11-13 December 2023
Host Name: Gabby Robles
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SOFWERX, in collaboration with USSOCOM Program Executive Office – SOF Warrior (PEO-SW), will facilitate a series of Feasibility Studies (FS) and Rapid Prototype Events (RPE) to develop concepts and components of systems that utilize an open architecture to enable rapid, precise, operator-controlled Non-Line of Sight (Non-LOS) targeting in urban, surveilled environments. Additionally, system level aspects, such as integration, testing, and training, are also considered to ensure fieldable solutions.
Recent battlefield advancements with fixed and mobile sensors are changing the relational dynamic between opposing sides in the close-in fight. Autonomous vehicles and remotely placed sensors have made it very difficult to ingress to and operate in static, fixed locations with Line-of-Sight (LOS) of opposing positions. Reliable networks of sensors can provide virtual LOS for targeting, while enabling SOF operators to remain in unexposed positions. In situations in which a human operator cannot maintain direct LOS, targeting data must be obtained, integrated, and validated to ensure the entire situation is fully understood before kinetic action is initiated. This sensor to integration to visualization process for the operator must occur almost instantaneously to take advantage of fleeting opportunities of the close-in fight. There are many commercially driven opportunities that should be investigated, and the myriad of issues must be better understood to develop a complete close-in, non-LOS targeting system. Further, the system should have an open architecture to permit easy technology insertion. This system will rely heavily on Artificial Intelligence and due to its complex nature will need advanced means to evaluate and train with it in many differing scenarios.
The operational focus of this effort is an urban environment. World-wide trends toward urbanization will force military operations in urban areas that have much more complex environments. Collateral impact to neutral parties must be minimized in rapidly changing scenarios. Urban structures and high-signal densities impact sensor, communications, and weapons operations.
USSOCOM PEO-SW will use this series of feasibility studies and rapid prototype events with Government, Industry, Academia, and National Laboratory participants to run requirements and technology evaluations and/or technology sprints to enhance our understanding in this area. SOFWERX will be used to find and evaluate technology, architecture, and implementation solutions.
Technology Focus Areas
Proposals in the following areas will be considered based on technical merit and diversity of focus area coverage among the submissions. Targeting is intended for kinetic follow-on effects, but parallels to Cyber, Electronic Warfare, and other effects can be included.
1) Sensors. What sensors can provide unique discriminating data to aid in obtaining a non-LOS targeting solution? What platforms can be used to standardize sensor control and data formatting? What sensor collaboration would be beneficial (radar, electro-optical, infrared, hyperspectral, etc.)? What are the parametric requirements for the use case? What is the impact of the urban environment? Fixed vs mobile sensors. Demonstrate your concept in an urban environment.
2) Data networking (transport/backhaul). What short-range data links can be used to form a network? How do the data requirements match the networking capabilities? What mechanisms are available to ensure availability, integrity, enhanced survivability, and other required protections? What network structure is suitable for urban environments? Demonstrate your concept in an urban environment.
3) Data processing. What is needed to effectively clean and normalize the data? How are missing elements of data handled? How can distributed processing be accomplished? How is data accuracy evaluated? Develop a data architecture concept. Demonstrate your concept using data representative of an urban environment.
4) Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence. What algorithms can be used to group, correlate, and synchronize data to build a complete, accurate and actionable picture? Timeliness vs completeness vs resource trade-offs. What can be accomplished on the edge to produce dependable target recognition? Defined by characteristics that include:
Demonstrate your concept using data representative of an urban environment.
5) Data Visualization. How are the data and processing results displayed? How would Android Tactical Assault Kit (ATAK) or similar devices be integrated into the non-LOS targeting system? How is data presented horizontally and vertically? Concepts for relating non-LOS targeting data with other display data. Demonstrate effective visualization in a complex urban environment.
6) System Integration, Testing, and Training Concepts. The system aspects of solutions are as important as specific components. What are the issues with integration when looking at the above focus areas collectively? What integration trade-offs are available? What are concepts to test the components separately and together in a real urban environment? What are training concepts for situations in which you may not be able to combine all aspects of the system in an actual environment?
Why You Should Participate
USSOCOM seeks to enter into non-FAR or FAR-based agreements with Industry, Academic, and National Lab partners whose solutions are favorably evaluated by PEO-SW Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). As such, the follow-on events are considered competitive and solutions will be evaluated independently of one another primarily for technical merit. This serves dually as notification of the intent to research the feasibility of an agreement under 10 U.S. Code, Section 4022 and/or Section 4022(f), and as notice of pre-solicitation activities IAW FAR 5.204.
Completed Phase 1 - 16 October 2023 to 08 November 2023 Submissions for the FS / RPE Open: Interested respondents who could potentially provide solutions that meet the needs of USSOCOM are encouraged to submit their white paper for USSOCOM review. To submit your technology for potential Phase 3 attendance, please review the focus areas above and follow the submission instructions below.
Completed Phase 1a - 31 October 2023 Q&A Telecon: Interested offerors may participate in a virtual Q&A session to better understand the PM's specific technology objectives. The telecon will take place on 31 October from 1:00PM–2:00PM ET.
Completed Phase 2 - 09 November 2023 to 17 November 2023 Downselect: USSOCOM will downselect those respondents/submissions they feel have the highest potential to satisfy their technology needs. Favorably evaluated submissions will receive an invitation to attend the One-on-Ones on/around 17 November.
Phase 3 - 11 December 2023 to 14 December 2023 One-on-Ones: During the One-on-Ones, selected participants will be allotted a session with the USSOCOM evaluation panel to pitch, demonstrate, and/or discuss their solutions for a FS or RPE. The forum will include a Q&A portion and discussions may continue outside of the event. Presentation guidelines will be outlined in the event invitation. If the USSOCOM evaluation panel favorably evaluates a proposal, negotiations for Phase 4 may immediately begin.
Phase 4a - December 2023 Feasibility Study: Selected FS applicants will have about 90 days to complete a study in the area they submitted based on guidance from SOFWERX and PEO-SW Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).
Phase 4b - December 2023 Rapid Prototype Event (RPE): Selected RPE applicants will have about 90 days to develop their prototypes. The prototypes will be demonstrated during one or more planned demonstration events which may or may not be contiguous with the prototype development window. PEO-SW SMEs will scope the prototype efforts based on the technology focus areas and other FS and prototype efforts. Complimentary prototypes may be evaluated in the same demonstration.
This event will be held in person at SOFWERX, but will have a virtual component.
Phase 5 - Path Forward: Successfully negotiated awards may fall under any combination of these categories:
Business to business research and development agreement as a sub-award through the SOFWERX Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA) (15 U.S. Code Section 3715)
NOTE: Awardees may need to be compliant with NIST SP 800-171, Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) in Non-Federal Systems and Organizations
How You Can Participate
Government, Industry, Academia, National Labs, and Non-Traditional Attendees
For event-related questions, please contact Gabby Robles