in power as the square of the distance regardless of frequency (in free space propagation conditions).

Link Budget Evaluation

  1. Has anything significant been left out?
    1. This only comes with experience, yours or someone you trust.
  2. Are any values significantly different to other similar budgets?
    1. If so, why?
    2. Is the difference explained?
  3. Remember the creator must often guess at knowledge level of the audience.
    1. Be willing to ask questions.


  • Link Budget information can generally be obtained from the satellite operator and customer.

AcqLinks and References:

Space Acquisitions

Space Communication Bands


The following is a list of some of the more heavily used frequency bands for space communication. Specific frequencies may be found in the links provided at the end of this note.

VHF Band

  • 136 – 138 MHz:  This band was used heavily by many different types of satellites in the past. Today (2012), most activity is restricted to 137-138 MHz (which is the current allocation) and consists of meteorological satellites transmitting data and low resolution images, together with low data rate mobile satellite downlinks (eg Orbcomm)
  • 144 – 146 MHz:  One of the most popular bands for amateur satellite activity. Most of the links are found in the upper half of the band (145 – 146 MHz).
  • 148 – 150 MHz:  This tends to be used for uplinks of the satellites that downlink in the 137 – 138 MHz band.
  • 149.95 – 150.05 MHz:  This is used by satellites providing positioning, time and frequency services, by ionospheric research and other satellites. Before the advent of GPS it was home to large constellations of US and Russian satellites that provided positioning information (mainly to marine vessels) by use of the Doppler effect). Many satellites transmitting on this band also transmit a signal on 400 MHz.
  • 240 – 270 MHz:  Military satellites, communications. This band lies in the wider frequency allocation (225 – 380 MHz) assigned for military aviation.

UHF Band

  • 399.9 – 403 MHz:  This band includes navigation, positioning, time and frequency standard, mobile communication, and meteorological satellites. Around 400 MHz is a companion band for satellites transmitting on 150 MHz.
  • 432 – 438 MHz:  This range includes a popular amateur satellite band as well as a few Earth resources satellites.
  • 460 – 470 MHz:  Meteorological and environmental satellites, includes uplink frequencies for remote environmental data sensors.

L Band

  • 1.2 – 1.8 GHz: This frequency range includes a very diverse range of satellites and encompasses many sub-allocations. This range includes the GPS and other GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems – Russian Glonass, European Galileo, Chinese Beidou). It also hosts SARSAT/COSPAS search and rescue satellites which are carried on board US and Russian meteorological satellites. It also includes a mobile satellite communication band.
  • 1.67 – 1.71 GHz:  This is one of the primary bands for high resolution meteorological satellite downlinks of data and imagery.
    S Band
  • 2.025 – 2.3 GHz: Space operations and research, including ‘deep space’ links from beyond Earth orbit. This encompasses the Unified S-band (USB) plan which is used by many spacecraft, and which was also used by the Apollo lunar missions. It also includes military space links including the US Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP). Many Earth resources (remote sensing) satellites downlink in this band.
  • 2.5 – 2.67 GHz: Fixed (point-to-point) communication and broadcast satellites, although the broadcast allocation is only used in some Asian and Middle-eastern countries.

C Band

  • 3.4 – 4.2 GHz:  Fixed satellite service (FSS) and broadcast satellite service (BSS) downlinks. International TV broadcast uses this allocation heavily.
  • 5.9 – 6.4 GHz: This is the FSS/BSS uplink for the 3.4-4.2 GHz downlink band.

X band

  • 8 – 9 GHz:  This is used heavily for space research, deep space operations, environmental and military communication satellites. Many satellites/spacecraft carry complementary S and X band transmitters.

Ku band

  • 10.7 – 11.7 GHz: Fixed satellite services (FSS)
  • 11.7 – 12.2 GHz: Broadcast satellite service (BSS) downlinks. This band is used for domestic TV programs.
  • 14.5 – 14.8 GHz: The uplink for the previous Ku downlink band.
  • 17.3 – 18.1 GHz:  An alternate ‘Ku’ band BSS uplink.

‘Ka’ band

  • 23 – 27 GHz: A region that will be used increasingly by a variety of fixed link, broadcast, environmental and space operations satellites in the future as more bandwidth is required than can be provided in the lower bands. The disadvantage of this band is the increased absorption due to water vapour and rain. Not very useful for tropical regions of the Earth.

Business Portal

DoD Service Acquisition Process


The DoD Service Acquisition Process is how the DoD acquires professional services from private industry. The process starts with a valid mission requirement for a service essential for the execution of an organizations mission. The process continues through a planning phase, which develops the foundation for defining your requirement and business strategy, and ultimately ends with the delivery and assessment of the services provided. The services acquisition process has three (3) phases with seven (7) steps. [1]

Service Acquisition ProcessFigure: Framework for the Service Acquisition Process [1]

  1. Planning Phase: Lays the foundation for action. During the planning phase, you form the acquisition team and get leadership support for all the actions that must happen to ensure the mission is supported. Baseline and analyze your current service strategies; identify problem areas and projected mission changes; and get your stakeholders to define their key performance outcomes for this requirement. Also analyze the market place to assess current technology and business practices, competition and small business opportunities, existing and potential new sources of providing the service, and determine if commercial buying practices can be adapted.
    • Step One: Form the Team
    • Step Two: Review Current Strategy
    • Step Three: Market Research
  2. Development Phase: Uses the requirements roadmap process to define your High Level Objectives and tasks, standards, allowable variations, and method of inspection. After completing the roadmap you will then be in the best position to develop a performance work statement (PWS) and quality assurance surveillance plan (QASP). During this phase you will also identify your funding sources, develop a government estimate of contract price for the required service, and get industry feedback on your working documents. Finally, synthesize an acquisition strategy that leverages contract type and performance incentives to deliver a best value mission performance to the customer. The basic performance principle is to tell the contractor what the performance results are, not how to do the job. Let industry develop the solution.
    • Step Four: Requirements Definition
    • Step Five: Acquisition Strategy
  3. Execution Phase: You create a solicitation document that formally communicates to industry your requirements and strategy. You receive contractor proposals for how they will meet your performance results and standards and then evaluate them against criteria selected that will best determine the success of a potential contractors approach. After contract award, the business relationship you have with the service providing contractor should foster innovation and improvements to mission performance outcomes. This part of the process involves two key areas: administering contract requirements such as invoicing and payments; and managing the relationships and expectations of both the contractor and customer’s in meeting the terms of the contract and achieving the required mission performance results. You also start the planning phase for a follow-on acquisition if there is a continuing need for the service being provided.
    • Step Six: Execute Strategy
    • Step Seven: Performance Management

Each phase builds on the knowledge gained in the previous phase. Some actions within each phase can be completed in parallel; others should be completed sequentially to make more informed decisions based on new knowledge gained. The project plan in Appendix B will help you tailor a plan for your service acquisition. This guidebook will cover each of the steps in detail and illustrate how to use the requirements roadmap tool to assist you in developing performance-based requirements documents.

AcqLinks and References



DoD Forms


DoD Forms
The Forms listed below are a collection of the most frequently ones used in acquisition. For a complete detailed list of DoD Forms, visit the websites below:

Army Publications and Forms     Air Force Publications and Forms     Navy Publications and Forms    

GSA Forms Library     DoD Form Management Program 

Number Form Title Description Date
 DD 250 Material Inspection and Receiving Report (MIPR) Department of Defense (DD) Form 250 is the Material Inspection and Receiving Report (MIRR) that is required by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for most contracts for supplies and services  Aug 00
DD 254 DoD Contract Security Classification Specification The DD Form 254 provides a contractor (or a subcontractor) the security requirements and classification guidance that would be necessary to perform on a classified contract  Dec 99
DD 448  Military Interdepartmental Purchase Request (MIPR) The Military Interdepartmental Purchase Request (MIPR) is a method for transferring funds by one military organization to another to procure services, supplies, or equipment for the requiring service. The MIPR (DD Form 448) may be accepted on a direct citation or reimbursable basis and is defined in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 253.208-2.
DD 1423-1  Contract Data Requirements List (CDRL)  The Contract Data Requirements List (CDRL) is a list of authorized data requirements for a specific procurement that forms part of a contract. Feb 01
 DD 1921 Cost Data Summary Report
DD 1921-1 Functional Cost Hour Report Apr 07
 DD 1921-2 Progressive Curve Report Apr 07
 DD 1921-3 Contractor Business Data Report
DD 2051  Request For Assignment Of A Commercial And Government Entity (CAGE) Code Oct 11


Business Portal

Solicitation Sources

 Solicitation Sources


 Solicitation Sources 
FedBizOpps FedBizOpps (FBO) is a government web-based portal which allows vendors to review federal procurement opportunities over $25,000. These opportunities include request for industry day participation, Request for Proposals (RFP), Request for Information (RFI), synopses, source sought notice, special notice, modifications to notices, sale of surplus property, award notices, etc. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 5.1 require that all contracts valued at over $25,000 be advertised on FBO.
General Services Administration (GSA) The General Services Administration (GSA) is an independent US agency that helps manage and support the basic functioning of federal agencies. The GSA supplies products, services and communications for U.S. government offices, provides transportation and office space to federal employees, and develops government-wide cost-minimizing policies, and other management tasks. GSA’s business lines include the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) and the Public Buildings Service (PBS).The GSA establishes long-term governmentwide contracts with commercial firms to provide access to millions of commercial products and services at volume discount pricing. These can be ordered directly from GSA Schedule contractors or through the GSAAdvantage!® online shopping and ordering system.
DoD TechMatch DoD TechMatch is a web-based portal designed to provide industry and academia a Department of Defense-sponsored solution to find Research & Development Opportunities, Licensable Patents, and information on approximately 120 DoD Labs located across the United States. Registered users will receive a daily e-mail taking them to their matching R&D opportunities from FedBizOpps,, and SBIR/STTR solicitations; Calendar events; and Licensable Patents relevant to your business.
Defense Innovation Marketplace The Marketplace is a resource for information about Department of Defense investment priorities and capability needs. Additionally, industry uses this site to submit proprietary IR&D summary reports which are separately stored. The Marketplace also provides access to search tools to assess and then leverage industry IR&D projects for current and future programs.
ArmySingle Face to Industry (ASFI) Army Single Face to Industry (ASFI) Acquisition Business Website provides industry partners with a single Army entry point and a simplified method for conducting new business opportunities searches.The MICC Advanced Acquisition Plan is a forecasting tool targeted to both industry and government. This spreadsheet provides a snapshot of existing and planned contracting actions for numerous installations and Army Commands for next fiscal year and beyond. The listing may be especially helpful to small businesses seeking prime and subcontracting contracting opportunities. The spreadsheet is current as of 28 November 2012 and will be updated yearly.
Army Broad Agency Announcements (BAA) The Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) is a competitive solicitation procedure used to obtain proposals for basic and applied research and that part of development not related to the development of a specific system or hardware procurement. The BAA is described in FAR 6.102, “Use of Competitive Procedures,” and FAR 35.016, “Broad Agency Announcements.”
Navy Electronic Commerce Online (NECO) This site is your link to the world of Navy Electronic Business Opportunities. It is the centerpiece of the Navy’s strategy to convert to paperless processes in accordance with the DoD direction. All Navy business opportunities are either on this site or linked to it.

Navy SeaPort-e SeaPort-e is the Navy’s electronic platform for acquiring support services in 22 functional areas including Engineering, Financial Management, and Program Management.  The Navy Systems Commands (NAVSEA, NAVAIR, SPAWAR, NAVFAC, and NAVSUP), the Office of Naval Research, Military Sealift Command, and the United States Marine Corps compete their service requirements amongst 2400+ SeaPort-e IDIQ multiple award contract holders.
DARPA Solicitation DARPA issued on their website and FedBizOps.  Visit the DARPA solicitation site for an easy way to see what RFP tehy have released.
Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) The Rapid Innovation Fund provides a collaborative vehicle for small businesses to provide the DoD with innovative technologies that can be rapidly inserted into acquisition programs that meet specific defense needs. RIF is administered by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD R&E) and Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP).
DoD Contract Award Announcements Contracts valued at $6.5 million or more are announced each business day at 5 p.m. Contract announcements issued within the past 30 days are listed below. Older contract announcements are available from the contract archive page. Contract announcements are also available by e-mail subscription. Go to DoD News for more information and for links to other news items.
Doing Business with DoD This website has links to other websites that address DoD opportunities.
NASA Opportunities