The U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command (SSC) is looking for industry input on live and virtual exercises to improve cyber protections for space systems.

Last month, U.S. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall outlined seven operational imperatives for the Air Force and Space Force, including a Department of the Air Force (DAF) evaluation of the department’s readiness to ramp up quickly to counter China and Russia (Defense Daily, Jan. 19).

A Feb. 17 Request for Information (RFI) by SSC asks for industry-developed “technology and operational concepts for this imperative” and how such concepts “could enable, connect, and contribute across all 7 imperatives.”

Industry responses are to help “inform plans to create live, virtual and on-orbit space cyber test and training events as well as TTP [tactics, techniques and procedures] development that will enable cyber professionals to exercise various mission set vignettes in a simulated environment with the ability to incorporate HWIL [hardware in the loop],” per the RFI.  “The DAF may desire to perform proof-of-concept evaluations and prototype evaluations. The DAF may desire to procure small quantities of hardware for qualification and continued testing.”

SSC wants technology that meets intelligence community-driven requirements and that “can be presented to an available cyber range or training and research environment.” Such technology should also allow blue and red cyber teams to engage simultaneously in scenarios. In addition, the technology would include independent cyber tools; allow mission planners/white teams “to design and execute missions with an intuitive graphical user interface, record/playback scenarios, and export time-sequenced scenario data for further analysis”; and permit the incorporation of “cyber capabilities for terrestrial-based satellite control/ground stations and system-agnostic, space-based systems,” the RFI said.

Air Force and Space Force officials want industry ideas on the seven DAF imperatives by the end of next month to begin laying in requirements for the imperatives in the DAF’s fiscal 2024 budget submission.