NRO Advanced Systems and Technologies Directorate, the DII is the NRO’s primary program for identifying key concepts and ideas from developers not traditionally associated with the NRO. The program provides seed funding to push the boundaries of technology in order to dramatically improve the nation’s satellite reconnaissance capabilities. Projects funded by the DII center on the NRO research and development focus on areas of appropriate persistence, temporal responsiveness, target discrimination, the unexpected, patterns of life and operate-through. The DII accepts proposals of any classification up to Top Secret/SCI. Individuals submitting proposals need only hold a current security clearance up to the classification level of their proposal. Typically, a mixture of classified and unclassified proposals is selected for award. The efforts are nine months in duration, with a maximum funding level of $400,000. DII participants cover the full spectrum of U.S. research organizations and include government agencies and laboratories, private industry, federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) and academia. “The program reaches far beyond the traditional NRO defense and space contractor base to tap into the talent available in all types of U.S. organizations,” said Henry Mulder, DII program manager. The DII considers any innovative architecture, technology or technique that has the potential to improve NRO products, boost the NRO’s rapid response to new technological opportunities or emerging threats, and result in substantial resource savings. The technologies pursued through DII span every aspect of NRO space and ground systems, and have included applications of carbon nanotubes, electro optic and infrared optical systems, phased array antennas, solar cells, microelectronics, signals and imagery processing algorithms, as well as many others. Over the years the DII has received more than 5,500 proposals and provided funding for 507 projects, of which more than 20 percent received follow-on funding or were transitioned into operations. Reaching far ahead and into new areas is what sets the DII apart from typical advanced research programs. To make this possible, the DII program embraces a philosophy of accepting high technical risk to potentially achieve high mission payoff. “The DII is one of our tools for investigating game-changers. We are not looking for incremental improvements; rather, the projects we choose focus on dramatic, disruptive orders of magnitude capability improvements to enable advanced ISR systems for the future well beyond tomorrow,” said Bob Brodowski, director of the NRO’s Advanced Systems and Technology Directorate. DII program managers take steps to minimize DII program overhead costs so that the maximum amount of funding is spent on the technical aspects of the projects. They use standardized contracts and short, standardized proposals that
reduce proposal preparation time and effort, and reduce the time and cost for the offeror. The evaluation and award process is streamlined so offerors get timely feedback and the program stays on an annualized schedule. Specific proposal guidance is in the annual DII broad agency and government sources sought announcements released each summer via the Federal Business Opportunities and the DII website: www.dii.westfields.net
Tactical Reconnaissance “For more than 30 years, the TacDSR Program has fulfilled its congressional mandate to expeditiously develop, mature and integrate technologies that facilitate the dissemination of national systems data (NSD) to the warfighter in the field,” said Lieutenant Colonel Jeff Jordan, the TacDSR program manager. DoD has delegated authority to manage TacDSR to the NRO director, and the program has been further delegated to the NRO Mission Integration Directorate. TacDSR accomplishes its mission through short-term, high-impact advanced R&D efforts that integrate mission-critical NSD into military platforms, combat systems, weapons and architectures, thus providing crucial NRO capabilities to operational warfighters. Since its inception, the TacDSR program has successfully transitioned more than 70 percent of all TacDSR programs to DoD users. TacDSR directly answers emerging war fighting intelligence requirements of the combatant commands (CCMDs), services and other tactical users. Projects within the scope of the program include: • Prototype integration for vehicles, aircraft, ships, weapons, special operations platforms, ground stations and combat support equipment.
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