You are here

Modern Command Center for Missile Field Operations

Description:

DIRECT TO PHASE II

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 apply modern command center technology to provide capabilities for collaborative and efficient conduct of ICBM operations, including status monitoring, maintenance, security and missile launch.

NOTE: Work under this topic will require access to classified information. The proposing firm must have a Secret facility clearance and cleared personnel in order to perform the Phase II work. For more information on facility and personnel clearance procedures and requirements, please visit the Defense Security Service Web site at: http://www.dss.mil/index.html.

NOTE: All information in this solicitation is unclassified; do not include any classified information in your proposal.

DESCRIPTION: The nation’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system provides a land-based nuclear deterrence and strike capability to the President. The current system comprises 450 missiles and their associated C3 facilities located in several northern US states that stand on alert to provide a day-to-day, safe, secure, responsive, global nuclear strike capability to assure our allies, dissuade proliferation, deter adversaries, and, should deterrence fail, decisively defeat adversary targets and retaliatory capabilities as authorized and directed by the President. The operation of this capability encompasses a range of activities, including monitoring of health and status, maintenance of missiles and launch hardware and software systems, physical and cyber security, training for and actual operation of, and if directed, missile launch operations. Because of the strategic significance and nature of this mission, the coordination and conduct of these operations is of paramount importance requiring unprecedented communication and collaboration, shared situational awareness of ongoing and planned activities, assured integrity and timeliness of information, and man-power efficiency.

The ICBM system is comprised of three wings in separate geographical areas, each with a Wing Commander that provides oversight and direction of wing operations. The 20th Air Force’s Task Force 214 (TF214) Command Center is located at F.E. Warren AFB, and provides coordination, command and control of wing activities and reporting of status to higher command authorities (USSTRATCOM and AFGSC). Modernizing the Command Center functions at each of the three missile wings is the focus of this modernization effort, but the architectural concept should look forward to integrating information from the various wings (e.g., security, weather, force tracking, missile status, etc.) and other agencies (for example intelligence and law enforcement) to develop a site picture that can be tailored for the TF214 Command center and other key stakeholders to provide near real-time situational awareness. The Missile Wing Command Centers also serves to integrate and coordinate wing activities, in response to higher leadership directives and contingencies and is ultimately responsible to the Commander 20th Air Force for the operational mission, and for all actions taking place within the missile field with the exception of Emergency Action Message processing. These activities include coordination of 1) maintenance operations which encompasses monitoring and assessing weapon system component and major subcomponent performance, and performing scheduled and pre-emptive maintenance and repairs, and 2) physical and cyber security operations which encompasses monitoring, diagnosing, and assessing security devices, providing routine threat assessments, prioritizing and directing the appropriate security teams during routine operations including maintenance and convoys, directing and dispatching emergency response teams, and providing battlespace awareness provided from on-site cameras, sensors, and other responding elements during a security incident.

This topic area is intended to explore novel social, architectural and functional aspects of these operations, including methods to maintain Shared Situational Awareness and Missile Field Order of Battle, provide effective human interfaces for visualization and collaboration of operational data, automate the mining, fusion, and presentation of data supporting commanding, controlling, and reporting status of ICBM assets and support systems/activities, and enable capabilities for operators to proactively plan and respond to events in real time.

PHASE I: Proposal must show, as appropriate to the proposed effort, technical feasibility of the underlying technology, whether data fusion, human-machine interfaces, etc., via lab or field experiments or related applications.

FEASIBILITY DOCUMENTATION: Offerors interested in submitting a Direct to Phase II proposal in response to this topic must provide documentation to substantiate that the scientific and technical merit and feasibility described has been met and describes the potential commercial applications. The documentation provided must substantiate that the proposer has developed a preliminary understanding of the technology to be applied in their Phase II proposal to meet the objectives of this topic. Documentation should include all relevant information including, but not limited to: technical reports, test data, prototype designs/models, and performance goals/results. Read and follow all of the feasibility documentation portions of the Air Force 16.2 Instructions. The Air Force will not evaluate the offeror’s related D2P2 proposal where it determines that the offeror has failed to demonstrate the scientific and technical merit and feasibility of the Phase I project.

PHASE II: Design and develop command center systems to encompass the range of ICBM operations and functions, and provide the technical (hardware, software, communications) and physical (building, layout, human-machine interfaces) elements of such an operations center, focusing on the Wing Command Center implementation. These elements might include some or all of the following, categorized into two broad areas, for which the contract may propose to address either or both:

Data Fusion and Information Processing

a) Improved information systems to support enhanced operator awareness and efficiency;

b) Tools that automate the mining, fusion, and presentation of data supporting commanding, controlling, and reporting status of ICBM assets; Architectural and Functional Modernization

c) Effective human machine interfaces (touch screen, immersive environments, user specific adaptation, speech recognition, etc.) for enhanced understanding of situations and rapid decision making;

d) Enhanced presentation capabilities for shared situational awareness, both large and small scale; e) Organizationally and socially effective floor plans (human and operations centric, not equipment centric) P

HASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The contractor will pursue commercialization of the various technologies developed in Phase II for potential government applications. There are potential commercial applications in a wide range of diverse fields that include cargo transport operations centers, industrial systems monitoring, and security response command centers.

REFERENCES:

  • “Utilization of a Multi-disciplinary Approach to Building Effective Command Centers: Process and Products”; Galdorisi, G.; Tolentino, G.; The Tenth International Command & Control Research and Technology Symposium, Jun 2005.
  • “Leveraging Net-Centric Monitoring Techniques with Information Fusion to Increase US Air Force Information Dominance”; Jos, B.; Culbertson, T., Military Communications Conference, 2006.
  • “Use of Collaborative Software to Improve Nuclear Power Plant Outage Management”; St. Germain, S.; 9th International Conference on Nuclear Plant Instrumentation, Control and Human Machine Interface Technologies; February 2015.

KEYWORDS: Command and Control, Human-Machine Interfaces, Data Processing, Data Mining/Fusion, Automation

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government