A Framework for Optimized, Integrated Lunar Infrastructure

DARPA study to identify risks, commercial solutions over coming decade to enable future lunar economy


Anticipating a burgeoning cislunar and lunar economy of scientific research and commercial development in the coming decade, DARPA is soliciting innovative and revolutionary technical approaches to chart a vision and path toward an optimized and integrated lunar infrastructure for peaceful U.S. and international use.

The 10-Year Lunar Architecture (LunA-10) capability study aims to rapidly develop foundational technology concepts that move away from individual scientific efforts within isolated, self-sufficient systems, toward a series of shareable, scalable systems that interoperate minimizing lunar footprint and creating monetizable services for future lunar users. The seven-month study will include both lunar providers and users. It will seek to establish an analytical framework that defines new opportunities for rapid scientific and commercial activity on and around the Moon through collective infrastructure investments, and also identifies related technical challenges. DARPA anticipates making final analytical frameworks for lunar infrastructure available to the public.

A large paradigm shift is coming in the next 10 years for the lunar economy, said Dr. Michael Orbit Nayak, program manager in DARPAs Strategic Technology Office. To get to a turning point faster, LunA-10 uniquely aims to identify solutions that can enable multi-mission lunar systems imagine a wireless power station that can also provide comms and navigation in its beam. For 65 years, DARPA has pioneered and de-risked technologies vital to civil space advancement from the rocket technology in the Saturn V that took humans to the Moon for the first time, to the recent DARPA-NASA partnership to enable faster space travel to the Moon and beyond with a nuclear thermal rocket engine. LunA-10 continues this rich legacy by identifying and accelerating key technologies that may be used by government and the commercial space industry, and ultimately to catalyze economic vibrancy on the Moon.

The studys thrust areas, derived from a subset of key sectors identified in a market analysis of the future lunar economy, include the following (with more details in the solicitation): transit/mobility; energy; communications; and other revolutionary orbital or surface infrastructure concepts.

LunA-10 aims to facilitate the fusing and co-optimization of as many infrastructure sectors as possible, into key nodes that can be scaled up in the future.

Just like DARPAs foundational node of ARPANET grew into the sprawling web of the internet, LunA-10 is looking for those connective nodes to support a thriving commercial economy on the Moon, Nayak said.

LunA-10 aims to select performer companies that have a clear vision and technically rigorous business plan for providing or using one or more lunar services, and then fuel them to work together in a highly collaborative environment where they will design new integrated system-level solutions that span multiple services. Lunar transmission, energy, and communications are likely cornerstones, and the program is soliciting other sectors to create monetizable commercial services on and around the Moon by 2035. This would complement NASAs Moon to Mars Objectives focused on human exploration, science and experimentation on the Moon.

Opportunities for technology maturation are key for development for lunar capabilities in order to meet the objectives of future lunar architectures, said Niki Werkheiser, Director of Technology Maturation in NASAs Space Technology Mission Directorate.

The study will not fund technology construction, transportation to the lunar surface, or integration with lunar delivery vehicles. However, DARPA intends to provide economic expertise to all LunA-10 teams to help analyze and validate definitions of a critical mass to create a thriving, survivable lunar economy. LunA-10 is grounded in the Outer Space Treaty (1967). In accordance with Article IV of the treaty, all developments and involvement by civilian and/or military personnel in this effort pertain to scientific and peaceful purposes.

Three-page abstracts in response to the LunA-10 solicitation are due by Sept. 6, 2023. Respondents whose abstracts are selected will be invited to submit a 10-page white paper and technical presentation by Sept. 25, 2023. Selected white papers will receive an Other Transaction award not to exceed $1,000,000. Selected performers will not be expected to share their intellectual property, but DARPA is seeking those that are willing to collaborate engineering efforts toward models of clustered lunar activity versus individual, commercial ventures. Performers selected for LunA-10 will be announced at the fall meeting of the Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium (LSIC) in October 2023. Performers will openly brief their work to the lunar community at the Spring LSIC meeting in April 2024, and provide a final report in June 2024.

For full details and instructions for submitting an abstract, visit the LunA-10 program solicitation at SAM.gov: sam.gov/opp/54586656144548e598d75adea4d129b7/view.

Optimized Cycling Solutions (OCS) and FRM Bike Technology Sign Partnership Agreement for U.S. Bicycle Market

 Optimized Cycling Solutions (OCS) and FRM Bike Technology are pleased to announce an exclusive partnership for OCS to market and sell FRM’s unique line of custom road, mountain, and gravel bicycles and products in the United States.

“We are very excited to have this arrangement with OCS,” said Edoardo Serini, FRM Sales Manager. He maintains, “OCS and FRM share the same values and principles. Both our organizations are built upon providing extraordinary products and experience that cannot be replicated anywhere else in the cycling community. FRM and OCS are committed to supporting U.S. cycling and we are eager to grow this collaboration.”

Mark Stemmy, Founder of OCS, echoes these sentiments. “Italy is the world leader in bicycle design and manufacturing, and FRM is at the pinnacle of that leadership,” he says. “FRM combines incredible technical expertise with breathtaking design to create products that are both gracefully beautiful and powerfully adept. FRM bicycles are incomparable, and OCS is very pleased to lead their sales and marketing activities here in the U.S.”

Inspired by the American Mountain Bike (MTB) culture, Franco Ricci Mingani founded the company that bears his name in 1991, intertwining world-renown Italian design with the reliability and durability needed to succeed in the rugged MTB environment. Since its inception, FRM has been known for its extensive fabrication capability, bespoke manufacturing, unique cycling architecture, and exceptional client services across all its cycling lines, whether MTB, road, or gravel.

Founded in 2010, OCS has since its start been at the forefront of modern cycling. Combining leading-edge technologies with old-school craftsmanship and detail, founder Mark Stemmy has built OCS’ reputation as the go-to source for bespoke bicycles, wheels, and services. Catering to the most passionate of the Cognoscente, OCS’ Customer Care is the benchmark standard for which all other cycling organizations strive.

For more information on FRM, please visit their website: www.frmbike.net

To inquire about the complete line of FRM bicycles and accessories available in the U.S., please contact OCS at: www.optimizedcycling.com.

Optimized Cycling Solutions
Mark Stemmy



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