illustration of space network (Vit-Mar/

Space Force seeks central portal for application development

The forward-focused Space Force is tied down by legacy systems and splintered program offices that make it difficult for its teams detailed to the Space Force from the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force to find and manage the tools they need. While the daily inconveniences are small, over time and across the workforce, they reduce productivity and efficiency.

To address that problem, the Space Force wants a central system or portal that provides a “cohesive user experience” for service members spread across six primary bases. The portal needs “backend infrastructure, data storage, content management, development and testing infrastructure, user testing and validation,” the force said in a March 8 request for information.  “The user experience is paramount to all things and should be the first thing on everyone’s mind when looking to implement changes or evaluate features for inclusion / removal.”

The infrastructure should be built with agile development practices, with all decisions made regarding the purpose and intent of the portal well documented, according to the RFI. The infrastructure must support users based on both projected likely traffic and worst-case scenarios.

Because Space Force guardians’ experience is of primary importance, the Space Force wants thorough evaluation of users’ current practices and needs when it comes to the technologies they use, their location, the data they require and the work they consider must be conducted by humans.

A content management strategy must also be developed that addresses the types and kinds of information presented, the language, style and methods used for presentation to ensure users can easily and quickly find and access information and services they need. The user-facing content should take a standardized plain-language approach.

The RFI aims to help the Office of Research, Behavior, Infrastructure and Technology create systems that provide technical solutions to some of the Space Force’s most intractable problems. Expecting the portal development to be highly complex, ORBIT assumes few businesses will have the required resources to fulfill the entire requirement, but it is encouraging small businesses to respond. 

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