Phase I: The DoD expects to award approximately 100 contracts of up to $50,000 each for feasibility research carried out over six months.

Phase II: If the DoD likes the results of the Phase I research, it will award a fullscale research and development contract of up to $500,000.

Phase III: This phase consists of a contract to develop and/or produce innovations the DoD decides it wants to buy, but the contract does not necessarily preclude commercialization of the innovation.

Topic areas: In this first year of the DESAT program, topic areas for research contracts were selected by all three service branches and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Some examples include:

* New materials for protective clothing

* Critical material (metals) substitutes

* High-precision gyros

* Oceanographic instrumentation

* Fuel-efficient aircraft design

More information: The deadline for submitting Phase I proposals for this year's DESAT program is August 31.Full information on the program and proposal forms are available from: Hal C. Felsher, Director, Small Business & Economic Utilization Policy, Room 2A340, The Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301.