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



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OBJECTIVE: The goal of this effort is to create algorithms which quickly identify, catalog and exploit collected space data and fuse it with other satellite information and satellite tracking data collected across the DoD.

DESCRIPTION: Satellites are vital to our national and economic security. Assurance that U.S. space assets, both commercial and non-commercial, will be available when needed depends on improved space situational awareness. The amount and variety of objects orbiting the earth continues to expand, as more and more countries position assets in space. Current technology is able to track space objects (SOs), but does not efficiently characterize them. A capability which not only tracks SOs, but provides simultaneous information on object type, function, country of origin, and whether it is a known satellite or object following its intended course; known satellite or object no longer following its assigned orbit; new object never before tracked but of identifiable type; non-threatening minor debris; threatening major debris, etc. is required for improving necessary space situation awareness. Of further consideration is the fact that U.S. and foreign satellite data is collected by over a dozen organizations. Much of this data is unclassified and available online or by subscription. The rest of the data is military specific and collected by a number of agencies.

Data collected by the usual collection platforms is rarely exploited, and after 90 days is discarded. Valuable information and exploitation opportunities are lost along with the derived knowledge. The result is a degradation of timely and informed offensive and defensive decision making. The goal of this effort is to create algorithms which quickly identify, catalog and exploit this data and fuse it with other satellite information and satellite tracking data. The desired outcome is a complete characterization of objects in space as well as associated activity and potential threat activity.

Research of technologies which provide for rapid correlation of available information for complete object characterization, including ability to assign attribution to hostile activity, increases U.S. ability to take defensive action, reduces U.S. asset vulnerability and acts as a deterrent to those adversaries who may consider interference with U.S. satellites.

Research should focus on the following areas:


• Improvement of object characterization from data types/sets available from current sensor suites
• Development of algorithms which identify signal satellite of origin and correlate that data against known space vehicles, establish country of origin and allow for fusion of data to determine the purpose of the space vehicle and determine potential threats to Blue Force assets
• Development of architectures which support real-time/near real-time processing of sensor data for object characterization and automatic cataloging of satellite data

PHASE I: Design architectures which support real-time/near real-time processing of sensor data for object characterization and automatic cataloging of satellite data.

PHASE II: Develop a prototype system that implements the Phase I designs, and demonstrates/validates the prototypes performance using representative SIG-INT datasets.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The resulting system will support space situation awareness, which has both military and commercial applicability.

REFERENCES:

1. D. Torrieri, "Statistical Theory of Passive Location Systems," IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, vol. AES-20, no. 2, pp. 183-198, 1984.

2. Linares, R; Crassidis, J.; Jah, M, “Space object characterization via Multiple Model Adaptive Estimation”, 17th International Conference on Information Fusion, 2014.

KEYWORDS: space situational awareness, space object characterization, signals intelligence, emitter location, SSA





AF161-062

TITLE: Innovative TWTs for VW Band Communications

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: New design techniques needed to improve manufacturability of TWTs for high frequency, VW/E-band, high data rate RF communications. High power amplification needed with improved efficiency to reduce operation power requirements, improve reliability.

DESCRIPTION: Traveling Wave Tube Amplifiers (TWTA) are a well-established technology at low and even mid-range RF frequencies. Design and development becomes difficult at VW band frequencies due to the nature scaling of design dimensions with the higher frequencies. Helix based designs, for example, do not scale well and place extremely demanding tolerance requirements on the mechanical design. Slow wave based designs typically have reduced tolerance requirements.
Recently, some advances have been made in slow wave based designs such as coupled cavity designs. Still, improvements are needed in efficiency, impedance matching, small signal gain and overall output power level performance.

This topic seeks an innovative TWT architecture that achieves high output powers with high efficiency while minimizing the unit cost and complexity. The developed solutions will need to meet the performance requirements of military standards for environmental ruggedness.

PHASE I: Perform trade space analyses of candidate technologies. Identify and design innovative TWT architectures and prototype proof-of-concept devices to give an indication of success of Phase II.

PHASE II: Perform detailed design and implementation of an innovative TWT architecture developed during Phase I. Develop prototypes for demonstrating proof of performance and achievable output power levels, both pulsed and CW. The prototype performance will be verified through extensive testing of the design developed during Phase II with hardware in a relevant environment. Characterize the prototype for possible Phase III transition.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The proposer will develop an innovative TWT for military/commercial aircraft and other platforms. Affordability will be a key focus for this application. A partnering with a commercial supplier can be established to ensure the transition.

REFERENCES:

1. Smith, Matthew, C.; Dunleavy, Lawrence P., “Comparison of Solid State, MPM, and TWT Based Transmitters for Spaceborne Applications,” IEEE, 1998.

2. Trew, R.J.; Shin, M.W.; and Gatto, V., “Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Electronic Devices for High Frequency Applications,” IEEE GaAs IC Symposium, 1996, pp 6-9.

KEYWORDS: microwave, power module, W-band, power amplifier, gain, bandwidth



AF161-063

TITLE: Mission Visualization

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: Software prototype that derives and visualizes assets through mission-level impact of space-based threats and spawns collection req., in form of differentiating events, to enable analyst to discern projected state is progressing toward fruition.

DESCRIPTION: The United States’ pivot to Asia introduces a paradigm shift in the way the U.S. military must now think about and prepare for potential conflict in the Pacific region. In an anti-access/area of denial (A2/AD) environment, the space domain will be highly contested and will also serve as the United States’ primary means through which ISR data will be collected. Given the United States’ anticipated dependence on space-based assets, it will be paramount that the space operational picture (SOP) be robust, great advances have been made in space situational awareness (SSA). It will be equally important for our analysts to be able to translate what they see in that operational picture into how each situation will impact our assets and our ability to prosecute missions that are reliant upon those assets. Given the expectation that we will not be able to protect all of our assets, the need also exists to be able to project which of our assets will be targeted in a timely enough manner as to enable our analysts to prescribe courses of action that will afford the highest probability of survivability. Design and develop a software prototype that derives and visualizes asset through mission level impact of space-based threats and spawns collection requirements, in the form of differentiating events, to enable the analyst to discern which projected state is progressing toward fruition.

PHASE I: Design a system capable of projecting which blue space assets are vulnerable to attack in a timely enough manner as to enable a prescribed courses of action to afford the highest probability of survivability to assets.

PHASE II: Develop a prototype system that implements the Phase I design, and demonstrates/validates the prototype's performance.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Both military and civilian to determine space awareness and threat to missions, facilitate orbital decisions and understanding of the consequences of courses-of-action and spacecraft design.

REFERENCES:

1. C. L. Davis, “Space Dependence – A Critical Vulnerability of the Net-Centric Operational Commander," Naval War College Thesis.

2. M. Jiang, et. al., “A Scalable Visualization System for Improving Space Situational Awareness, “Proceedings of the Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies Conference, 2010.

3. G.K. Rao, “Study on the Sustainability of Satellite Communication Systems Under Hostile Jamming Environment,” 2011 Annual IEEE India Conference (INDICON).

KEYWORDS: mission visualization, vulnerability analysis, space situational awareness, SSA



AF161-064

TITLE: Coordinated Data, Better Information, Enhanced Decision Making

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: Develop and demonstrate an IT data mapping and archival system for the Robotic Laser Coating Removal Mapping System (RLCRMS) that preferably leverages an Air Force NIPRNET accredited system to offer greater decision-making ability for Air Force.

DESCRIPTION: As the largest portion of an aircraft, maintenance and sustainment (M&S) operations offer an ability to drive efficiencies, reduce costs, and increase aircraft availability (AA). Currently, system program offices (SPOs) use a variety of tools to aid in their decision-making associated with M&S activities and timelines. While some of these systems offer insight into the state of the aircraft, most are not coordinated or considered to be a holistic set of data or snapshot of the complete aircraft. This often results in segmented or multiple rework M&S activities. As the Air Force enterprise moves toward greater focus on automated IT (AIT) and drives toward reliability-centered maintenance (RCM) and condition-based maintenance plus (CBM-plus) environments, the capability to cross-reference and coordinate data is critical. This topic concept focuses on developing and demonstrating a 3D visualization mapping and archival capability for the RLCRMS, preferably using tools that currently exist and which are approved for deployment across the USAF IT network. By providing this mapping capability to the RLCRMS via the Air Force network, it will allow SPOs to gain access to streamlined data and drive enhanced M&S decisions based on actual conditions of aircraft. This will also serve as a test case for piloting 3D visualization mapping capability across other systems used to maintain aircraft.

The RLCRMS is used to strip paint and coatings from aircraft during programmed depot maintenance (PDM) cycles. The RLCRMS uses a system of highly precise laser ablations to selectively remove coatings. This results in far less pollutants and generated wastes than conventional chemical and media stripping methods. Since the Air Force is moving to a CBM-plus strategy for aircraft and fleet management, there is a long-term desire to only strip coatings on aircraft in areas that require maintenance. To realize this goal, the Air Force needs to 3D map and archive areas that have been stripped and non-stripped per asset. Storing this information will also enable the Air Force to track and trend these locations over time and across PDM cycles.

The preferable use of existing technologies/systems that are already approved for deployment across the Air Force IT network would make the RLCRMS data mapping and storing capabilities more powerful. This will allow any active and archived information to flow between and within SPOs and maintenance organizations. Ultimately, this will provide greater decision-making ability and more asset and aircraft condition awareness while promoting predictive diagnostics and analysis.

PHASE I: Conduct initial assessment to determine how RLCRMS data can be visually mapped and archived. This technical review will include the IT architecture, file formats, import/export capability, linking systems, etc. Phase I shall conclude with a report that includes details related to this assessment and how (if) these capabilities can be built and integrated with RLCRMS and the proposed time line.

PHASE II: During Phase II, development of necessary code to visually 3D map and archive RLCRMS data shall be performed. Middleware code development may be required for linking systems. Phase II shall conclude with a proof of concept showing the data mapping and archival capability with any IT links. The final deliverable for Phase II shall be a proof-of-concept report that details the activities completed what the expected Air Force operation improvements will look like for the RLCRMS once in use.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The collaborative tool kit resulting from Phase II shall be demonstrated in a working environment. A SPO sponsor must be engaged and the tool kit shall operate for at least six months. Functionality, ease of operation, and generated data applicability shall be assessed with SPO personnel.

REFERENCES:

1. http://www.nrec.ri.cmu.edu/projects/ctc/.

2. IEEE Transactions on Geospatial and Remote Sensing, April 2015, pp. 2137-2145.

KEYWORDS: information technology, laser, coating removal, depaint, 3D visualization, maintenance database





AF161-065

TITLE: Information Synthesis Algorithms for Sense and Avoid (SAA)

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform

OBJECTIVE: Develop information synthesis algorithms that increase unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) situational awareness during SAA activities in the terminal airspace (TA).

DESCRIPTION: The Air Force is currently interested in algorithms that will enable seamless UAS integration into the national and military airspace. Terminal Airspace (TA), where the pilot is in contact with either tower control, approach control, or departure control, is an especially congested environment for aircraft. Operations in the TA are time critical, detail sensitive and conducive to task saturation. Increased automation has the potential to reduce operator workload and improve UAS response time, making it possible for UAS to perform more like manned aircraft. Thus, the development of embedded real-time algorithms that increase UAS situational awareness in the TA is critical for successful integration of manned and unmanned systems.

Current airborne SAA systems under development at AFRL are not designed to work in the congested TA. The onboard electro-optical and RADAR sensors have a limited field of regard that prevents them from capturing the complete picture of aircraft around them. There are many common situations in the TA that would inappropriately trigger an avoidance maneuver in today’s SAA systems. Additionally, onboard sensors, for example RADAR, may be less useful at lower altitudes where ground clutter may cause false alarms. Preliminary research shows that some changes and additions to current algorithms will be necessary for UAS to perform SAA in the TA.

One such addition is the ability for a UAS to synthesize information from information sources outside its own sensor suite. There is a wide variety of information that can be used for this function including, but not limited to, air traffic control communications, airport ground radars, automatic terminal information service (ATIS), notices to airmen (NOTAMS), ground-based SAA (GBSAA) systems, weather reports, or information from airborne warning systems.

There are significant challenges to be overcome in this research. Synthesizing information from non-redundant sources may be a challenge when the information is conflicting, provided in different formats, and issued on different schedules. It is imperative that the system can determine which data is valid at any given time, which may change based on phase of flight/altitude and environmental conditions such as day/night, and weather. Additionally, using the synthesized information in a meaningful way to enhance the SAA operational capability and safety is a challenge.

Successful information synthesis will use information from one or more off board sources combined with onboard sensor data to provide the UAS SAA system with a snapshot of the current situation that will enable safe and efficient operation in the terminal airspace.

PHASE I: Research, develop and demonstrate the feasibility of information synthesis (IS) algorithms for providing increased situational awareness in the TA. Use transcribed ATC communications to demonstrate enhanced SAA in the TA. The IS system should provide the operator with a snapshot of the status of other aircraft in the TA. Demonstration should consist of computer modeling, analysis and simulation.

PHASE II: In this phase, the information synthesis algorithms developed in Phase I will be further developed and may be expanded to include other types of off-board data. In phase II, data uncertainties and conflicting information should also be considered. A Phase II demonstration should be conducted in hardware-in-the-loop simulation.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: For both military and commercial, manned and unmanned aircraft, the information synthesis algorithms enable increased situational awareness for the pilot/operator as well as increased safety during terminal operations.

REFERENCES:

1. UAS Task Force, Airspace Integration Integrated Product Team, "Department of Defense Unmanned Aircraft Airspace Integration Plan," March 2011.

2. Stottler, Richard, Schwartz, Bonnie, and Jensen, Randy, "Intelligent Pilot Intent Analysis System Using Artificial Intelligence Techniques," AIAA InfoTech@Aerospace 2012 Conference Proceedings, Garden Grove CA, June 2012.

3. Wei, Jerome, "Autonomous Control of UAS Ground Operations in the Terminal Area," AUVSI Unmanned Systems 2015 Conference Proceedings, Atlanta GA, May 2015.

KEYWORDS: UAS, RPA, terminal area, sense and avoid, airspace integration, deconfliction, terminal airspace, unmanned aircraft, SAA, GBSAA





AF161-066

TITLE: Rapid and Reliable Identification of Counterfeit Electronic Components

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 and implement new methods for rapid and reliable forensic investigation and identification of counterfeit electronic components.

DESCRIPTION: Among the most serious and urgent issues for the defense and intelligence communities are the presence in the supply chain of counterfeit electronic components, some of which are used in mission-critical applications. Despite numerous concepts and strategies to reliably detect these components that have been pursued, a proven, practical and streamlined solution to the problem still remains elusive.

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