Air force 16. 1 Small Business Innovation Research (sbir) Proposal Submission Instructions



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This topic will explore using micro-UAVs capable of being deployed in a dense swarm within a high value target area. The UAVs need to be capable of carrying appropriate weather sensors and provide the gathered data to initialize the 3DWF models. Additionally, the UAVs need to be small enough to navigate complex environments while being sturdy enough to survive urban weather conditions. This program would be tied to Army operations, as Air Force Weather does not currently support forward deployed forecast systems.

PHASE I: Develop proof-of-concept platform. This would include comparing available micro-UAV systems and weather sensors in order to identify hard solution(s) capable of acquiring the needed wind data. In addition, explore swarm and urban path planning algorithms in preparation for Phase II. Develop safety requirements for micro-UAV use within a populated area. The output from Phase I is a final report.

PHASE II: Develop data gathering and control algorithms to deal with the large number of source points within the swarm. Develop urban environment simulations to test swarm, control and planning algorithms. Using the chosen hardware platforms, develop a path forward to integrate sensor data into the 3DWM models using the 3DWM interface specifications.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Harden both the hardware and software systems through rigorous live and simulated testing. Integrate wind data feeds from active swarm into the 3DWM models for system initialization.

REFERENCES:

1. Performance Assessment of the Three Dimensional Wind Field Weather Running Estimate – Nowcast and the Three Dimensional Wind Field Air Force Weather Agency Weather Research and Forecasting Wind Forecasts - www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA573289.

2. Nowcasting and Urban Interactive Modeling Using Robotic and Remotely Sensed Data - http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2005st_cbis/thursday/cogan.pdf.

3. http://www.wrf-model.org/development/wexob/meetings/5-Final-WRF-ExOB-ARL-Brief-13Apr05_v3-1.pdf.

4. Diagnostic Wind Model Initialization over Complex Terrain Using Airborne Doppler Wind Lidar Data - http://benthamopen.com/contents/pdf/TORMSJ/TORMSJ-3-17.pdf.

5. U.S Army Research Laboratory Meteorological Measurements for Joint Urban 2003 - http://www.arl.army.mil/arlreports/2009/ARL-TR-4989.pdf.

KEYWORDS: UAV, micro-UAV, weather, forecast, wind, unmanned aerial vehicle



AF161-051

TITLE: Airborne Network using Spectrum-Efficient Communications Technologies (ANSECT)

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Battlespace

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 section 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation and within the AF Component-specific instructions. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws. Please direct questions to the AF SBIR/STTR Contracting Officer, Ms. Gail Nyikon, gail.nyikon@us.af.mil.

OBJECTIVE: Develop high spectrum efficient technologies for airborne battle-space communications.

DESCRIPTION: Airborne gateways represent the future of military communications to support aerial and ground forces. Aerial platforms increase the communication range by providing long-range visibility to ground forces, and enhance command and control (C2) communication capabilities. In order to serve as a communication backbone and support the future needs of military communications, aerial gateways have to support significantly higher data rates than currently possible. Innovative technologies are needed to sustain these high rates by exploiting possible degrees of freedom and diversity across time, frequency, and space dimensions. To achieve this goal, it is desirable that new protocol design across the network stack is supported by efficient utilization of radio characteristics with supporting waveforms, and antenna characteristics that exploit multiple input/output (MIMO) and other spectrum-enhancing/throughput-enhancing RF systems. It is also desirable to identify innovative methods in a unifying framework that applies to air-to-ground, ground-to-air and air-to-air communications, each with unique propagation characteristics (e.g., multipath).

High fidelity test and evaluation enabled by realistic radio implementation play critical roles in validating the design, and verifying the promised improvement of airborne technologies under development. For instance, with programmable/configurable setup, software defined radios (SDR) allow users to develop different applications on the same hardware, which has made rapid prototyping of concept or functional radios a reality. With the advances in field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and analog front-ends, the capabilities of SDRs are expected to increase significantly. Furthermore, testing with high fidelity simulation or emulation environments can significantly reduce the costs associated with actual field-testing and allow for fast prototyping of spectrum efficient airborne communication technologies.

This topic seeks innovations in improving the data rates of air-to-ground, ground-to-air and air-to-air communications utilizing advanced technologies across network stack and with novel radio and antenna communication design relative to a single antenna system. In determining the spectrum efficiency gains in airborne communications, the performer is expected to consider practical aspects such as mutual interference, communication overhead, as well as size, weight, power and cost (SWAP-C) constraints; implement a hardware-in-the-loop prototype; and perform test and evaluation in a realistic wireless environment.

PHASE I: Generate the system design of an airborne communication system that can significantly improve the data rates with extended coverage. Quantify the benefits using analysis and simulations, accounting for practical implementation constraints. Provide recommendations for advanced uses of available spectrum.

PHASE II: Implement the technology in a hardware environment and demonstrate the gains with actual radio elements. Present a path toward optimizing SWAP-C. Show compatibilty among demonstrator systems and legacy (in-use systems), either through IP connectivity or compatible waveforms or modes of operation.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Demonstrate a field-ready transceiver system in relevant environment. The high spectrum efficiency technologies can benefit the commercial telecommunications world.

REFERENCES:

1. R. Bonneau, Complex Networks, https://community.apan.org/afosr/w/researchareas/7656.complex-networks.aspx.

2. M. J. Gans, “Aircraft free-space MIMO communications,” in Proc. 43rd Asilomar Conf. on Signals, Systems and Computers, pp.663–666, Pacific Grove, CA, Nov. 1–4, 2009.

3. T. Schug,C. Dee, N. Harshman, R. Merrell, “Air Force aerial layer networking transformation initiatives,” IEEE Military Communications Conference, Nov. 2011.

KEYWORDS: MIMO, multi-input multi-output,airborne communications, spectrum efficient, spectrum efficiency, test and evaluation, spectrum agility, agile spectrum



AF161-052

TITLE: Cognitive Airborne Communications with RF Interference Mitigation and Anti-jam Capabilities (RIMA)

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Electronics

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 section 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation and within the AF Component-specific instructions. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws. Please direct questions to the AF SBIR/STTR Contracting Officer, Ms. Gail Nyikon, gail.nyikon@us.af.mil.

OBJECTIVE: Develop RF interference mitigation and anti-jam technologies to support spectrum-efficient airborne networking.

DESCRIPTION: Airborne communication is subject to different levels of RF interference effects and jamming attacks either at airborne relays or at communication subscribers. In such contested congested environments, it is essential to manage interference between users and mitigate any external effects especially deliberate jamming attacks. A unified solution is needed to detect/classify interference/jamming signals and mitigate their effect via advanced solutions that should span the entire protocol stack.

Cognitive techniques are shown to be useful to increase situation awareness in RF environment and operate with high data rate communication by finding available spectrum opportunities. Spectrum sensing, channel and interference power estimation are essential components to enable advanced interference mitigation and anti-jam techniques including frequency and power adaptation and spread-spectrum communications. Such techniques are further supported by the emergence of novel PHY solutions with MIMO and directional or beam-forming and beam-nulling antenna systems. Higher layer techniques such as routing, network coding and transport control need to adapt to these cognitive solutions for reliable end-to-end operation by carefully balancing the effects of interference and congestion to be observed at airborne relays and communication subscribers.

Once cognitive interference management techniques developed, another aspect sought in this solicitation is to implement them on real radios and demonstrate the performance in a realistic RF environment. Of particular interest is to verify the success of interference mitigation with high fidelity emulation tests using real radios and cognitive and selective jammers.

This topic seeks innovative technologies that provide effective cognitive communication techniques to sustain high rates and situational awareness in contested, congested environments subject to RF interference and jamming effects. The following areas are of particular interest for this solicitation: 1) Designing RF interference mitigation and anti-jam capabilities at both airborne relays and communication subscribers, 2) designing protocols across the entire protocol stack by accounting for realistic RF interference and cognitive jammer effects, 3) implementing RF interference mitigation and anti-jam techniques on radio platforms, 4) quantifying the level of interference cancellation and achievable rates along with overhead and assessing improvements with respect to spectral efficiency, and 6) experimental evaluation of novel implementations that quantify the actual gains achievable with real radios in a high fidelity emulation environment.

PHASE I: Generate the system design of RF interference mitigation and ant-jam technologies that can significantly improve spectral efficiency. Quantify the benefits using analysis and simulations, accounting for practical implementation constraints.

PHASE II: Implement the technology in a hardware environment and demonstrate the gains with actual radio elements. Demonstrate the performance gains by RF interference mitigation and ant-jam technologies in contested, congested airborne network environments. Demonstrate conclusively how the hardware produced for this topic interoperates with existing tactical radio systems. Where operations are incompatible, validate reasons why and develop mitigation strategies to allow use of diverse systems.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Demonstrate a field-ready radio system with mature protocol stack in relevant environment, including robust system requirements comparable or exceeding currently fielded systems. As in Phase II, demonstrate interoperability with other transceivers in the aerial network.

REFERENCES:

1. L. Fu, H. Kim, J. Huang, S. C. Liew, and M. Chiang, "Energy conservation and interference mitigation: From decoupling property to win win strategy," IEEE Transactions on Communications, November 2011.

2. D. Gesbert, G. Oien, S. Kiani, A. Gjendemsjo, "Adaptation, Coordination and Distributed Resource Allocation in Interference-Limited Wireless Networks," Proceeding of the IEEE, December 2007.

3. P. von Rickenbach, R. P. Wattenhofer and A.Zollinger, “Algorithmic Models of Interference in Wireless Ad Hoc and Sensor Networks,” IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, February 2009.

4. K. Hosseini, W. Yu, and R. S. Adve, “Large-Scale MIMO versus Network MIMO for Multicell Interference Mitigation,” IEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Signal Processing, Special Issue on Large-Scale MIMO Communications, vol. 8, no. 5, pp.930-941, October 2014.

5. T. Chiu-Yam Ng and W. Yu, “Joint Optimization of Relay Strategies and Resource Allocations in a Cooperative Cellular Network,” IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 328-339, February 2007.

KEYWORDS: cognitive radio, interference mitigation, anti-jam relay communications, spectrum efficiency, experimentation, WNaN, spectrum ability





AF161-053

TITLE: Airborne Cloud for the Tactical Edge User (ABC)

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Information 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 section 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation and within the AF Component-specific instructions. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws. Please direct questions to the AF SBIR/STTR Contracting Officer, Ms. Gail Nyikon, gail.nyikon@us.af.mil.

OBJECTIVE: Provide experimental instantiations of the managed aerial layer network employing dynamic cloud capabilities that do not rely solely on SATCOM or ground entry points, but may operate for up to seven days without intervention.

DESCRIPTION: Cloud services bring many benefits, among them: Accessible from anywhere; increase/decrease number of machines based on user-defined parameters; shared pool of configurable computing resources; resizable compute capacity for unlimited growth; and utility computing, pay for what you use, and more services are rapidly provisioned. JPL experts and others have examined mobile cloud computing and, particularly, airborne layer network cloud computing. The field of study is very young and untested, and Air Force warfighters need to contend with the conditions on hand. In any campaign, resources for the aerial layer cloud will vary until the Joint Aerial Layer Network (JALN) concept matures.

The vendor will work with a small Air Force team still defining the Cloud, understanding that the Cloud needs to be a part of a “Networks of Networks” that are "highly adaptable." Networks of Networks will be characterized by legacy/advanced information links working together, IP-based and legacy protocols working together, and inter-service, inert-alliance operations. “Highly adaptable” will be characterized by semi-automated, dynamic networks, where mission plans/priorities help guide automated services.

This topic will provide the opportunity to build the aerial cloud in one or more instantiations.

PHASE I: Using current DISA and Service guidance, design a conceptual architectural construct of an airborne Cloud computing environment. This must support resilient and secure tactical operations within a high-capacity backbone aerial layer networking topology. This effort must deliver a laboratory instantiation of the cloud serving the tactical edge user, and other temporary and permanent users.

PHASE II: Continuation of Phase I with a construct and demonstration of the aerial layer cloud. Introduce simulated/actual loss of connectivity among airborne and surface nodes, adapting to delays, interruptions, jamming effects, varying throughputs throughout the aerial cloud based on proximity of the nodes, varying channel strength and waveforms, delivering basic IP content through translation and conversion. Assume a consistently diverse array of systems being employed within the aerial layer cloud.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Propose commercial variants of the aerial layer network cloud philosophy.

REFERENCES:

1. Xiaojie Tu, Beihang Univ., Beijing, China; Qiao Li, Mingyan Kou, Changxiao Zhao, "Management of dynamic airborne network using cloud computing," Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC), 2012 IEEE/AIAA 31st, Oct 2012.

2. Law, Emily, "Cloud Computing @ JPL Science Data Systems," NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.

3. Marks, Eric A., "Executive's Guide to Cloud Computing," ACM Digital Library.

KEYWORDS: ACC, cloud, airborne, aerial layer cloud, security


AF161-054

This topic has been deleted from this solicitation


AF161-055

TITLE: Survivable, Secure and Dependable Wireless Communications

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Nuclear Technology

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 section 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation and within the AF Component-specific instructions. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws. Please direct questions to the AF SBIR/STTR Contracting Officer, Ms. Gail Nyikon, gail.nyikon@us.af.mil.

OBJECTIVE: Develop a secure wireless communications systems that is dependable, survivable, and jam resistant, with low probability of detection, interception, and exploitation.

DESCRIPTION: Wireless communications for Weapon System Command and Control (WSC2) systems are not new, but for some applications, they have not been implemented due to the sensitivity and criticality of the information being transmitted and susceptibility to intercept and exploitation. Novel approaches are being sought for applications where previously wireless communications would not have been considered.

The communications methods must support a data rate of at least 1 MBPS, have a minimum range of 50 miles, and a bit error rate (BER) of less than 1E-12 with a jitter of 1500 ps. Preference will be given to operating within 335-500 MHZ. Proposed systems must show better performance in terms of jam resistance and probabilities of detection, interception, and exploitation than currently available technologies. Specific metrics are to be proposed by the researchers and agreed to by the government. The communication system must be able to support both based stations to mobile distributed (i.e., mobile to mobile) communications. The technologies that are employed must survive EMP and nuclear explosion events. Systems should not include or rely on external systems which are unlikely to survive an EMP or nuclear explosion i.e. cell phone towers and Internet. Proposed hardware / software must be available from approved supply chains. The mobile devices (including power supplies and antennas) must be transportable on a High Mobility Multi-Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV crew cab truck with 2.5 ton payload capacity) class vehicles and be compatible with the electric power supplies on such vehicles without degrading mission requirements, i.e., removal of all other equipment to locate the new communications gear. The items must have a minimum mean time between critical failure (MTBCF) of 10 years for permanent failures (caused by hardware or software) and a failure rate of a minimum of one year for software failures that can be resolved by restart. The transmitter/receiver units must have interfaces compatible with industry standards such as, but not limited to, Ethernet, USB, and RS 422. The units must meet standards for anti-tamper, ruggedness, and EMC/EMI. They must also meet all relevant personnel safety standards.

Government furnished information / equipment required to address the topic may include specific nuclear hardness, ruggedness, safety, maintainability, and anti-tamper specifications as required.

The expected outcome of the effort is a computer based model of a WSC2 laydown with strengths and limitations identified and investigated, and prototype hardware and software solutions with supporting test data addressing limitations identified by the government for additional investigation. Prototypes should support reasonable expectations a final device shall meet power, weight, and reliability requirements specified above.

PHASE I: Perform a technology feasibility assessment of multiple potential wireless communication schema. Identify all nodes/associated equipment/data types (data, video, voice, etc,)/data description (size, rate, etc.)/WSC2 to external hardware interfaces. Identify limitations and threat susceptibility with each schema and supporting equipment. Propose limitations to be further investigated in Phase II.

PHASE II: Develop/deliver computer based model using an industry standard M&S tool (i.e., MATLAB, simulink, etc.) of the proposed system(s). Model will show system impact due to multiple node degradation/loss. Provide specific limitations of current & developing capabilities; potential solutions; and technical areas requiring additional research & development supporting the potential solutions.


Develop/test/deliver prototype hardware/software addressing system limitations. Deliver test procedures/results.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Commercial: Provide enhanced security wireless systems. Anti-jam schemes have the potential to improve interoperability and efficiency within a specified portion of spectrum. Military: Provide a secure survivable alternative to land-based fixed location WSC2 lines and facilities.

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