OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Trusted AI and Autonomy; Advanced Computing and Software; Integrated Sensing and Cyber; Directed Energy (DE); Microelectronics; Integrated Network System-of-Systems; Advanced Materials; Human-Machine Interfaces
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 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 a system that can detect, ID, track, and defeat UAS up to 100lbs and 100knots at a scale of 10-15 threat UAS, beyond the fence line and using low collateral methods (No High explosives) and minimizing effects on military installations (no significant FOD on runways).
DESCRIPTION: Improvised and near peer UAS operations continue to evolve and morph. Active UAS combat in various parts of the world provide lessons learned and new tactics for UAS and Counter UAS operations teams to experiment with. Tactics include silent flight, mass attack, complex diversion and simple swarming. More dynamic smart swarming employed manually by human control or machine piloting is beginning to emerge and will continue to increase in complexity over the next few years.
Many Counter UAS solutions have attributes that allow adversaries to game them and still complete their mission of disrupting DoD military operations or causing loss of life or military equipment. This topic is focused on developing modern concepts that can detect multiple UAS outside the wire and stop them using techniques that are independent of threat speed, altitude, flight path, PNT and inter swarm coordination techniques. These concepts can include air and ground sensors, ground and air launched effectors and air surveillance outside of the wire.
There are significant complexities in all phases of the kill chain and not all these problems can be solved under this topic. This effort is focused on effect on adversary operations and how those effects can evolve or morph throughout an engagement to prevent an adversary from successfully adjusting their tactics (speed, altitude, autonomy) to complete their mission.
PHASE I: This is a Direct-to-Phase 2 (D2P2) topic. Phase I proposals will not be evaluated and will be rejected as nonresponsive. For this D2P2 topic, the Government expects that the small business would have accomplished the following in a “Phase I-type” effort via some other means (e.g. IRAD, or other funded work). It must have developed a concept for a workable prototype or design to address at a minimum the basic capabilities of the stated objective above. Proposal must show, as appropriate to the proposed effort, a demonstrated technical feasibility or nascent capability to meet the capabilities of the stated objective. Proposal may provide example cases of this new capability on a specific application. The documentation provided must substantiate that the Offeror 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.
PHASE II: Develop a system that can detect, ID, track, and defeat UAS being employed in autonomous and complex ways against US military entities world-wide. It is permissible to propose only part of the complete solution, as long as defeat is included. If detect, ID, and/or track are not included as a part of your proposed solution, it is necessary to address which technologies and interfaces are required to augment your proposed system. In other words, your proposed defeat should account for the complexities of detect, ID, and track.
i. Develop and demonstrate a real or emulated tracking system for up to 15 UAS up to 100lbs, 100knots and with highly dynamic flight paths
ii. Integrate an appropriate UAS tracking system into an effector management system
iii. The system should be as autonomous as possible but able to be manually controlled based on policy
iv. The system should be able to deal with threats on many sides of an area up to 10km,while minimizing the number of ground or air assets
v. Develop and demonstrate UAS defeat inside and outside the wire with minimal collateral effects to the area of operation
vi. System should be designed to stop 2-3 distinct attacks without significant reload or reset
vii. System will be required to keep human operators aware of the status of each target and where they are in the kill chain
viii. System will provide information on the disposition of targets to support Battle Damage Assessment (BDA)
Complete the design of the system, demonstrate performance of a prototype system through flight experimentation and demonstration.
PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The Government has an interest in transition of the demonstrated concept to provide airfield security, but it could also be used for National Airspace (NAS) policing, commercial UAS fleet management and UAS awareness for commercial use
- Army Planning Demo of Systems to Counter Group 3 UAS, https://www.defensedaily.com/army-planning-demo-of-systems-to-counter-group-3-uas/army/;
- Pentagons Counter Drone Boss tackles rising threat https://www.defensenews.com/unmanned/2023/03/10/pentagons-counter-drone-boss-tackles-rising-threat/;
- Layered Defense is the best option https://insideunmannedsystems.com/for-counter-uas-layered-defense-is-the-best-option/;
KEYWORDS: Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-UAS), Ground Target Moving Indicator (GTMI), Dynamic Targeting (DT), Mobile Ad-Hoc Networking (MANET), Low Collateral Effects Interceptors (LCEI), Ground to Air weapons, Air to Air Weapons, UAS Traffic Management (UTM), Tipping and cueing, Infrared designation, EO/IR UAS tracking, UAS Radar, C-UAS False Alarm Mitigation (CFAM), Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL), Position Navigation and Timing (PNT), Counter PNT and Battle Damage Assessment (BDA).