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CHIPS Articles: Spectrum Access Research and Development Program Builds $500M Investment Portfolio

Spectrum Access Research and Development Program Builds $500M Investment Portfolio
By DISA News - April-June 2016
Over the past year, the Defense Spectrum Organization (DSO) has supported the DOD Spectrum Access Research and Development Program (SAR&DP), an effort to build a spectrum investment portfolio led by the DOD Chief Information Officer (CIO) and the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, or ASD(R&E).

The portfolio supports reducing the risk associated with sharing spectrum purchased by industry during the 2015 Advanced Wireless Services (AWS-3) auction and the development of more agile and opportunistic spectrum operations to enable spectrum access in contested and congested environments.

SAR&DP also implements one of the fundamental tenets of the DoD Electromagnetic Spectrum (EMS) Strategy, which calls for the development of new and innovative methods for sharing spectrum and reducing DOD’s overall spectrum footprint.

The program saw major success at its technical concept assessment held last summer in Crystal City, Virginia. The event, which was hosted by DSO, DoD CIO, and the ASD(R&E), included 150 experts from DoD and the National Spectrum Consortium (NSC). Participants assessed 237 technical concepts in a variety of technical, operational, and programmatic areas.

During the follow-on portfolio development phase, the assessed concepts were put into an investment portfolio or combined with other related concepts for inclusion. The result was a 30-project portfolio valued at an estimated $500 million and comprised of four types of projects: technology developments; technology demonstrations with user involvement; technology concept of operations tactics, techniques, and procedures experimentation with user involvement; and technology analysis to inform policy and requirements.

This past winter, the recommended SAR&DP investment portfolio was endorsed by the DoD Electromagnetic Spectrum Capabilities Assessment Group and the Spectrum Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Cyber Leadership Board.

The Spectrum Relocation Fund Resources Oversight Group and the Office of Management and Budget have examined the portfolio as a first step in the funding approval and transfer process.

Once projects start, they will be periodically reviewed as part of the SAR&DP process, which will determine whether the project should continue based on the progress made at the time of assessment.

The Defense Spectrum Organization is a component of the Defense Information Systems Agency responsible for:

  • Providing commanders direct operational support, including electromagnetic battlespace planning, deconfliction, and joint spectrum interference resolution.
  • Developing and implementing net-centric enterprise spectrum management capabilities to enhance efficiency and effectiveness, and pursues emerging spectrum technologies that may either benefit or impact DoD's ability to access the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Advocating for current and future military spectrum requirements in national and international forums to protect DoD global operations.
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