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FL-MSA High-Speed Connectivity


OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): FutureG; Integrated Network Systems-of-Systems OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate a system capable of providing secure Modular Persistent High-speed connectivity for airfield and Munitions storage areas (MSA) utilizing expandable secure network of communication nodes that is EU compliant. DESCRIPTION: The Flight line of the Future (FLoF) has been an initiative the Air Force has been trying to tackle for about a decade. The initiative has inspired the development and usage of digital Technical Orders (TOs) and the conceptualization of digital task boards, drone scanning, dent scanning, virtual asset management, mixed reality, 3D scanning, and 3D printing technology being used on the flight line. The intended use of these items requires an interconnected network providing intranet and internet connectivity to prevent stove piping and encourage collaboration while reducing time wasted on walking inside to complete paperwork, notify Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), connect with engineers, and carrying CD's from computers to non-networked assets like 3D printers, mills, and lathes. Currently, the typical Air Force flight line does not have any digital connectivity causing the capabilities of current technology to be constrained to hand carrying data. Additionally, the lack of connectivity inhibits the usage of emerging technologies like mixed reality and virtual asset management that requires a connection into the internet. Furthermore, technicians are forced to rely on processes requiring extensive manpower time requirements reducing effectiveness and efficiency. A solution is needed to provide the connectivity required to connect current and future IT and smart assets required to complete maintenance tasks on the flight line. Developing and implementing a robust modular persistent high-speed connectivity for the airfield and MSA will enable the connection of current and future technology. Furthermore, it will enable to opportunity for manpower and time savings never before seen on the flight line and within the MSA. To meet the intent of the objective, the system needs to meet the following requirements: 1. The system needs to beMIL-STD-810G/hardened enough to withstand high and low temperatures, dirt, dust, sand, rain, snow, and ice. 2. The system needs to beMIL-STD-810G/hardened enough to withstand drops, falls, and impacts. 3. The system needs to be capable of receiving power from a source ranging from 110-240V. 4. The toolbox must meet requirements to obtain a HERO certification with max ""Safe Separation Distance"" of 10 ft for UNSAFE from the AF safety center. 5. The system should be able to host large amounts of IT assets connecting to it across a large flight line and storage area with the capability to connect to AFNET or commercial services for internet access. 6. The connectivity capabilities (system) must be usable across current government infrastructure (fiber & copper), and seamlessly integrate into base AFNET enclaves for AF core services. In addition the system must be capable of securely communicate over commercial infrastructure when utilized in a forward deployed location. The system must meet a minimum of Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level (CC/EAL) 4 with CC/EAL 5 being desired. 7. Additionally, fully operational capability requires seamless integration onto the Air Force Information Networks (AFIN) for network transport and Air Forces Network (AFNET) for software utilization. The system will utilize these networks for software application usage (both for on premises and remote access), security practices and procedures, and data transport requirements. Prior to inclusion on Air Force Installation Base Enclaves, all hardware components must comply with DoD Unified Capabilities Requirements (UCR), and be listed on the Department of Defense Information Network (DoDIN) Approved Products List (APL). All software components must adhere to UCR and be certified per the Air Force Evaluated Products List (EPL). In the event components are not currently authorized, authorization will be completed with support of government sponsorship prior to capability delivery to enable immediate operational usage. 8. The system should be powered by AC dual voltage and have a battery back-up system. There need to be an additional capability for the node to operate where AC power is not available and is charged by a variety of means. The battery capacity should allow the system to operate for 48-72 hours without recharging and have the capability to add additional capacity. PHASE I: Complete a feasibility study that should, at a minimum, complete the following using the topic objective and description: 1. Clearly identify who the prime (and additional) potential AF end user(s) is and articulate how they would use your solution(s) (i.e., the one who is most likely to be an early adopter, first user, and initial transition partner). 2. Identify current technology capable of meeting the topic objective that follows all NDAA, DISA, DoD, and Air Force policies, rules, regulations, and laws. 3. If the technology does not exist, determine what needs to be developed to meet the topic objective. 4. Determine if the technology is compatible with required current/emerging Air Force/Commercial assets/systems used within the topic objective. 5. Determine the necessary requirements for any technologies deemed incompatible with each other and current/emerging Air Force assets. 6. Identify if an ATO is required and the necessary stakeholders to ensure implementation across the Air Force. 7. Deeply explore the problem or benefit area(s), which are to be addressed by the solution(s) - specifically focusing on how this solution will impact the end user of the solution. 8. Define clear objectives and measurable key results for a potential trial of the proposed solution with the identified Air Force end user(s). 8. Describe how the solution will need to be implemented across the Air Force. 10. Determine cost of installation, upkeep, and upgrade for the identified technology. 11. Provide a rated scale of feasibility on the identified technology based upon the first five items in this list. 12. Describe technology related development that is required to successfully field the solution. The funds obligated on the resulting Phase I awards are to be used for the sole purpose of conducting a thorough feasibility study using mathematical models, scientific experiments, laboratory studies, commercial research and interviews. PHASE II: Develop, integrate, install, test, and demonstrate a prototype system determined to be the most feasible solution during the Phase I feasibility study. This demonstration should focus specifically on 1. Evaluating the proposed solution against the objectives and measurable key results as defined in the Phase I feasibility study. 2. Implement countermeasures for issues and identify the necessary evolution of the prototype to foster its eventual transition into a working commercial/warfighter solution. 3. Describing in detail how the solution can be scaled to be adopted widely (i.e. how can it be modified for scale). The solution should detail a rapid deployment and sustainment plan based upon lessons learned from the prototype capable of installing the technology at other Air force installations broken down by continent (i.e. separate plans for bases in Europe, CONUS, the Pacific, etc.). 4. Develop a clear transition path for the proposed solution that takes into account input from all affected stakeholders including but not limited to: end users, engineering, sustainment, contracting, finance, legal, and cyber security. 5. Specific details about how the solution can integrate with other current and potential future solutions. 6. How the solution can be sustainable (i.e. supportability). 7. Clearly identify other specific DoD or governmental customers who want to use the solution. 8. Capabilities/issues identified but not address in previous phase can be resolved, added or remove as needed PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The contractor will pursue commercialization of the various technologies developed in Phase II for transitioning expanded mission capability to a broad range of potential government and civilian users and alternate mission applications. Direct access with end users and government customers will be provided with opportunities to receive Phase III awards for providing the government additional research & development, or direct procurement of products and services developed in coordination with the program. Capabilities/issues identified but not address in previous phase can be resolved, added or remove as needed REFERENCES: 1. DAFMAN 17-1301; 2. AFI 21-101 KEYWORDS: High-Speed Connectivity; flight line; Munitions Storage Areas (MSA); Connectivity; Current Technology; Emerging Technology; Future Technology
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