DOD SBIR 24.2 Annual

Active
No
Status
Open
Release Date
April 17th, 2024
Open Date
May 15th, 2024
Due Date(s)
June 12th, 2024
Close Date
June 12th, 2024
Topic No.
N242-076

Topic

Wireless Integrated Network—High-Capacity Low-Probability-of-Detection (WIN-HL)

Agency

Department of DefenseN/A

Program

Type: SBIRPhase: BOTHYear: 2024

Summary

The Department of Defense (DOD) is seeking proposals for the topic "Wireless Integrated Network—High-Capacity Low-Probability-of-Detection (WIN-HL)" as part of its SBIR 24.2 Annual solicitation. The Navy branch is specifically interested in this topic. The objective is to develop waveforms that address gaps in current tactical waveform technology. These waveforms should have high-capacity throughput and low-probability-of-detection features to counter evolving threats. The waveforms should be power efficient and portable across multiple hardware instantiations for both beyond line of sight and omni-directional line of sight communications. The waveforms will be designed to run on the Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) environment and should have an open architecture digital interface. The project will have a Phase I and Phase II, with Phase II potentially becoming classified. The selected contractor must be U.S. owned and operated with no foreign influence. The Phase I will involve designing and developing a framework for FPGA hosted waveforms, while Phase II will focus on building, testing, and validating a prototype waveform. Phase III will involve government verification and validation, as well as transitioning the capability to appropriate laboratories and platforms. The project is looking for dual-use applications and emphasizes the use of Software Defined Radios (SDR) and Open Systems Architecture (OSA) designs. The solicitation is open until June 12, 2024. For more information, visit the SBIR topic link or the solicitation agency website.

Description

OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Advanced Computing and Software; Integrated Network Systems-of-Systems

 

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop waveforms designed to address gaps in current tactical waveform technology. These waveforms shall include high-capacity throughput and Low-probability-of-Detection/Identification/Tracking/(LPx) features to counter rapidly evolving threats with an open architecture digital interface to minimize application integration risks, and challenges. These waveforms should be power efficient and portable across multiple hardware instantiations for beyond line of sight and omni-directional line of sight (threshold) and directional communications (objective).

 

DESCRIPTION: Current Radio Frequency (RF) communications systems have become common in both infantry dismounted and mounted operations used to communicate beyond line of sight (BLOS) and line of sight (LOS) with maritime vessels, air assets, ground command and control, and with adjacent units. Trusted secure communications are required to ensure elements are employed effectively. Having the ability to communicate without being detected, intercepted, or tracked is highly desired to protect a high-risk element that may be compromised by threat electronic warfare assets. Ground elements need to pass authenticated mission critical data and voice traffic to share situational awareness data, command and control, targeting data, and voice traffic. It is desirable for the new waveforms to defeat current and anticipated threat systems. High-data throughput waveforms are designed to transmit large volumes of data at near-real-time to real-time rates within line of sight and are essential to support combat operations.

Waveforms will be designed to run on the Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) environment. Digital data interface will leverage IEEE standards that are easier to interface with (e.g., Internet Protocol). The waveforms developed should not interfere with other aircraft subsystems inside the aircraft or other systems over RF. Existing systems are based on hardware designs that operate a single waveform and any updates/modernization requires replacing hardware. The design should enable adding updates to existing waveforms or completely new waveforms into the system without requiring new hardware or being returned to the factory/depot for the update.

 

Work produced in Phase II may become classified. Note: The prospective contractor(s) must be U.S. owned and operated with no foreign influence as defined by 32 U.S.C. § 2004.20 et seq., National Industrial Security Program Executive agent and Operating Manual, unless acceptable mitigating procedures can and have been implemented and approved by the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) formerly Defense Security Service (DSS). The selected contractor must be able to acquire and maintain at least a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances. This will allow contractor personnel to perform on advanced phases of this project as set forth by DCSA and NAVAIR in order to gain access to classified information pertaining to the national defense of the United States and its allies; this will be an inherent requirement. The selected company will be required to safeguard classified material during the advanced phases of this contract IAW the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM), which can be found at Title 32, Part 2004.20 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

 

PHASE I: Design and develop a framework that supports development of FPGA hosted waveforms. Provide a detailed description of the system architecture and necessary input and output interfaces. Identify key components necessary for operation. The Phase I effort will include prototype plans to be developed under Phase II.

 

PHASE II: Build, test, and validate a prototype waveform that successfully defeats realistic threat vectors and demonstrate the prototype operating in a relevant environment. Identify code framework that allows for easiest integration in a modeling and simulation environment (Threshold) and an operational type of system (Objective). Develop an implementation plan. At the conclusion of Phase I NAWCAD will coordinate with Fleet Users and Operational Testers to designate a suitable threat vector(s) against which the waveform will be evaluated. Demonstrate the waveform passing data two-way using government selected software suites (e.g., ATAK). Produce and deliver a final Technical Data Package (TDP) that includes system and subcomponent specifications, interface descriptions and definitions, and operating instructions/procedures for the prototype. Prepare the prototype for transition to deployment.

A representative operational scenario will be defined for Phase II in the appropriate classified environment. Please see note in Description section. Joint Interoperability tests will be planned and coordinated for the end of Phase II demonstrations.

 

Work in Phase II may become classified. Please see note in Description paragraph.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Conduct government verification and validations, including the design development conducted in the initial phases to show the technical feasibility of the idea and lay the groundwork for the demonstration in the next phase. Demonstrate that the design is technically and operationally feasible with test points that will validate the waveform and lay the groundwork for transitioning to appropriate laboratories and/or platforms to bring the capability to the Fleet. The system will be assessed against existing systems operating the same waveform(s) to verify they meet the appropriate interoperability standards as the existing baseline systems do with the applicable Navy, Joint Tactical Networking Center (JTNC), and Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) tests.

 

Software Defined Radios (SDR) are widely in use in DoD and commercial communications systems, as are efforts to develop Open Systems Architecture (OSA) designs. These software-driven designs support rapid updates and incorporation of new technologies to enable addition of future requirements and to grow to address evolving threats.

 

REFERENCES:

Wei, Y. and Zhang, Q. “Common Waveform Analysis: a new and practical generalization of Fourier analysis (Vol. 9).” Springer Science & Business Media, 2012. https://www.worldcat.org/title/44133052
Jayant, N. S. and Noll, P. “Digital coding of waveforms: principles and applications to speech and video (Vol. 2).” Prentice-Hall. Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1984. https://www.worldcat.org/title/10045967
Norquist, D. L. “DoD digital modernization strategy: DoD information resource management strategic plan FY19-23.” Department of Defense, 12 July 2019. https://media.defense.gov/2019/Jul/12/2002156622/-1/-1/1/DOD-DIGITAL-MODERNIZATION-STRATEGY-2019.PDF
Norquist, D. L. “C3 command, control, and communications modernization strategy.” Department of Defense, September 2020. https://dodcio.defense.gov/Portals/0/Documents/DoD-C3-Strategy.pdf
“National Industrial Security Program Executive Agent and Operating Manual (NISP), 32 U.S.C. § 2004.20 et seq..” Code of Federal Regulations, 1/15/2024. https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-32/subtitle-B/chapter-XX/part-2004

 

KEYWORDS: Tactical-Data-Link; Secure; Robust; High-Capacity; Low-Probability-of-Detection; Communications

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