Competition: The Invisible Battlespace Phase 2

Posted on: 17/07/2019

Up to £1m for defence/security projects relating to the EM spectrum and communications. You do not need to have participated in phase 1 to apply.

This Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) Phase 2 competition seeks proposals to understand the benefits that innovative technologies can bring to military front-line capabilities, in applications across the contested/congested electromagnetic space.

The products developed through this call need to enable defence and security to effectively conduct electromagnetic operations across the air, land (urban and rural), sea, space and cyber domains.

Up to £1 million of funding is available for Phase 2. You do not need to have been a Phase 1 applicant to apply. Further funding may be available for future phases.

This Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) Phase 2 competition is seeking proposals for novel and innovative technologies and approaches to enable UK Defence to effectively conduct electromagnetic (EM) operations across the air, land (urban and rural), sea, space and cyber domains.

The following broad question is posed: ‘How can UK Defence take a radically different approach to conducting operations effectively across or within an EM environment that is increasingly congested and contested?’

Please note this is the second phase of funding for a multi-phase competition. It is not compulsory to have been involved in previous phases to apply. You should however make yourself aware of the previous competition Invisible Battlespace Phase 1 and the proposals we funded. Work for this phase will need to reach higher maturity than work funded in Phase 1.

The scope and challenge for Phase 2 remains the same as for Phase 1. However, proposals will need to deliver a higher maturity innovation than phase 1. We expect the starting Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the innovation at TRL 3. By the end of the project, we expect the innovation to be developed to TRL 5.

Phase 2 of this competition closes at midday (BST) on Monday 9 September 2019.

This competition is divided into four challenges.

Challenges 1 and 2 are broad and focused on understanding the EM environment, including how best to facilitate understanding, visualising, operating and conducting EW within a contested and congested EM environment.

Challenges 3 and 4 are more specific and focus on understanding how UK Defence could address the air defence systems of UK adversaries within the EM environment.

3.1 Challenge 1: Find me a channel

We want to know what EM signals are out there, what equipment is generating them, what frequency bands they are using, how things are changing over time and how we make the best use of our equipment in the presence of all these signals.

This challenge seeks innovative proposals to improve how UK Defence can sense, manage, visualise and utilise the EM spectrum (in real-time). This should include an understanding of the impact on our systems and operations, our adversaries’ actions, and non-combatants’ use of the EM spectrum.

3.2 Challenge 2: Stay in contact

We want to be able to communicate and share information with each other continuously when the EM environment is busy. We want to stop people interfering with our systems, interfere with their systems to make their life harder and disguise ourselves in the EM environment if we need to.

This challenge seeks innovative proposals to address how UK Defence can survive and conduct effective EW operations within an environment of multiple target/threat signals, multiple jammers and multiple radio systems, enabling us to operate and maintain capability effectively within the EM environment.

3.3 Challenge 3: No use hiding from me

We want to find ways to overcome attempts by our enemy to avoid detection as we go about trying to find and target them.

This challenge seeks innovative proposals to help UK Defence to conduct effective operations against modern Integrated Air Defence Systems (IADS) that may be employed by potential adversaries. This includes the ability to conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance of enemy IADS in order to locate all potential targets and threats.

3.4 Challenge 4: Taxi!

We want to know how best to transport our effect delivery options into areas where there will be many EM ‘bad guy’ sensors looking at us, to deliver our effect on target.

Novel delivery mechanisms are sought which are capable of supporting effects at long range (target is between 250 and 450 km from the launch site) and long endurance (application of effect for between 30 and 90 minutes). The speed at which the effect may be delivered is also a factor as militarily useful systems will need to be able to fit within standard planning cycles. They may also have to keep pace with other support assets such as tactical aircraft. In addition, delivery mechanisms may have to contend with adverse meteorological conditions, a contested EM environment and varying geographical and topographical factors.

For more details, visit the DASA funding page.

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