The Army Contracting Command – Redstone Arsenal (ACC RSA), Fort Eustis Branch (CCAM-MZA-F), (CCDC) Technology Development Directorate-Aviation Technology/Systems Integration & Demonstration (TDD-A/SID), is requesting information to support development of its future Holistic Situational Awareness Decision Making (HSA-DM) program. The intent is to gain an understanding of available and future technologies capable of supporting design, development, integration, and demonstration of systems intended to manage aircraft crew member cognitive workload. This request for information (RFI) is divided into four efforts.
Information Management: Identify information management technologies that are able to simultaneously receive, process, store, and transmit terabytes of data and knowledge products from multiple sources.
Data and Sensor Fusion: Identify technologies able to accept data (3D, cultural, track, semantic, etc.) from multiple sensors, databases, and networks, and fuse the data into a comprehensive “own-ship” world model or information manager.
Autonomous Decision Aiding and Information Distillation: Identify technologies capable of distilling data and information into knowledge products for crew member adjudication and/or autonomous decision making.
Human Machine Interfaces: Identify Human Machine Interface (HMI) technologies that facilitate intuitive communication of relevant operational environment knowledge to and from crew members.
This RFI is intended for a diverse set of contractors and research entities. Offerors are encouraged to respond to any and/or all requirements within this RFI befitting of their expertise. An overarching consideration is that submissions should be presented knowing the referenced technologies synergize with all the efforts presented in this RFI. These efforts are meant to influence, inform, and enhance one another. The goal is to eventually create a family of systems that is greater than the sum of its parts and operates in a variety of domestic and combat Army helicopter missions.
It is the Government’s intent to understand the art of the possible from industry to support the HSA-DM objective as well as inform potential future agreements or contracts.
Provide white papers addressing individual elements of each of the efforts presented above. As many elements of the efforts may be presented based on the expertise of the offeror, provide as much information as possible about the specific technology or system. The following is guidance for the types of information the Government is requesting. Companies are encouraged to present additional information.
Title of the technology or system
Current use or installations (if applicable)
System capability or potential future capability
Current and projected system/component Size, Weight, Power and Cost (SWaP-C)
System bandwidth (if applicable)
Current hardware/software/firmware/bus architectures
Current system I/O
Planned future integration, use, or installations
Current design standards (civil or military)
Technology Readiness Level (TRL) In accordance with the Defense Acquisition Guidebook or customer provided method
Current TRL and projected maturation
Modular Open System Approach (MOSA)/Future Avionics Capability Environment (FACE) compliance risk
Current and/or planned testing
Perceived or potential system developmental risk
Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) in accordance with the Manufacturing Readiness Level Deskbook version 2.0 dated May 2011 or customer provided method.
Current MRL and projected maturation
Any known challenges to manufacturing
Long lead item challenges
Potential leveraging of the programs presented in the Background section of this RFI
HSA-DM welcomes white papers recommending systems and technical solutions that will satisfy the minimum capability metrics for FY20-26 and beyond FY26. White papers should not exceed 20 pages in length using Times New Roman or Arial font with a font size no less than 10 pitch and should include the following:
Point of contact information including company name, contact name, company address, website (if available), contact phone number, and contact email address.
Statement of whether or not your company is a small or large business. The small business size is 1000 employees for the North American Classification System (NAICS) code 541715.
If your company is considered a small business, would it be interested in a prime contract for the above requirement?
[Other Contracting questions?]
Technology Roadmap detailing path to achieve this document’s requirements.
Specifications and performance metrics of relevant systems.
As aviation technology continues to grow, the number of federated systems and large quantities of data have produced an environment ensuring a high probability of flight crew cognitive overload. Federated systems continue to lack consistency with integration philosophy and presentation methods. The crew is forced to search, sort, and synthesize large amounts of data and information across multiple systems in order to build a mental model of the mission and operational environment. This may result in cognitive overload, loss of situational awareness, and/or reduced mission effectiveness. This cognitive overload on flight crews has reached a tipping point where situational awareness is diminished and effective/expedient decision making is hampered. HSA-DM’s objective will be to define systems that receive multiple data and information streams, and present to the crew members the appropriate knowledge products at the correct time in the most effective manner.
The HSA-DM program is projected to have a timeline of FY21-FY26. The technologies developed from this program are intended for potential integration into the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) and Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) aircraft. It is desirable to identify mature technologies ready to be included in developmental integration programs by FY 2026, as well as, those that will require technical and material maturation after FY2026. It is paramount that potential technologies be adaptable and flexible so they can evolve as Future Vertical Lift (FVL) technology, MOSA and FACE standards mature.
The US Army is driving all new systems development to a MOSA and FACE conformant architecture.
The Government has several programs with technologies related to HSA-DM type systems. Leveraging these programs in whole or in part is highly encouraged.
These programs include:
Degraded Visual Environments-Mitigation (DVE-M)
Integrated Mission Equipment (IME) for Vertical Lift Systems
Joint Common Architecture (JCA)
Route Optimization for Survivability Against Sensors (ROSAS)
Survivability Against Integrated and Networked Threats (SAINT)
Synergistic Unmanned Manned Intelligent Teaming (SUMIT)
Project Management Office - Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Combat Systems, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) (multiple sensor programs)
Joint Multi-Role (JMR) Mission Systems Architecture Demonstration (MSAD)
Advanced Teaming Demonstration (A-Team)
Effort 1: Information Management
Provide white papers addressing potential technologies for an HSA-DM information manager. The information manager will have to receive, generate, register, process, store, and transmit data from multiple sources internal and external to a FLRAA/FARA aircraft. The Government is interested in understanding technologies that can facilitate these functions with the increasingly large and diversified data sets from multiple on-board aircraft systems and external sources. These technologies include communications systems, aircraft status systems, navigation systems, augmented flight control systems, weapons systems, crew systems, and fused sensor data. Technologies will need to meet cybersecurity and information assurance requirements; and support Army aviation missions, tasks, and functions. While not limiting, the following information is needed to compare technologies and develop approaches for this effort:
Data Registration: State-of-the-art and future protocol/standards for categorizing and organizing data from multiple domains and to address expandable/adaptable data models and consider impacts due to variations in data source/data quality on functional use of the information products. These domains may include but are not limited to aircraft survivability, environmental exploitation, pilotage/re-routing, networking, track management, assault/attack/medivac/cargo lift/reconnaissance mission management, and autonomy/artificial intelligence (AI).
Data Storage: State-of-the-art and future data storage technologies with consideration to high speed data transmission movement between storage and processing. Consideration should be given to any technologies that provide not only large storage but also rapid transmission of data from aircraft-internal to aircraft-external resources. Consideration should also be given to presenting novel processes facilitating large bandwidth input/output between internal aircraft systems. Information addressing hardware and software that supports protection of data, cyber security, Information Assurance, and shared memory partitioning/protection is also welcome.
Effort 2: Data and Sensor Fusion
Provide white papers addressing potential data fusion and correlation technologies capable of fusing data from radar, electro-optical (EO), infrared (IR), inertial sensors, on-board terrain and obstruction data, external networks, track management systems, “pattern-of-life” data, and other contextual data streams. While not limiting the following information is needed to compare technologies and develop approaches for this effort:
Sensors: State-of-the-art and future RADAR/EO/IR/inertial sensors technologies that gather data from multiple domains.
4D World Model Fusion: State-of-the-art and future open architecture fused world model technologies. This includes providing information addressing fusion technologies supporting outputs to 2D/3D perspective displays, to cuing/symbology, to autonomous flight/mission systems, and to systems external to a FLRAA/FARA aircraft. Provide information describing technologies that support intelligent fusion capable of prioritizing real/near-real time processing for critical data and longer time horizons for less critical data. Also include in this effort, fusion technologies that are adaptive to changing sensors/systems/data availability due to installed sensors, tactical control of emissions, and/or battle damage degradation. The eventual world model will have to intelligently fuse temporary or transient objects from a track management system.
Track Management: State-of-the-art and future systems that are capable of receiving, processing, and categorizing data from temporary and transient objects that are not captured in either terrain, obstruction or a-priori data bases. These shall consist of but not be limited to, aircraft survivability threats, other aircraft, ground objects, input from external networks, and weather tracking.
Effort 3: Autonomous Decision Aiding and Information Distillation
Provide white papers addressing development of a decision making engine capable of processing knowledge products from a web of interconnected domains. Example domains include aircraft survivability, environmental exploitation, pilotage/re-routing, networking, track management, assault/attack/medivac/cargo lift/reconnaissance mission management, and autonomy/AI. The decision engine will need to be able to understand and utilize the information it receives from the information manager, fusion engine, and other connected systems. While not limiting, the following information is needed to compare technologies and develop approaches for this effort:
Cognitive Offload: Technologies that adjudicate what knowledge products are presented to the crew members and when they should be presented. The intent is to ensure that cognitive offload and situational awareness are maximized when appropriate.
Risk Prioritization: Technologies that statistically analyze and prioritize risk from domain data, information, data source, data quality, cyber-attack, and/or knowledge products in real time. These should allow for pre-mission allowable risk levels to be selected and continually monitored throughout mission operations.
Decision Making: Technologies that are able to present recommended courses of action and/or autonomously complete actions. This includes technologies that are able to decide appropriate levels of autonomy required for mission systems and aircraft control, as well as, potentially changing autonomy levels depending on aircraft status and crew member workload.
Flight Controls: Information addressing the integration of a decision engine with state-of-the-art and future flight control systems.
Effort 4: Human Machine Interfaces
Provide white papers addressing potential HSA-DM relevant HMI technologies capable of presenting well-timed, relevant, and intuitive representations of the mission and flight environment to the crew member. This effort is intended to identify HMI technologies that present the most intuitive and effective means of communicating and verifying crew interpretation of the mission environment. The ultimate goal is to ensure that the pilot/crew is operating in an optimal state of awareness for a variety of combat environments. While not limiting the following information is needed to compare technologies and develop approaches for this effort:
HMI Systems: The Government is interested in innovative or novel systems with multiple sensory inputs including, but not limited to, Windscreen/Panel/ helmet mounted displays, auditory systems, automated aircraft control systems, automated menus, synoptic system status, automated normal/abnormal/emergency procedures completion, voice recognition, and head/eye-tracking. Consideration should be made to systems that present knowledge products in an intuitive manner that also promote a shared mental model between the crew member; aircraft automation/AI; and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence/Information Systems (C3I/IS) entities.
Task Flow Optimization and User State Monitoring: Technologies that are able to determine fatigue and stress levels of the crew members such as advanced biometrics, Electro-Encephalogram (EEG), and Electro-Cardiogram (EKG). Additionally post processing schemes for this data supporting adaptive assumption of control for safety-of-flight and mission critical tasks is also welcome.
Critical Task Analysis (CTA): The Government is interested in receiving an approach for the development of a CTA to support HSA-DM integration. Compliance with DI-HFAC-81399B, MIL-STD-46855A, and DI-HFAC-80745 will be required. The following sub-analyses are required to support the CTA: mission tasks, behavioral tasks, cognitive tasks, the function analysis and allocation, and the derived information.
Government Furnished Information (GFI):
Documents defining the government’s definition of “levels of autonomy” and a Concept of Operation (CONOP)/OV-1 to describe in more detail the tactical need of this information, can be provided upon request.
The data received in response to this RFI is for information purposes only and does not mandate or impose requirements or commit the Government or vendor to any action. It is desirable that data be received with Government Purpose Rights. However, it is recognized that proprietary data may be included with the information provided. Clearly mark all proprietary information. All responses to this RFI shall be submitted by 60 calendar days of the date of this announcement.
All questions and white papers must be submitted via e-mail to point of contact (POC) for this RFI, Matthew P. Shivers, firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions larger than 5MB should be submitted through the DoD Safe Access File Exchange at https://safe.apps.mil/. Note non-DoD submissions through SAFE site will require a drop-off request to the Government POC. No telephonic inquiries or requests will be entertained. Electronic delivery is preferred, but if other delivery methods are required, please email the POC to discuss.