AFRL posts Global Operational Tactical Information Technology BAA
On September 1, the Air Force Research Laboratory posted a broad agency announcement for Global Operational Tactical Information Technology (GOT-IT) (BAA AFRL-RIK-2015-0024). White papers are accepted on a rolling basis, but the agency recommends submissions be completed before July 14, 2017 for best consideration for FY18.
The Information Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL/RI), Rome Research Site, is soliciting white papers under this announcement for innovative technologies to enable the effective management of information for military operations.
Problem: Warfighters need immediate access to information that is critical to their mission regardless of their location or what they have available to them in terms of communications, data storage and processing power. Unfortunately, the availability of these computational resources is inversely proportional to the warfighter’s proximity to the tactical edge where access to information that is critical to the success of their mission is limited by the connectivity, bandwidth and computing constraints of tactical communications and information systems. Compounding these limitations is the fact that close proximity to the tactical edge typically accompanies a more contested and higher threat environment. These circumstances make the availability of essential information even more important, not only for mission assurance, but for the survival of those that are in harm’s way at the tactical edge. At the other end of the spectrum in the enterprise environment, these same limitations also impede the ability of commanders to reach forward to the tactical Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) required for rapid and informed Command and Control (C2) decisions that directly impact mission assurance. The disparity that currently exists between enterprise and tactical network infrastructures must be bridged to enable effective information exchange for shared situational awareness across all echelons of command.
Background: AFRL has developed Information Management (IM) services that have been designed to facilitate the exchange of information between disparate user applications and data sources. These IM services have primarily been developed following a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) client-server computing model and are designed to operate across clusters of computers for the purposes of scalability, performance and resiliency in enterprise environments. AFRL has also developed a number of moving map Situational Awareness (SA) applications that run on mobile devices (Android tablets and smart phones) designed primarily for use by at the tactical edge. For information exchange, these SA applications utilize server-based IM services hosted at a centralized location, e.g., on an airborne platform or in a Tactical Operations Center (TOC). Tablet based collaborative applications operating over Mobile Ad-hoc Networks (MANETs) can benefit at times from a client-based model of computing where mobile operations in austere environments can remove users from reach of the server running IM services. Recently, AFRL has developed a decentralized peer-to-peer (P2P) publish/subscribe/query Cursor on Target (CoT) messaging system for Android and Java platforms. These client-based IM services operate without reliance on a centralized server.
Focus: The objective of this BAA is to develop and demonstrate middleware to bridge the tactical and enterprise domains, realizing decentralized IM services built upon client-based protocols for use at the tactical edge that can coexist and interoperate securely with the server-based IM services that are well-suited for deployment in enterprise-scale environments. To improve the exchange of information between enterprise and the tactical edge networks and applications, these services need to be capable of operating in contested/congested environments and be built upon disruption and fault tolerant techniques and technologies.
Full information is available here.