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Training for Resilient System Designte



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,

OBJECTIVE: Develop interactive and immersive training capabilities for operational system designers to increase operational system resiliency.

DESCRIPTION: This topic focuses on interactive and immersive training capabilities intended to ultimately reduce costs associated with mitigating cyber vulnerabilities in Air Force weapons systems. Airmen performance in the operational world is dependent on system capabilities and performance. Today’s operational system designers must find an appropriate balance in terms of a system’s functionality and its security. The concepts of resiliency and persistence apply not only to airmen but also the systems that they operate. Mitigation of system vulnerabilities is costly and time consuming. Further, engineering changes and modifications to hardware after it has reached a mature design level is also very expensive and can potentially delay the fielding of an operational capability for a significant period of time. Therefore, promoting a greater understanding of potential threats and vulnerabilities is essential. In addition, providing an increased capability to conduct real-time, what-if analyses to improve operational system design is warranted. The goal of this effort will be to create interactive and/or immersive training capabilities to improve design and evaluation capabilities for operational system designers. The desired training capability would be useful for engineers and designers working on new system designs and those working on upgrades/modifications/updates to currently existing systems and subsystems. The environment will provide guidance, references, and visualizations associated with the design activity and will facilitate engineers' and designers' process to better identify threat potentials, gaps in technology form and function, and areas where the designs can be enhanced to robust the resiliency of the designed system. Further, the tools should assist operational system developers in the identification of design issues, as well as the application of best practices.

PHASE I: Identify and define best practices/applications related to the mitigation of operational system vulnerabilities and effective training approaches. Develop use cases and provide storyboarded examples. Design interactive and immersive training capabilities for operational system designers to increase operational system resiliency.

PHASE II: Develop, test and demonstrate the tool set in the content domain identified in Phase I. Implement the tools in a training exemplar and conduct user and training impact assessments. Refine tools and the exemplar, identify a domain to evaluate the generalizability and reuse of content and instructional approaches, and conduct initial evaluations.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Improve weapons system resiliency to cyber threats through tools for engineer training or through test cases identified in collaboration with Air Force experts. The tools permit a broader use in engineering education to minimize cyber vulnerability across system types.


    • National Research Council. Trust in Cyberspace. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1999.


    • United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. (2007a). Report on Implications of Cyber Warfare Volume 1: Executive summary and annotated brief (SAB-TR-07-02). Washington, DC: Department of the Air Force, SAF/AQB


    • United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. (2007b). Report on Implications of Cyber Warfare Volume 2: Final Report (SAB-TR-07-02). Washington, DC: Department of the Air Force, SAF/AQB.


  • United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. (2008). Report on Defending and Operating in a Contested Cyber Domain: Executive Summary and Annotated Brief (SAB-TR-08-01). Andrews AFB, MD: Department of the Air Force, SAF/AQB.

KEYWORDS: cyber vulnerability, operational system design, immersive training, interactive training

  • TPOC-1: Winston Bennett
  • Phone: 937-938-2550
  • Email:
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