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Office of National Intelligence seeks ‘smart’ satellites

Sandy Milne

The Office of National Intelligence (ONI) has put out a request for tender (RFT) seeking a provider of research and engineering services for the development, test, launch and operation of a prototype smart satellite.

Office of National Intelligence seeks ‘smart’ satellites
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According to the tender document published in the Australian government’s contracting platform, proposals are sought to “demonstrate the application of miniaturised satellite systems with on-board machine learning applications”.

“The service provider shall perform all activities necessary to manage, design, develop, construct, integrate, test, launch, commission and support the ‘smart’ satellite solution,” the RFT said.

“The service provider shall analyse the requirements… and work collaboratively with ONI and the NIC to develop and validate a design for the NICSAT Mission System and the requirements for the support, operating model and demonstration aspects.”

The scope of works performed under this contract also aims to “combine a systematic approach to research and development with commercial off-the-shelf solutions”. ONI estimates the value of the contract at between $4 million and $5 million. 

ONI’s Innovation, Science & Research (ISR) branch is the contracting activity. ISR branch provides structured approaches to technological research and change not just within ONI, but also in support of the wider National Intelligence Community (NIC), which encompasses the 10 separate Australian security and intelligence agencies.  

A virtual industry briefing is scheduled for 14 May 2020.  

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