DARPA Consortium For Execution of Rendezvous and Servicing Operations (CONFERS) BAA

DARPA Tactical Technology Office (TOO) has released the Consortium For Execution of Rendezvous and Servicing Operations (CONFERS) BAA, number HR001117S0006.  the CONFERS BAA is a “solicitation for research to develop non-binding, consensus-based operational safety standards related to rendezvous and proximity operations (RPO) and on-orbit satellite servicing, executed through a collaborative private sector/Government consortium led by an experienced administrator or “Secretariat.”  The awardee will establish and manage a consortium, to include both private sector and government technical experts. CONFERS will leverage experience and best practices from both the private sector and Government and will make their published standards publicly available.

The Secretariat is responsible for leading the development and publication of non-binding, consensus-based operational safety standards related to RPO and servicing. The Secretariat will research current state-of-the art practices conducted across the private sector and Government, primarily through interaction with subject matter experts serving as CONFERS members. The Secretariat will synthesize the resulting research and collaboration efforts into clearly written operational safety standards. To that end, the Secretariat will identify, hire, and manage an existing qualified Standards Development Organization to codify and publish the standards developed by CONFERS. The SDO does not have to be specifically identified at the time of proposal, but options should be presented with pros and cons.

The Secretariat will also manage CONFERS as a forum where both private sector and U.S. Government technical experts from multiple relevant entities can discuss plans and issues for anticipated on-orbit servicing in the commercial sector.

The total amount anticipated to be awarded is $2.8M, with $800K for the first year/base period and $2M spread over the four next option periods. It is anticipated that thee will be a single award.  There was a Proposers Day on December 16, 2016.  Proposals are due February 6, 2017.

DARPA Proposers Day for the Next‐Generation Sensor for Measuring Winds Aloft in the Stratosphere Program

DARPATactical Technology Office (TTO) has announced the Proposers Day for theNext‐Generation Sensor for Measuring Winds Aloft in the Stratosphere Program through Special Notice DARPA-SN-17-14.

The objective of the Next‐Generation Sensor for Measuring Winds Aloft in the Stratosphere effort is to “assess and apply promising technology to rapidly mature and deploy a lightweight, low‐power sensor prototype capable of directly measuring wind speed and direction in a prescribed volume surrounding a stratospheric vehicle.  This effort assumes a reference system architecture composed of a stratospheric vehicle traveling with the prevailing winds at altitudes above 60,000 feet. A vehicle’s ability to effectively and efficiently steer by riding opportunistic wind vectors at different altitudes in the stratosphere is a key mission enabler that is dependent upon the availability of real‐time in‐situ measurements of wind speed and direction.   The effort is working to develop a compact, scanning onboard sensor prototype capable of delivering to the vehicle’s on‐board guidance system, in near‐real time (e.g., latency less than 15 minutes), a map of wind speed and direction in a volume of air surrounding it.  With this knowledge, the vehicle may achieve guidance with greater energy efficiency (i.e., a lesser quantity of smaller altitude changes) than what is otherwise possible with the sparse forecast data available today.”

The Proposers Day will be held on at the DARPA Conference Center on Thursday, January 19, 2017 from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM.  Participants must register for the Proposers Day at: http://www.cvent.com/d/hvqfxm.  Registration closes Friday, January 13TH at 5:00 PM ET. There will be an opportunity to meet individually with the Program Manager, Dr. Jeremy Palmer, after the conference.  To schedule an appointment email Rebecca Cervoni, Rebecca.Cervoni.ctr@dapra.mil with the subject of “Winds Aloft: One on One request.”  Requests must be received by the registration cutoff date.

DARPA Efficient Ultra-Compact Laser Integrated Devices (EUCLID) BAA

DARPA Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) has released the Efficient Ultra-Compact Laser Integrated Devices (EUCLID) BAA, number HR001117S0013.  The EUCLID program is soliciting research proposals for the development of highly efficient, ultra-compact, fiber-coupled laser diode modules suitable for pumping high power fiber lasers.

“High-energy laser (HEL) technology is of interest to the Military Services for its potential to provide new and enhanced capabilities such as silent engagement, deep magazine, scalable effects, and reduced logistics burdens. Until recently, these systems have been too large and heavy to be widely deployed on military platforms.

The laser diode pump modules (DPMs) which power the fiber laser amplifiers are presently a significant driver of system-level SWaP. Low module efficiency increases demand on the power system and the amount of waste heat that the thermal management system must dissipate. Because many modules are needed to power a single fiber amplifier, low packing density of the modules leads to a larger integrating structure and more electrical, cooling, and optical overhead. However, primary development drivers to date have been commercial market priorities, continuous operation for long time periods and long life rather than low size/weight and high efficiency. As a result, there is opportunity for significant size and weight reduction while increasing electrical-to-optical efficiency of DPMs.

The Efficient, Ultra-Compact, Laser-Integrated Diodes (EUCLID) program seeks to drive down the size and weight of diode pump module (DPM) technology while increasing electrical-to-optical efficiency and optimizing modules for dense packaging. To enable significant further near-term reduction in the SWaP of fiber laser arrays, the EUCLID BAA seeks proposals to develop and demonstrate DPMs consistent with SWaP, efficiency, and system compatibility metrics. Desired DPMs would be capable of being densely packaged with other identical modules in a configuration consistent with integration into line-replaceable high-power fiber amplifier assemblies. DPM output power of ≥ 650 W is desired to minimize packaging and overall system SWaP. The outputs of such modules, when combined, should also allow for efficiently pumping as wide a range of high power fiber amplifier output powers (between 1 kW and 3 KW) as possible. This would provide the flexibility to optimally tailor the array size and output power for various DoD HEL applications.”

Proposals are due February 15, 2017.  The program manager is Dr. Joseph Mangano.

ONR Award to Icosystem Corporation

ONR has made an award to Icosystem Corporation.  The award amount was $375,311.

Icosystem “combines expertise in human behavior & decision-making with simulation and optimization techniques inspired by complexity science and biology to build predictive analytics solutions. These software simulations reflect the complex network of connections that make up real systems and make it possible to see emergent patterns and anticipate the impact of unexpected events.”

DARPA Gamifying the Search for Strategic Surprise (GS3) Call for Submissions

DARPA DSO has released the Gamifying the Search for Strategic Surprise (GS3) Call for Submissions through special notice DARPA-SN-17-10.  DARPA DSO “invites executive summaries and full proposals for a research and development project to deliver an online environment that will enable productive collaboration among large numbers of experts and thinkers. The shared task of this group is to rigorously explore the trends and possible applications of emerging science and technology. All executive summaries and full proposals should be submitted in response to DSO’s Office-wide Broad Agency Announcement (BAA), DARPA-BAA-16-46, under the Human-Machine Systems Technical Area of Interest.”

GS3 aims to “apply a unique combination of online game and social media technologies and techniques to engage a large number of experts and deep thinkers in a shared analytic process to rapidly identify, understand, and expand upon the potential implications and applications of emerging science and technology. The program will also develop a mechanism to identify and quickly fund research opportunities that emerge from this collaborative process.”

The due date for executive summaries is December 9, 2016 and full proposals are due January 6, 2017.  The program manager is Dr. John Main.

DARPA OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) Proposers Day

DARPA TTO has announced the OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) Proposers Day through the DARPA Special Notice DARPA-SN-17-02.

The objective of the OFFSET program is to develop a game-based open architecture to generate, evaluate, and integrate swarm tactics for swarm unmanned systems in urban operations. Urban environments are complex, dynamic, and unpredictable, and present a major challenge in modern security and civil operations. Effective introduction of unmanned swarms embedded with small-unit ground personnel can provide significant expansion of capabilities (e.g., increased standoff distances for detection and identification of potential dangers, robust safety and surveillance with air- and/or ground-based swarm platforms, and enhanced intelligence preparation of the battlespace). In addition, such swarm systems may also enable entirely new concepts of operations involving enabling technologies such as distributed perception, robust and resilient communications, dispersed computing and analytics, and adaptive collective behaviors.

The program will advance two key areas to dramatically increase the effectiveness of small-unit combat forces operating in the urban environment:

  • Swarm Autonomy, involving agile, complex, collective behaviors for intelligent movement, decisions, and interactions with the environment
  • Human-Swarm Teaming, enabling swarm commander(s) to infer, interact with, and influence swarm system behaviors

The Proposers Day will be held on Monday, January 30, 2017 at the DARPA Conference Center in Arlington, VA from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM ET. Advance registration is required at www.sa-meetings.com/OFFSETProposersDay.  Attendance will be limited to the first 150 registrants.  The program manager is Dr. Timothy Chung.

DARPA Causal Exploration of Complex Operational Environments Proposer’s Day

DARPA I2O has announced the Causal Exploration of Complex Operational Environments Proposer’s Day, DARPA-SN-17-11.

Causal Exploration seeks to “develop a modeling platform to aid military planners in understanding and addressing underlying causal factors that drive complex conflict situations. The technologies embodied in the Causal Exploration platform will enable users to rapidly create, maintain, and interact with a causal model that has been tailored for the operational environment they are facing. Interaction with the model will allow users to explore the causal dynamics driving the conflict, and gain in-depth understanding of the operational environment to support and inform their planning efforts. While this capability will have broad applicability, the program will focus on hybrid or irregular conflicts, which are dominated by complex human system dynamics such as political, ethnic, or religious tensions, low intensity conflict, or economic aggression.”

The Proposers Day will be Monday, December 19, 2016, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (ET) at the DARPA Conference Center located in Arlington, Virginia.  Registration is required no later than December 14 at: https://www.schafertmd.com/darpa/i2o/causalexploration/pd/.

DARPA Molecular Code and Compute RFI

DARPA DSO has released the Molecular Code and Compute Request for Information, DARPA-SN-17-13, on research related to molecular-scale information storage and computation.

DARPA is interested in exploring ideas and research that directly couples information storage and computation using non-natural, sequence-controlled polymers in a generalizable, adaptable format that may lead to fundamentally new computational architectures in the future. To realize this longer-term goal, we must first carefully lay the groundwork and develop strategies for flexible, adaptable molecular-scale information storage (code) framed in the context of our anticipated/desired computing needs (compute).

DARPA is interested in responses in two areas:

  1. strategies for the rapid synthesis and sequencing (read/write) of polymers for ultradense information storage that can carry out computational operations, and
  2. theoretical foundations and/or computing applications that may benefit from the flexibility and highly parallel nature of such chemical systems (e.g., data-intensive

Four page responses are due by January 4, 2017.

DARPA Agile Teams (A-Teams) BAA

DARPA DSO has released the Agile Teams (A-Teams) BAA, HR001117S0008.  A-Teams is funding innovative research in the area of “predictive frameworks and experimental testbeds for the design of agile, hybrid teams of multiple humans teamed with intelligent machines.”

The goal of A-Teams is to “discover, test, and demonstrate predictive and generalizable mathematical abstractions for the design of agile hybrid teams. Specifically, A-Teams will develop predictive and practically implemented abstractions and algorithms encoding the dynamic co-evolution of team structure and team problem solving strategies. These predictive models will enable team design before beginning collective activity and adaptation during the activity. These models will be validated using multiple experimental testbeds that will reproducibly and quantitatively evaluate hybrid team architectures in a diverse range of problem contexts. The A-Teams program will fundamentally challenge the current paradigm of human-intelligent machine systems design by changing the focus from automation and substitution of human capability with machines to an integrated fabric enabling superior collective problem solving.”

The program will have the following three technical areas:

  • Dynamic Team Structure Design
  • Team Problem Solving
  • Experimental Testbeds

Abstract are December 14, 2016 and full proposals are due February 7, 2017.  The proposers day was on December 7, 2016.  The total anticipated amount of program funding is approximately $22M over 4 years with multiple awards anticipated.  The program manager is Dr. John Paschkewitz.

DARPA Intense and Compact Neutron Sources Phase Two (ICONS2) Award

DARPA has announced an award for the Intense and Compact Neutron Sources Phase Two (ICONS2) Program, DARPA-BAA-16-37.  The awardee is Adelphi Technology, Inc.  The award amount is $1,114,332.