Concept Exploration. Concept Exploration is
a work effort that typically consists of competitive, parallel, short-term
concept study contracts with private industry. Concept studies may also be
solicited from federally funded research and development centers, educational
institutions, and non-profit organizations. The focus of these study efforts
is to define and evaluate the feasibility of various alternative concepts to
satisfy the mission need contained in the MNS. An analysis of alternatives is
accomplished to facilitate comparisons between the various competing concepts.
Selection of the preferred concept or alternative to take into the next phase,
usually System Development and Demonstration, is the key activity of this
phase. With approval of the milestone decision authority, the preferred
concept is defined in terms of initial, broad objectives for cost, schedule
and performance, interoperability, supportability, security, infrastructure
within a family of systems (if appropriate), an initial acquisition strategy,
and an initial test and evaluation strategy.