Call for industry to create trustworthy tech for land-to-space comms

January 12, 2024
1 min read

TLDR:

U.S. Air Force communications experts have issued a request for information for the Rapid Architecture Prototyping and Integration Development (RAPID) for Trusted Network Device project. They are seeking industry assistance in developing secure networking with cyber security for the U.S. Space Force for land-based deployment and space flight. The goal is to create a trusted network device on a cyber-secure computer that will enable a secure resilient overlay network on existing networks. This device will provide user authentication, traffic flow authorization, encryption, packet switching, path selection, and traffic flow analysis protection, among other capabilities.

Key points:

  • A request for information has been issued for the RAPID for Trusted Network Device project.
  • The goal is to develop secure networking with cyber security for the U.S. Space Force.
  • Researchers are seeking industry assistance to create a trusted network device for a secure resilient overlay network.
  • The device will provide user authentication, traffic flow authorization, encryption, and other capabilities.
  • Companies interested can submit responses by January 31, 2024.

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate has issued a request for information (RFI-RVKI-2024-RAPID) for the development of a trusted network device for the U.S. Space Force. The device is intended to enable secure networking with cyber security for land-based deployment and space flight.

Researchers are exploring the creation of a secure resilient overlay network on existing networks, and they are seeking industry assistance in developing a trusted network device on a cyber-secure computer to enable this overlay network. The device will provide key capabilities such as user authentication, traffic flow authorization, encryption, packet switching, path selection, and traffic flow analysis protection at the overlay edge nodes.

In addition, the trusted network device will connect disparate networks, manage traffic, and monitor performance. It will also support secure boot, software signature verification, artifact storage, memory and process segregation, and remote attestation. The device will comply with U.S. military Zero Trust principles, including fail-secure requirements, and will be reprogrammable via software updates.

The experimental trusted network device should have a total traffic throughput of 1 Gigabit per second, with an objective of reaching 100 gigabits per second. Network functions will be virtualized on top of the trusted computer, and researchers are interested in exploring the use of custom hardware such as application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) for data switching.

Companies interested in participating in the development of the trusted network device can submit their responses by January 31, 2024, to the Department of Defense Safe website. Questions or concerns can be addressed to the Air Force’s DeAnna Salazar via email. More information can be found on the DoD Safe website.

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