Request for Proposals


This competition is open only to, and full proposals are to be submitted only by, U.S. institutions of higher education (universities), including DoD institutions of higher education, with degree-granting programs in science and/or engineering.

Research Areas

Proposing universities may elect to design experiments to be performed (should there ultimately be a launch) on the small satellite, including the demonstration of novel space technologies.

The following is a list of small satellite research areas. Please note these are only some of the areas of interest, and the list is by no means comprehensive.

  • Space Weather
  • High data rate communications
  • Orbit sustainment and modification systems
  • Small satellite resilient systems
  • Technologies enabling sparse aperture arrays or fractionated systems for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Space Situational Awareness (SSA)
  • Space debris identification and tracking
  • Real time asset control
  • 3-D printed space craft structures and/or components

Proposal Submission

Proposals must be received in PDF format by 4:00 PM, EDT, 30 November 2015.

Proposal Format

The required full proposal format is as follows:

  • Paper Size - 8.5 x 11 inch
  • Margins - 1 inch
  • Spacing - single or double spaced
  • Font - Times New Roman, 10 or 12 point
  • Page Limit - no more than twenty (20) single-sided pages of program description
    • Pages in excess of the page limit will not be evaluated.

NOTE: Budgetary information is not included in the 20 page limit.

Submit a Proposal

Evaluation & Awards

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals shall be evaluated under two principal selection criteria, of equal importance, as follows:

  1. Technical merits of the proposed research and development
  2. Potential relationship of the proposed research and development to DoD objectives

Other evaluation criteria used in the technical reviews, which are of lesser importance than the principal selection criteria and of equal importance are:

  1. Educational impact (both undergraduate and/or graduate) of the project
  2. Experience of critical personnel

The technical and cost information will be analyzed simultaneously during the evaluation process.

Review & Selection

Proposals submitted under this announcement will be evaluated by a scientific review process involving personnel at SDL, AFRL, AFOSR, and/or by outside evaluators retained by AFRL or AFOSR. Employees of commercial firms under contract to the Government may be used to administratively process proposals. These support contracts include nondisclosure agreements prohibiting their contractor employees from disclosing any information submitted by other contractors.

Full proposals will be selected on a competitive basis by a panel of experts from SDL, AFRL and from external entities after consideration of the recommendation of the scientific reviews.

Award Notices

Should your proposal be selected for award, the principal investigator will receive a letter from SDL stating this information. This is not an authorization to begin work. Your business office will be contacted by the SDL contracting officer to negotiate the terms of your subcontract.