Status Report

DARPA Controlled Entry of LEO Objects Workshop

By SpaceRef Editor
May 10, 2016
Filed under , ,

Special Notice (SN) DARPA-SN-16-33: Controlled Entry of LEO Objects Workshop
DATE: June 1, 2016
E-mail: [email protected]


The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)’s Tactical Technology Office (TTO) is sponsoring a workshop to gather information to inform decisions regarding potential future DARPA programs. The workshop will be held on Wednesday, June 1, 2016, at the DARPA Conference Center (DCC) from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Eastern Time. Advance registration is required.


The objective of the workshop is to gather information regarding (1) near-term technologies and solutions for the controlled reentry of objects from low Earth orbit (LEO) and (2) long-term advanced concepts that could evolve from near-term capabilities.

Currently, most LEO satellites take a passive approach to end-of-life disposal, counting on atmospheric drag to gradually degrade their orbits, and eventually leading to reentry and breakup. Orbit decay and space vehicle breakup can be hard to model and predict accurately, meaning that there is typically little to no advance knowledge of when and where reentry will occur, let alone what pieces will survive and where those pieces will land. Additionally, natural orbit degradation is a slow process, which means that space is becoming more and more congested with defunct satellites, slowly coasting to their final re-entry trajectory.

One way to address this issue would be to employ spacecraft drag augmentation devices, or decelerators, which would provide some measure of control over the time and location of satellite reentry. Pinpoint precision is not required, but the ability to target a broad area of empty ocean would help to minimize any potential risks to humans or property. DARPA is interested in gathering information about the current state of the art of such technologies, as well as any ongoing or nascent technology development efforts. The near-term objective is to find ways to de-orbit inert objects in LEO with a minimum of cost, mass, and operational impacts. Other future applications of this technology may also emerge from the workshop.


The workshop will be held at the DCC on Wednesday, June 1, 2016, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Eastern Time. Check-in begins at 8:00 AM Eastern Time.

DARPA will use the information gathered at this workshop to inform its consideration of whether to launch a more formal effort on this topic. Toward this end, potential proposers with expertise in this domain may register to attend. The event is closed to
the general public and media. Participants must register by sending an e-mail to
[email protected] Due to space limitations of the conference facility, attendance will be limited to the first 150 registrants, and no more than three representatives per organization.

To attend unclassified events held at the DARPA Conference Center, a completed DARPA Form 104, “DARPA Conference Center Visitor Requirements for Unclassified Meetings,” must be filled out and submitted to Mr. Joseph Landino either via encrypted e-mail to [email protected] or via fax to 703-248-1909. This form can be found at

For attendees who are not U.S. citizens, a completed DARPA Form 60,”U.S. Permanent Resident and Foreign National Visit Request,” must be provided to: [email protected] via encrypted e-mail (or faxed to (703) 528-3655). This form can be found at

NOTE: Before individuals transmit personally identifiable information (PII) or other sensitive data to DARPA, it is recommended that they apply appropriate physical, administrative, and technical protocols to safeguard their privacy. DARPA will secure all PII and sensitive personal data in a controlled environment and protect it from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure.

Upon entry to the event, all attendees will be required to present Government-issued photo identification.

PLEASE NOTE: Registration closes on Friday, May 13, 2016, at 4:00 PM Eastern Time. Visit requests and other applicable documents should also be sent to DARPA by this time. For instructions on sending visit requests to DARPA, please visit

Attendees who would like to present company overviews, discuss technology expertise, and/or discuss teaming opportunities may request to do so in scheduled presentations at the conference. Presentations may contain five slides and are limited to 15 minutes each and will be accommodated on a time-available basis. Attendees should contact [email protected] to request a presentation time at the workshop; requests must be received no later than the registration cutoff date.

All presentation materials must be submitted in advance and should be suitable for public release. It is the presenter’s responsibility to ensure that all material presented at the workshop does not contain any sensitive information and has been approved for release by the sponsoring organization. An electronic copy of all material to be presented must be provided to the DARPA program managers for review by Friday, May 20, 2016. There will be no exceptions to this requirement. DARPA will not sponsor any attendee information presented at the workshop on the Agency website.


A SharePoint site has been established as a reference library for the workshop. Attendees, upon successful registration for the workshop, will be invited to read and post materials to the SharePoint site.


There will be an opportunity to meet individually with the program managers, Michael Kelly and Todd Master, after the conference. Please contact [email protected] to request an individual session; requests must be received no later than the registration cutoff date.

DARPA strongly encourages participation in this event by non-traditional performers, including small businesses, academic and research institutions, and first-time Government contractors. A list of registrant contact information will be made available to attendees following the workshop to facilitate interchange among interested parties. If you would NOT like to be included on this list, please notify us when registering.

Attendance at the workshop is voluntary and is not required to propose to subsequent Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs) (if any) on this topic. The workshop does not constitute a formal solicitation for proposals or abstracts. This announcement is issued solely for information and program planning purposes and is not a Request for Information (RFI). Since this is not an RFI, the Government will accept no submissions against this notice. DARPA will not provide reimbursement for costs incurred to participate in this workshop.

The program managers for this effort are:
Michael S. Kelly and Todd Master
[email protected]

SpaceRef staff editor.