Responses Due By

11 Apr 2020 23:59 EST

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Tactical Intelligence Targeting Access Node (TITAN) Ground Station

Project Description

AMENDMENT 1: Please see one change to the Area of Interest below ("and high altitude" was removed from the first bullet below "The TITAN prototype should support:"). Question and answer content has also been posted below. Finally, the due date has been extended by 7 calendar days to 10 April 2020.

The Department of Defense (DoD) seeks commercial solutions for deployable ground stations capable of rapidly and semi-autonomously tasking, receiving, processing, exploiting, fusing, and disseminating space based sensor data to provide networked situational awareness and direct tactical support to Army commanders at echelon.  The mobile ground station prototype will task and receive data from a diverse set of space-based sensors. The goal of the program is to reduce sensor to shooter latency via automated metadata correlation to provide time-dominant intelligence for delivery of desired effects (e.g. Long-Range Precision Fires [LRPF]).

The mobile ground station prototype should include everything required to operate during a designated exercise(s) and demonstration(s) as well during real world operations, including the vehicle/trailers, power generation/conditioning, antennae, communications/network hardware/software (to include line of sight and beyond line of sight), processing hardware/software, and analytical hardware/software. The prototype will require accreditation and certification prior to connecting to Government networks or data sources.

The TITAN prototype should support:

  • Automated wideband data signal processing, decryption, and ingest from satellite systems
  • Autonomous cross-cueing and tasking operations between satellites
  • Ingest of relevant emitter data for cueing and geolocation applications.
  • Automated processing and exploitation of satellite data and derived analytics such as: (a) electro-optical data products (including motion imagery), (b) multi- and hyper-spectral data, (c) thermal and overhead persistent (OPIR) data, (d) synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data, (e) emitter location data, (f) light detection and ranging (LIDAR) data, (g) mapping data, and (h) ALT NAV / Assured PNT data
  • Storage and processing of data from multiple commercial data providers
  • Development and/or application of machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, and advanced processing techniques
  • Hybrid edge and cloud-based processing and analytics
  • Rapid deployment to diverse operational environments via strategic lift and once deployed, be capable of rapid setup, tear down, movement, and assembly to meet operational commander’s needs
  • Sustained operations through any loss of non-local communications or networks for a reasonable period of time
  • Analysis and collaboration environment for a team of multi-disciplined intelligence and geospatial analysts (as part of TITAN)

The access node should be a modular, open systems architecture, making it easy to upgrade software/firmware, analytics/algorithms, and ingest additional data streams as commercial vendors and national data become available. The access node architecture should be:

  • Capable of concurrently storing and processing unclassified and classified data up to TS/SCI
  • Capable of concurrently disseminating unclassified and classified data up to TS/SCI
  • Built leveraging robust cloud-based services and applications when connected to BLOS networks
  • Built utilizing common, industry standard hardware form factors wherever possible
  • Built implementing modern DevSecOps principles and practices where applicable
  • Built integrating government furnished equipment (GFE)
  • Built to provide intuitive user interface with the enabling low latency data analysis and dissemination, enabled by machine learning and other automation where possible

This will be a competitive, 24-30 months prototype project involving U.S. companies only, and includes the (1) delivery of 2 (up to 6) working prototype mobile ground stations capable of immediate testing and evaluation at a government led theater warfighter exercise (2) demonstration of reduced latency direct downlink of data/imagery from both commercial space sensors, and national overhead systems sensors (3) demonstration(s) of semi-autonomous tasking and data processing, (4) delivery of fused data product to users of interest in tactically relevant timelines.  We envision this effort being executed in two phases: Phase 1 includes the development, integration, testing, accreditation and delivery of 2 complete prototype systems not later than January 2022.  Phase 2 includes the testing, assessment, and refinement of the prototype systems based upon participation in and feedback from several exercises and evaluations (CONUS and OCONUS). This phase will include user training, TTP development, exercise participation, and incremental improvements/modifications based upon assessment results and operator feedback.  Phase 2 also includes the option of delivering up to 4 additional prototype systems. 

Companies should demonstrate technical expertise in one or more of these areas. Companies are encouraged to present their own teaming arrangements in their solution briefs to address all areas, including accreditation, integration and testing.  Sensor data providers may also submit their solution briefs to address integration of their data, algorithms, and/or analytics into the prototype. The government may facilitate teaming arrangements among submissions offering complimentary capabilities to achieve an overall desired effect.

The Government is also pursuing a separate parallel effort for the objective TITAN ground station design to accommodate Aerial and Terrestrial sensors as well.  It will be necessary for the contractor(s) in this effort to establish agreements with the contractor(s) building the objective TITAN ground station. Both contractors will need to coordinate designs to ensure seamless integration of the space components into the objective TITAN ground station.  Software developed under this OTA will be available for transition to the objective TITAN ground station. To support the prototype timelines and reduce risk of integration, the Government is offering the Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) listed in Appendix A (as-is). Additionally, the objective TITAN Ground Station Reference Architecture Design Guide is available as a resource to help vendors with proposals.  Companies are encouraged to leverage the GFE, industry standards, and open source solutions to the maximum extent feasible.

Questions will be fielded until 31 March 2020. Please email all inquiries to tmyers@diu.mil. Answers will posted to this site as they are received.

Government Furnished Equipment:

  • 5 Ton Truck M1083 (2)
  • S280 Shelter with Environmental Control Unit (ECU)
  • Generator – 60 KW
  • MIDAS Remote Terminal (MRT) (includes processing h/w and crypto)
    • Advanced Miniaturized Data Acquisition System (AMDAS) containerized
      s/w
  • Ground Antenna Transmit and Receive (GATR) (includes processing h/w
    and crypto)
    • Remote Ground Terminal (RGT) containerized s/w
  • Distributed Common Ground System- Army (DCGS-A) Cross Domain Server Set
    • Tactical Communications Support Processor (TCSP)
    • Trusted Gateway System (TGS)
  • NGA components
    • Cedallion and Information Store (iSToRE) s/w to load on servers
  • Trojan Lite V1
 Note: If Companies are interested in viewing the reference architecture, please email Robert.L.Gooding@usace.army.mil.
 
Question & Answer:
 

Will sensor specific processing chains/software (or at least raster calibrated imagery) be provided as GFE? 

The GFE components will be available for integration into the TITAN Prototype by the second or third quarter of Fiscal Year 2021. Within 30 days of contract award, sample sensor data can be made available.

Will raw commercial data be downlinked directly to an in theatre mobile facility or will it arrive already at least partially processed? If partially processed, what tap-point/format is it processed to?

Commercial imagery will be downlinked unprocessed into TITAN. TITAN will process and produce a formatted image using the GFE RGT provided. If a satellite has onboard processing, the imagery will be downlinked in a processed format.

For all the phenomenologies, will data be provided raw, or if processed, what will the partially processed tap-point/format be? If partially processed, can you specify what each format will be for each phenomenology?

For commercial imagery, the imagery will come in as raw directly off of the satellites, and the raw data/Images will be processed into NITF 2.1 format (unless an on-board processing capability exists on the satellite, in which case the imagery will be downlinked in a processed format).

What defines "mapping data”? Should there be a capability to receive NGA MC&G products or should this solution include the ortho-rectification and Digital Terrain Elevation Data (DTED) processing?

TITAN will be able to receive and store National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) Mapping, Charting, and Geodesy (MC&G) data. Ortho-rectification capabilities are desired in TITAN

Is it correct to assume that fusion of data from both disparate platforms and intelligence types is part of the ask? Is it desirable to fuse data over multi-INT/phenomenologies?

Yes

How are Autonomous cross-cueing and tasking operations between satellites envisioned to work? Will we have access to PGMM? For true autonomous cue/task, it would require onboard processing and comms. Is there a desire to develop this architecture for future satellite systems?  

The TITAN Prototype is the focused on the ground segment. However, the TITAN Prototype would like to take advantage of an on-board processing if they exist in industry.  Access to PGMM is not expected.

Is the dissemination requirement for communications listed in the solicitation (“Capable of concurrently disseminating unclassified and classified data up to TS/SCI”) solely routing data via the listed GFE DCGS-A Cross Domain Server set to recipients at that location, e.g. Corps or Division command post, to external elements (DCGS-A or Mission Command systems)?

Initially, yes; however, the Government is interested in other accreditation methods to move data across domains.

Can the GFE be described in more physical and functional detail?

Additional documentation will be made available upon request from Robert.L.Gooding@usace.army.mil.

Can companies offer an alternative solution to Cedallion and iStore?

Yes, as long as the same access to data is achieved.

Does the Government expect the Space-Ground Subsystem Kit to include the same GFE as the TITAN Prototype?

Yes

Does the MIDAS equipment include an aperture? Can the GFE be described in more detail?

The MRT trailer contains a 2.0 M L/ S-Band tracking antenna.

Does the GATR equipment include an aperture?

The GATR is a 2.4 M tracking X-band antenna.

Should we anticipate supporting all the platforms that were shown in the Space Prototype OV-1 that was included in the December 4, 2019 TITAN Industry Day discussion?

At a minimum, the TITAN Prototype will be expected to support the platforms currently supported by the GFE provided equipment.

Do you want only a full solution or are you also interested in a partial solution?

Teaming in order to offer a comprehensive solution is encouraged, but partial solutions will also be considered.

In lieu of providing specific satellite parameters, can you provide antenna EIRP and G/T requirements as well as operating frequencies, waveforms, bands and data rates?

The RGT currently supports numerous commercial satellites (e.g. RADAR SAT, World View, Blacksky, Deimos), and these values can be obtained as new satellite vendors are implemented in the RGT.

The Area of interest requests a full commercial solution which would include the platform, comm, antennas, etc.  However, you provided a number of GFE platforms and systems. Is the intent to use/mount the solution on those platforms? 

Either solution can be proposed.

If a company has a mobile platform capable of supporting this mission, is that of value to the program or is the Government only interested in software solutions that can be mounted on existing Government platforms?

The Government is interested in any commercial solutions.

Does TITAN intend to fly the satellite from the platform in theater, fly remotely, or both?

TITAN does not have the requirement for telemetry, tracking, and control (TT&C) of space vehicles

Are there established interface specifications between services and networks?

There are established specifications for cross domain solutions between networks

Please provide information on the condition of the GFE (new from manufacturer or used)?

The GFE will be a combination of new and refurbished components.

What is the current state of the GFE? Is it assembled, functional, and tested?

When the GFE is delivered to the integration facility, contractor support will be provided to assist with integration and testing.

Is the generator currently trailer-mounted?

The intent is to provide a trailer-mounted military generator.

Will the government provide the interface documentation for the DCGS-A Cross Domain Server Set (to include TCSP and TGS), RGT, and ADV?

The GFE components will be provided with the necessary documentation.

What are the high-altitude systems envisioned to operate with the TITAN Space prototype as different from the space (LEO) sensors? 

The TITAN Prototype will be responsible for down linking Space sensors, both Commercial and National satellites.  High Altitude Aerial sensors are not a requirement for the prototype (note: language referring to high-altitude systems was removed from the Area of Interest [AoI] above).

Can examples, classes, and/or types of the communications systems be identified for the reference in Paragraph 2 stating “line of sight and beyond line of sight” communications/network hardware/software?

A full solution that addresses all areas of the AoI should identify/propose various radios/SATCOM that can provide this connectivity in various DoD bands for dissemination of various data types.

Can exemplars/sources be identified within the list of “Automated processing and exploitation of satellite data…” which would produce Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) data and Full Motion Video (FMV)?

These date type were used as a reference not as a specific requirement.

The third bullet in the “access node architecture” list states that cloud-based services and applications are to be leveraged when connected to BLOS networks.  Why is this limited to only when connected to BLOS networks?

The intent of the statement is to convey that the Government is open to incorporating available cloud-based services. The addition of the phrase, “when connected to BLOS networks," indicates that this functionality will be tied to available network connectivity to the cloud and alleviates the need to store the cloud functionality in the stand-alone local system architecture for when operators do not have connectivity.

Is it implied that functionality associated with items on the GFE list are to be included within the functional scope of the Titan prototype?

The Government is aware that incorporating the GFE will provide a system capable of meeting the minimum requirements.  This equipment will be not be mandated for use but will be made available.

The first item in the GFE list (the 1083 truck) lists a quantity of two.  Are quantities for the remaining items limited to one (1) each?

Yes.

For the first item, one truck will host an S280 shelter and the other truck will be used for transport.

It is unclear how limited the integration space available is in the GFE shelters. Industry would like to assess the ability to add advanced processing capability to the GFE equipment. Can the government provide details as to remaining rack space?

The Government will provide an estimation of the rack space requirement for the GFE equipment in the GFE description. Additional documentation will be made available upon request from Robert.L.Gooding@usace.army.mil.

 

Eligibility Requirements

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Awarding Process

WHS

Before You Submit

Companies are advised that any Prototype Other Transaction (OT) agreement awarded in response to this solicitation may result in the direct award of a follow-on production contract or agreement without the use of further competitive procedures. Follow-on production activities will result from successful prototype completion.

The follow-on production contract or agreement will be available for use by one or more organizations within the Department of Defense. As a result, the magnitude of the follow-on production contract or agreement could be significantly larger than that of the Prototype OT agreement. All Prototype OT agreements will include the following statement relative to the potential for follow-on production: “In accordance with §10 U.S.C. 2371b(f), and upon a determination that the prototype project for this transaction has successfully been completed, this competitively awarded Prototype OT agreement may result in the award of a follow-on production contract or transaction without the use of competitive procedures.”

2018 Other Transaction Guide

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If we think there’s a good match between your solution and our DoD partners, we’ll invite you to provide us with a full proposal — this is the beginning of negotiating all the terms and conditions of a proposed prototype contract.

After a successful prototype, the relationship can continue and even grow, as your company and any interested DoD entity can easily enter into follow-on contracts.

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  1. We solicit commercial solutions that address current needs of our DoD partners.

  2. You send us a short brief about your solution.

  3. We’ll get back to you within 30 days if we’re interested in learning more through a pitch. If we're not interested, we'll strive to let you know ASAP.