Thunderstorm 22-1 REVISED DATE: Modernizing Combat Planning and Operations by Leveraging AI/ML enabled XR Technologies

Agency: DEPT OF DEFENSE
State: Virginia
Type of Government: Federal
FSC Category:
  • 99 - Miscellaneous
NAICS Category:
  • 541690 - Other Scientific and Technical Consulting Services
Posted Date: Nov 5, 2021
Due Date: Dec 10, 2021
Solicitation No: RRTO-22-1-RFI-02
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Thunderstorm 22-1 REVISED DATE: Modernizing Combat Planning and Operations by Leveraging AI/ML enabled XR Technologies
Active
Contract Opportunity
Notice ID
RRTO-22-1-RFI-02
Related Notice
Department/Ind. Agency
DEPT OF DEFENSE
Sub-tier
IMMEDIATE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
Office
5611 COLUMBIA PIKE
General Information
  • Contract Opportunity Type: Special Notice (Original)
  • All Dates/Times are: (UTC-04:00) EASTERN STANDARD TIME, NEW YORK, USA
  • Original Published Date: Nov 05, 2021 01:47 pm EDT
  • Original Response Date: Dec 10, 2021 05:00 pm EST
  • Inactive Policy: 15 days after response date
  • Original Inactive Date: Dec 25, 2021
  • Initiative:
    • None
Classification
  • Original Set Aside:
  • Product Service Code:
  • NAICS Code: 541690 - Other Scientific and Technical Consulting Services
  • Place of Performance:
    Falls Church , VA 22041
    USA
Description

NOTE: Appendices included in PDF attachment.



SYNOPSIS: Technology Demonstration and Experimentation Collaboration



A. INTRODUCTION:



The purpose of this request for information (RFI) is to solicit technologies from private industry, government research and development (R&D) organizations, and academia for inclusion in an upcoming capability demonstration and experimentation event focused on Modernizing Combat Planning and Operations by Leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) / Machine Learning (ML) and Extended Reality (XR) Technologies. This effort is sponsored by the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering, Rapid Reaction Technology Office (RRTO). The intent is to accelerate the delivery of innovative capabilities to the warfighter by demonstrating and experimenting with the capability in an operationally relevant environment. The results of this effort will be used to inform decision makers of emerging and available technology solutions that enhance or improve operational capabilities.



Due to COVID-19, the originally scheduled Thunderstorm 22-1 event was postponed to Spring 2022. This RFI is intended for emerging technologies interested in applying to participate in the event. Technologies that previously applied and were selected to participate in Thunderstorm 22-1 need not reapply.



Interested parties are welcome to submit their application to participate in the Thunderstorm demonstration and experimentation event. The event is planned to take place at the unclassified level; as such, proposals must be submitted at the unclassified level. For technologies that have features or applications at higher classification levels, please respond with an unclassified proposal. If this technology is chosen for the Thunderstorm 22-1 event, arrangements can then be made for subsequent discussions at the appropriate level. This RFI is for Thunderstorm 22-1, with demonstrations and experiments focused on Modernizing Combat Planning and Operations by Leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) / Machine Learning (ML) and Extended Reality (XR) Technologies, planned for the spring of 2022 at the United States Military Academy.



The application deadline is 5:00 PM EST on 10 December 2021.



This RFI is NOT a solicitation for procurement or other acquisition proposals, proposal abstracts, or quotations. The government does not intend to award a contract on the basis of this RFI or to otherwise pay for the information solicited.



B. BACKGROUND:



Thunderstorm provides an opportunity for technology developers to demonstrate and experiment with new and evolving technological capabilities in an operationally relevant environment, as well as to obtain insight into federal technology gaps and emerging needs. The demonstration and experimentation environment enables a collaborative working relationship between government organizations, academia, and industry. This promotes the identification of emerging needs and an assessment of maturing technologies with the primary goal of accelerating the delivery of technology discoveries to the Department of Defense and interagency partners. Thunderstorm provides a realistic demonstration environment for technology developers to interact with operational personnel. Technologies brought to the event should be at a technology readiness level (TRL) of 5 or greater ( http://www.acqnotes.com/acqnote/tasks/technolo gy- r eadin ess -level).



The Thunderstorm technology demonstration and experimentation event(s) involves individual or multiple technologies and is conducted with interagency partners. The technology developer provides the capability for demonstration and experimentation and personnel for installation and integration into the overall event. The technology developer operates the system during the event and uninstalls the system upon completion. However, during the event, developers are encouraged to support the use of their technology by government observers. The Thunderstorm staff plans, coordinates, and assists with the associated logistics of the technology demonstration and experimentation, and provides limited assistance for the installation and integration efforts. The Thunderstorm staff will not assist with engineering changes to the demonstrated technology or system.



Industry, academia, and other government organizations are invited to submit demonstration and experimentation applications addressing innovative technologies, potentially leading to follow-on government/industry collaboration and further development of emerging capabilities or fielding of mature capabilities.



C. DESCRIPTION:



The Thunderstorm 22-1 demonstration and experimentation event will focus on Modernizing Combat Planning and Operations by Leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) / Machine Learning (ML) and Extended Reality (XR) Technologies. Technologies capable of providing the warfighter with ways to modernize command and control, planning, decision making and efficiency; reduce cost, workload, and risk; improve safety of the operator and operating equipment, and enhance situational awareness in both the rapid response planning and execution of combat operations against near-peer adversaries. The event will primarily focus on developmental and mature technologies and is planned to be conducted in the spring of 2022 at the United States Military Academy (USMA) in West Point, New York. Participation for each vendor will be tailored based on the vendor’s capabilities, the availability of facilities, and the availability of the USMA faculty, staff and students. Under the direction of RRTO, the Applied Research Laboratory at Pennsylvania State University (ARL/PSU) will lead the Thunderstorm 22-1 demonstration and experimentation event, with support and participation from the USMA and Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) along with other DoD and government partners.



Respondents are invited to submit technology demonstration and experimentation applications describing an end-to-end solution or to one or more of the three following capabilities as they apply to Modernizing Combat Planning and Operations by Leveraging AI / ML and XR Technologies event:



Step 1 - Collection capabilities that may include AI/ML and autonomous operations of air and ground systems: Unmanned Aerial System (UAS)[1], Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) operating alone, as part of a group/swarm, or as a manned/unmanned team and capable of 3-Dimensional data collection (tactical photogrammetry, LIDAR, etc.) and Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT) collection to develop three-dimensional products (interior/exterior) in support of a platoon sized objective. Solutions may also include the following characteristics:






    • Low cost and disposable

    • Self-navigating based on in-situ information provided by payload sensors and off board data feeds

    • High bandwidth communications to enhance situational awareness

    • On board analytics for “real time” analysis for:

      • Utilization of swarm tactics with the capability to communicate back to an end user device (EUD) and provide easy to decipher go/no go results.

      • Machine perception, reasoning and intelligence.

      • Predictive maintenance and supply



    • Remote launch and recovery ability: self-docking, hands-off charging, sample analysis, data transfer, etc.

    • Decision making to support autonomous mission assignments

    • On board object and feature detection

    • Live streaming of data to support “real time” situational awareness of the area

    • “Swarms” to speed collection/cooperative collection to increase coverage area.

    • Be able to export collected data to community defined standard formats





Step 2 - Time Critical Processing of data collected in step 1 under field conditions to provide XR products in support a platoon level mission, including Denied, Disrupted, Intermittent, and Limited (DDIL) bandwidth considerations. The following characteristics are desirable:






    • Capabilities that use low space, weight and power solutions are encouraged

    • Local or private cloud

    • On-premises processing

    • Be able to import and export data to community defined standard formats





Step 3 - XR applications/experiences that may enhance a platoon or other small unit’s ability to rapidly gain situational awareness, provide command and control of assets, complete their planning process and conduct mission rehearsals. The following characteristics are desirable:




  • Intuitive, multi-user operational environments that virtually recreate a real-world location of interest that is representative of a current operational situation

  • Application can ingest standard data formats

  • Distributed collaboration capabilities using shared virtual user experiences

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled representations of situations that the unit has never experienced

  • Capabilities to collect metrics and measures of effectiveness while the team is using a XR experience to demonstrate improvements in decision making

  • Geolocation-based data integration capability that enables current, proximal information to be represented virtually in-situ



After a review of the vendor applications, the government may invite candidates to brief their capability to support the selection process and/or invite candidates to demonstrate and experiment with their capability during the Thunderstorm 22-1 demonstration and experimentation event with the intent to accelerate the delivery of innovative capabilities. In addition, vendors may be selected for follow-up events at facility specific locations in support of future acquisition activities. Industry participation in the demonstration and experimentation activities does not suggest or imply that the government will endorse, procure or purchase equipment.





D. SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS:



Submit demonstration applications to the Thunderstorm demonstration and experimentation program electronically. Please use the application provided in Appendix 1 or email thunderstorm@arl.psu.edu to request an application template.



The application submitted under this RFI shall be limited to four pages. Applications shall be clearly marked with RFI number: RRTO-22-1-RFI-02.



The application shall be formatted to print as typewritten on single-sided paper with one-inch margins on all sides and 1.5-spaced text. 10-point font or larger with normal (uncondensed) spacing shall be used. All applications shall be submitted in the portable document format (PDF) file format and shall be less than ten MB in size. All applications must be submitted via email to thunderstorm@arl.psu.edu and include the following information:




  • Subject: Thunderstorm 22-1 Application

  • Company name/business division/address:

  • Capability name:

  • Primary POC info for the application: name, email & phone number



You will receive an email within two business days verifying your application was received.



Each application must address only one technology solution; multiple applications addressing multiple systems may be submitted. Thunderstorm will provide venues, supporting infrastructure and personnel for assessment (operational and technical), based on availability of resources. Costs specific to running the technology developer’s equipment, as well as the technology developer’s travel costs will be at the technology developer’s expense. Invited technology developers must be prepared to be self-sufficient during the execution of their demonstration and not dependent on venue resources. If you have questions regarding the submittal, please contact: thunderstorm@arl.psu.edu.



DO NOT SUBMIT CLASSIFIED INFORMATION in the application. Thunderstorm 22-1 is planned to be held at the unclassified level. Capabilities may be For Official Use Only (FOUO)/Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) and may be subject to International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) restrictions. It is incumbent on the demonstrators to ensure that these restrictions are outlined in their application.



DO NOT SUBMIT ACQUISITION PROPOSALS. Submit demonstration applications and white papers only. Thunderstorm technology demonstration and experimentation applications must be submitted no later than 5:00 PM EST on 10 December 2021. No contracts will be awarded based solely on this announcement. Submission of an application does not guarantee an invitation to participate in the demonstration and experimentation event.



E. BASIS FOR SELECTION TO PARTICIPATE:



Submissions will be reviewed by the RRTO and appropriate supporting government organizations and support contractors. The RRTO will determine whether a submission will be accepted for invitation at the demonstration.



Selection of respondents to participate shall be based on the extent to which the technology represents a particular class or level of capability that can be provided to interested commands or interagency partners. Other considerations include:






    • Relevance to event focus area

    • Completeness of application and supporting information

    • Technical maturity

    • Relevance of or adaptability to Department of Defense or interagency partner operations/missions

    • Relevance to current operational needs





F. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:



Technology developers shall assure that all proprietary information, documentation, and equipment are appropriately and clearly marked. Be advised that lessons learned from these demonstrations may be broadly disseminated through official channels within the Federal government and partner government agencies associated with the Thunderstorm program. If selected for participation, technology developers may be requested to provide additional information that will be used in preparation for the event.



G. USE OF INFORMATION:



The purpose of this notice is to gain information for potential future use and/or collaboration for development of technology capabilities. All proprietary information contained in the response shall be clearly marked. Any proprietary information contained in response to this request will be properly protected from any unauthorized disclosure. The government will not use proprietary information submitted from any one firm to establish future capability requirements.



H. SPECIAL NOTICE:



University affiliated research centers (UARCs), federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs), and/or contractor consultant/advisors to the government will review and provide support during evaluation of submittals. When appropriate, non-government advisors may be used to objectively review a particular functional area and provide comments and recommendations to the government. All advisors shall comply with procurement integrity laws and shall sign non-disclosure and rules of conduct/conflict of interest statements. The government shall take into consideration requirements for avoiding conflicts of interest and ensure advisors comply with safeguarding proprietary data. Submission in response to this RFI constitutes approval to release the submittal to government support contractors.



I. FEDERAL ACQUISITION REGULATION (FAR) 52.215-3:



Per FAR 52.215-3 Request for Information or Solicitation for Planning Purposes (Oct 1997):




  1. The government does not intend to award a contract on the basis of this RFI notice or to otherwise pay for the information.

  2. Although "proposal" and "technology developer" are used in this RFI, your responses will be treated as information only. It shall not be used as a proposal.

  3. In accordance with FAR Clause 52.209(c), the purpose of this RFI is to solicit technology demonstration candidates from R&D organizations, private industry and academia for inclusion in future Thunderstorm technology demonstration and experimentation events sponsored by RRTO.



NOTE: Appendices included in PDF attachment.






Attachments/Links
Contact Information
Contracting Office Address
  • FALLS CHURCH VA 22041
  • FALLS CHURCH , VA 22041
  • USA
Primary Point of Contact
Secondary Point of Contact


History
  • Nov 05, 2021 01:47 pm EDTSpecial Notice (Original)

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