Proposers’ Day Conference for the Amon-Hen Program

SYNOPSIS The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) will host a Proposers’ Day Conference for the Amon-Hen program on 11 May 2017 in anticipation of the release of a new solicitation. The Conference will be held from 9:00 AM EDT to 3:00 PM EDT in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. The purpose of the conference will be to provide information on Amon-Hen and the research problems the program aims to address, to address questions from potential proposers, and to provide a forum for potential proposers to present their capabilities for teaming opportunities.

The Amon-Hen Proposers’ Day Conference is restricted to United States’ citizens.

This announcement serves as a pre-solicitation notice and is issued solely for information and planning purposes. The Proposers’ Day Conference does not constitute a formal solicitation for proposals or proposal abstracts. Conference attendance is voluntary and is not required to propose to future solicitations (if any) associated with this program. IARPA will not provide reimbursement for any costs incurred to participate in this Proposers' Day.  

Program Description and Goals

As more nations become active in space, there is increasing need for Space Situational Awareness (SSA). A particular priority for both the Intelligence Community (IC) and the Department of Defense (DoD) is timely information about systems and activities in Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO). In its recent Report on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 the Senate Armed Services Committee identified the need for development of ground-based capabilities for passive imagery of GEO objects to provide a credible layer of accountability for behavior in space.

Due to their distance from ground-based observers (35,786km altitude) GEO objects are both small and dim – sufficiently small that telescopic observation cannot provide imagery of sufficient resolution for SSA needs. As a result, ground-based approaches to image GEO objects have focused on development of interferometers. Examples of current efforts include the Naval Precision Optical Interferometer (NPOI) and the Magdalena Ridge Optical Interferometer (MROI), both of which have active research programs in GEO imaging. Because GEO objects are dim, however, finding and measuring the interference fringes developed between any two apertures in the interferometer is challenging. The complex shape of GEO objects also reduces inherent signal strength in the fringes resulting in a fringe tracking and fringe measurement problem that becomes rapidly more difficult at the longer interferometer baselines required for high resolution image reconstruction.

Previous attempts to overcome the daunting challenges associated with GEO imaging have resulted in multiple design approaches that incorporate relatively large apertures (1-2m). In order to acquire enough baseline measurements for image reconstruction in a reasonably short period of time, the number of apertures required leads to prohibitively high system costs. The objective of the Amon-Hen program is to develop novel approaches to ground-based GEO imaging that enable rapid collection of data for inteferometric image reconstruction of GEO objects at low cost. One potential approach is to use a large number of small apertures. In addition to reducing costs, small aperture approaches could also enable simultaneous measurements at a large number of baselines, reducing acquisition timelines and increasing the number of GEO objects that can be imaged in a single evening. The Government is interested in all technical approaches that meet the Amon-Hen program goals regardless of the nature of the proposed solutions.

The goal of the Amon-Hen program is the development of a low-cost, passive, ground-based, optical interferometer that can:

• Make measurements necessary to fully resolve those images to 12.5 nanoradian angular resolution and with image interpretability equivalent to Space Object Rating Scale (SORS) Level 6 or better

• Develop image reconstruction techniques that afford timely image development – at a minimum, all data collected on a given evening should be converted to final imagery before the next evening’s data collection

• Data collection for a single GEO object must be completed in less than one hour

• Brightness detection thresholds must be consistent with GEO objects at baselines consistent with 12.5 nanoradian resolution and may vary depending on the Proposers’ approach 

Registration Information

Attendees must register no later 5:00 PM EST on 4 May 2017, at Directions to the conference facility and other materials will be available on that website. No walk-in registrations will be allowed. Due to space limitations, attendance will be limited to the first 150 registrants and to no more than 3 representatives per organization. All attendees will be required to present a government-issued photo identification to enter the conference. The Amon-Hen Proposers’ Day is limited to US citizens only.  

Additional Information

The morning session will include an overview of the program goals, technical challenges, and expected participation requirements. A description of how the solutions will be evaluated will be provided.

The afternoon will include a poster session to provide an opportunity for attendees to present their organizations' capabilities and to explore teaming arrangements. Attendees who wish to present organization capabilities for teaming opportunities may submit a request through the registration web site. Details on the poster format, and the procedure for submitting a request to present, will be provided after approval to register for the conference has been granted. These presentations are not intended to solicit feedback from the Government, and Government personnel will not be present during the presentations.

This Proposers' Day is intended primarily for participants who are eligible to compete on the anticipated Broad Agency Announcement (BAA). Other Government Agencies, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs), University Affiliated Research Centers (UARCs), or any other similar organizations that have a special relationship with the Government, will not be eligible to submit proposals to the anticipated BAA nor participate as team members under proposals submitted by eligible entities. While such entities are invited to attend the Proposers' Day, if there is limited space, preference will be given first to those organizations that are eligible to compete and other Government Agencies. IARPA will not provide reimbursement for costs incurred to participate in this conference.  

Questions concerning conference and registration can be sent to Questions regarding the program can be sent to

Contracting Office Address

Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity
Washington, DC 20511

Primary Point of Contact

Merrick J. DeWitt
Program Manager

Solicitation Status: N/A

Proposers' Day Announcement on FedBizOpps
Proposers' Day Date: May 11, 2017