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DHS SBIR HSHQDC-13-R-00009
NOTE: The Solicitations and topics listed on this site are copies from the various SBIR agency solicitations and are not necessarily the latest and most up-to-date. For this reason, you should use the agency link listed below which will take you directly to the appropriate agency server where you can read the official version of this solicitation and download the appropriate forms and rules.
The official link for this solicitation is: https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=08c964597fe81a759b165eb46ba30f78&tab=core&_cview=0
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DHS is seeking innovative solutions to detect, localize and track people in wooded terrain using mesh networks comprised of low power, covert, RF sensors based on standard, inexpensive commercial off the shelf (COTS) products used widely in wireless data networks. The RF system will be cued by an imaging system that initially detects the targets of interest in the open, and the imager cues may be used to assist in mitigating system false alarms. The RF sensor will be responsible for tracking the targets detected by the imaging system through the woods. The proposed system should be low cost, low power, capable of maintaining good detection and localization performance while minimizing false alarms due to moving foliage or variable multipath, and have a reliable method for data ex-filtration. The effort should provide a well-documented path to testing the system in a heavily wooded environment, with an emphasis on understanding the phenomenological factors that may limit performance. The mesh network system is intended to identify personnel that illegally cross the U.S. northern border in remote locations. This requires that the system is capable of working in a variety of foliated conditions (broad leaf forest, pine forests, high grass, etc.) and the range of environmental conditions that can be encountered on the U.S. northern border (temperatures, precipitation, and snow). The remote locations and weather conditions drive the need for a battery powered capability that can last for 1 year. Auxiliary power capability such as solar or wind are not deemed viable because the RF units are intended to be unobtrusive/covert so they are less susceptible to being damaged or removed by personnel who are transiting through the area. The frequency (s) utilized must be benign to humans, animals and the environment, and cause no interference with any local infrastructure. RF sensor networks have been used in other applications, however the environmental conditions that the RF sensor network must contest with in a Northern Border forested area are more severe, particularly with respect to multipath and false alarms from wind driven foliage. The proposed approach must address how these environmental issues will be mitigated, and the Phase I work must demonstrate the viability of the proposed approach.
The goal is to develop a risk management framework with security standards that normalize analysis from each tool, facilitate vulnerability correlation to provide a more simplified view of threats from both an architecture and system perspective, improving the completeness of vulnerability analysis and results. Using static analysis tools provides only a system view of vulnerabilities and weaknesses by scanning binaries and source code. Static analysis does not take into consideration architecture analysis using penetration tools that model threats and exposures from an attacker point of view. While open source security testing tools provide value, they lack common security standards to express risks, exposures and vulnerabilities in a meaningful way. No framework or standard exists that can map and correlate analysis from open source or commercially available static analysis tools, with open source or commercially available dynamic analysis tools.
Firefighters oftentimes find themselves in situations where they are in danger of receiving burns to their bodies because the ambient temperature from a fire rises to an unsafe degree. This rise in temperature can be nearly instantaneous and can increase to a degree beyond the protective capabilities of the Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) the firefighters wear. Moreover, although advances in material engineering have increased the ability of gear to withstand very high temperatures, the increased insulation has also decreased the body’s ability to dispense internal heat as well as the firefighter’s awareness of external temperatures. This can increase the body’s core temperature to unsafe levels. This is particularly likely during rapid increases in critical situations. In addition, the structural integrity of the protective gear begins to degrade as temperatures rise, further endangering the firefighter.
Developing an early detection system that informs the firefighter of a rapid temperature rise, which might not be immediately evident inside the protective gear, would greatly benefit firefighter safety. Such a device should emit an audible, visual, or other recognizable alarm that warns the wearer of the presence of dangerous conditions. Ideally, the notification received by the firefighter in the critical incident situation will also be received simultaneously at the incident command center where the situation can be evaluated in real time resulting in decisions to withdraw or take other protective action. The device must be able to detect the changes as rapidly as possible and be an ultra-low power consumption device that is suitable for mobile electronics. The device, including the power source and all associated electronics, must be able to withstand high temperatures, high pressure water sources, and whatever other harsh environmental conditions that could be found in the vicinity of the critical incident. It is desirable that this power source be off when not in use to conserve battery power, but be ready to operate automatically when needed. The device needs to be manufactured with low thermally conductive materials, and should be of small size, shape, and weight. The device must be able to adhere to the helmet in a manner that will not interfere with the performance of the firefighter’s duty and so that the warning mechanism is recognized by the wearer. It must also be able to be certified to appropriate NFPA standards.
Timing and position data from civil GPS receivers have become integral to the operation of many of the Nation’s critical infrastructures. Transportation, banking and finance, communications, and energy sectors have all leveraged the benefits of the open-access civil GPS signal to varying extents of dependence. Unfortunately, along with the benefits civil GPS brings to each of these sectors, it can also introduce dangerous sector vulnerabilities. By design, civil GPS signals are an open standard and detailed and accurate specifications of these clear access signals are readily available for both the legitimate technology developer and potential adversaries. Intentional, low-cost GPS signal disruption devices (GPS jammers), while illegal in the United States in most cases, are readily available at many internet store fronts. With some off-the shelf hardware costing a few more dollars and a couple experienced developer weeks of effort, a more sophisticated, software-configurable, intentional GPS signal manipulation device (GPS spoofer) can be home-grown and aimed at one of these critical infrastructure sectors. While civil GPS receiver-based mitigation techniques are under development or have been implemented in some cases, many are partial solutions to the potential vulnerability set. Thus, the capability to detect and localize the source of disruption remains a critical mitigation requirement across the critical infrastructure sectors. DHS desires to develop a suite of sensing and reporting technologies to quickly detect and localize intentional (jamming and spoofing) and unintentional civil GPS receiver disruption events to allow commercial and government entities to rapidly locate the disruption source(s). A key gap is our understanding of the level of reliance on GPS by various critical infrastructure sectors. In order to understand the vulnerabilities of a given sector, it is necessary to understand how, where and when the sector uses GPS in their operations and what receivers they rely on and hence what their vulnerabilities might be. Of particular interest are the energy sector, the communications sector, the transportation sector, and the emergency services sector. It is desired that the sensing system and/or reporting function of the solution leverage existing capabilities (i.e., low cost, easy integration into existing infrastructure) of one or more of the critical infrastructure sectors.
Trends indicate that severe weather events are on the rise. The year 2011 was the worst ever for disasters (fires, drought, tornados, etc.). The impact of severe weather events on critical infrastructure is immediate. With regard to the electricity subsector, 90% of all power outages occur on the distribution system. Significant damage to a utility’s distribution system can occur from wind, rain, lightening and ice storms. Restoration times vary depending on the severity of the storm and the damage sustained by the system. To assist in restoration & recovery efforts, DHS S&T is looking for ways to allow for graceful degradation of the distribution system and/or sacrificial system components that minimize impact and enable rapid recovery.
Often times during a severe weather event, the above-ground distribution system experiences downed power lines and/or damaged or destroyed utility poles or power line support structures. Electric utility distribution powers and structures are designed for 90mph winds. However, 3
rd party attachments (telecom services, etc.), and other elements of severe weather can change the loading on a pole. Restoration efforts require crews to replace the poles/support structures and restring the power cable in order to restore power. A quick disconnect type of cable could reduce excessive loading forces on a utility pole or support structure during an event and ultimately may prevent damage, allowing for easy and rapid restoration after an event.
The goal is for the quick disconnect device/cable to sense when "disengagement" from the supporting structure may be necessary, to be able to safely, quickly, and reliably "disengage" without causing damage to the cable or its support structure, and support rapid restoration (i.e., the ability to "quick connect" the distribution line back up) following the event. The system should not impact normal operations. Preference is for a quick disconnect system that is based on existing distribution cable designs (i.e., allows for retrofit/installation of quick-disconnect device vs. a completely new cable system). The quick-disconnect cable system must meet all applicable ANSI/IEEE industry standards, as well as any applicable safety and environmental standards. As downed power lines can pose a safety threat if they remain energized, the solution should at a minimum have a visual indicator to indicate if the line is still energized or if it has been de-energized. A solution that de-energizes and/or alerts the utility operator when a disconnect occurs is desired.