TECH FOCUS AREAS: Network Command, Control and Communications
TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems; Human 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 3.5 of the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.
OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate a cost-effective system that provides an ultra-low latency mixed reality environment for end-to-end real-time collaboration between two geographically separated teams.
DESCRIPTION: To provide increased situational awareness and decision-making capability, there is a desire to create an environment where the senior leaders and decision makers can have face-to-face collaborations in a virtual environment while sharing real-time critical information. The initial intended application is in the collaboration between senior leaders and remote ground control stations for unmanned systems operations.
Science fiction has presented examples of holo-decks where a person can become immersed in a virtual environment. Real world experiments have created advanced Cave Automatic Virtual Environments (CAVEs) which provide an immersive experience but, in the past, due to size, cost, and complexity they were not viable options for operational use. Mixed reality (MR) where real and virtual worlds are merged is rapidly advancing and entering the consumer markets.
The solution should provide the ability for the senior leader to enter an environment where they feel that they are in the remote operations center and can interact with the remote team as if they were in the same room. This includes but is not limited to viewing and interacting with individuals, sensor feeds, air vehicle status, GIS data, etc. The solution should provide an ultra-low latency interface to reduce or eliminate the risk of virtual reality sickness and well as other off-putting side effects of virtual and mixed reality use.
The solution could be, but not limited to, a device that can be worn, entered, sat in, or sat in front of, to immerse and engage with users and data. The solution must be capable to transmit and display classified data. The solutions could have a permanent install system capable of meeting all the needs with a portable version transportable onboard aircraft and set-up in remote areas of the globe.
PHASE I: Determine, insofar as possible, the scientific, technical, and commercial feasibility of the concept. Include a plan to demonstrate an innovative environment where senior leaders and decision makers can virtually collaborate face-to-face while sharing real-time critical information. Initially, this would involve leadership and unmanned systems operation remote ground control stations.
PHASE II: The contractor will develop, install, integrate and demonstrate an affordable prototype system capable of ultra-low latency mixed reality environment for end-to-end real-time collaboration between two geographically separated teams.
PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Several government agencies (military and civil) require this capability to provide real-time collaboration in a mixed reality environment. Commercial interest in such a system for collaboration and data sharing is also anticipated.
- Ladwig P., Geiger C. (2019) A Literature Review on Collaboration in Mixed Reality. In: Auer M., Langmann R. (eds) Smart Industry & Smart Education. REV 2018. Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems, vol 47. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-95678-7_65.
- Manjrekar, S., Sandilya, S., Bhosale, D., Kanchi, S., Pitkar, A., & Gondhalekar, M. CAVE: An Emerging Immersive Technology-A Review.