Intelligent Information Algorithm for Electronic and Computer Network Systems
Navy SBIR 2014.1 - Topic N141-050
NAVSEA - Mr. Dean Putnam - [email protected]
Opens: Dec 20, 2013 - Closes: Jan 22, 2014

N141-050 TITLE: Intelligent Information Algorithm for Electronic and Computer Network Systems

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors, Electronics, Battlespace

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PEO IWS 1.0, Integrated Combat Systems, AEGIS

RESTRICTION ON PERFORMANCE BY FOREIGN CITIZENS (i.e., those holding non-U.S. Passports): This topic is "ITAR Restricted". The information and materials provided pursuant to or resulting from this topic are restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120 - 130, which control the export of defense-related material and services, including the export of sensitive technical data. Foreign Citizens may perform work under an award resulting from this topic only if they hold the "Permanent Resident Card", or are designated as "Protected Individuals" as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). If a proposal for this topic contains participation by a foreign citizen who is not in one of the above two categories, the proposal will be rejected.

OBJECTIVE: Develop an intelligent information repository software tool for shipboard technicians that automates comples troubleshooting of maintenance and operations of naval electronics.

DESCRIPTION: The complexity of naval electronic systems, which includes radars, weapons, and integrated combat systems, is increasing, while the experience, skill levels and numbers of on-site technicians are decreasing. This creates a void in the knowledge and expertise needed to maintain and operate the Navy�s electronic systems. The problem is exacerbated because experienced shore-based technicians cannot easily provide assistance to a ship at sea which is likely the most critical time when system issues will emerge. An innovative means to capture and leverage the knowledge of more experienced shore-based technicians to assist shipboard technicians in the operations and maintenance of electronic systems is needed.

Shore-based radar and combat system operations and maintenance experts have accumulated a wealth of relevant knowledge that resides in databases, detailed test plans, repair procedures, etc. Shipboard technicians are unable to leverage this disparate knowledge. A common repository software tool would enable them to operate, maintain, and repair their systems quickly, efficiently, and accurately.

An intelligent algorithm is needed that can quickly and correctly access and manipulate data from shore based maintenance documentation that contain the required information for the shipboard technicians. Sailors typically use computer programs to access repair procedures for most predictable and routine component troubleshooting and repair [Ref 1]. These procedures are often little more than static "if, then" statements that may not account for problems driven by external or multiple causes, or that may be concealed by not readily apparent symptoms. Existing procedures do not account for experience and skill gaps, thus preventing proper system maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair beyond the rote instructions provided. There is currently no way to dynamically troubleshoot unplanned situations.

Currently, work is being done to improve the usefulness of data repositories by adding heuristic reasoning algorithms as the means by which the data is accessed. However, this work deals with software code and other static types of databases [Ref 2]. An area where intelligent repositories are being used is in the information technology and web customer service venues.

The Navy needs robust, adaptive, information repositories that will help the Sailor with dynamic troubleshooting in complex electronic repair situations. Such comprehensive repositories would be able to improve sailor performance through self-monitoring results of their diagnostic recommendations.

PHASE I: The company will develop a concept for an intelligent information repository software tool that meets the requirements described above. The company will demonstrate the feasibility of the concept in meeting Navy needs and will establish that the concept can be feasibly developed into a useful product for the Navy. Feasibility will be established by testing and analytical modeling. The small business will provide a Phase II development plan that addresses technical risk reduction and provides performance goals and key technical milestones.

PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II development plan, the small business will develop a prototype for evaluation. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability in meeting the performance goals defined in the Phase II development plan and the Navy requirements for an intelligent information repository software tool. System performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation and modeling or analytical methods over the required range of parameters including numerous deployment cycles. Evaluation results will be used to refine the prototype into an initial design that will meet Navy requirements. The company will prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology to Navy use.

PHASE III: The company will be expected to support the Navy in transitioning the technology for Navy use. The company will develop an intelligent information repository software tool according to the Phase III development plan for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. The company will support the Navy for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Navy use.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Any number of complex electronic systems would be able to take advantage of this intelligent repository. Large communication networks such as telephone switching stations or the control systems for any modern automated manufacturing facility would benefit from the use of this repository during maintenance.

1. Ivey, Jr., LT Robert. "Diagnostic Expert Systems Use in the United States Navy." DoD Technical Information Center. 1992, Naval Post Graduate School. 25 March 2013, <>.

2. Russell, Stuart and Norvig. Peter. Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, 3rd Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 2010.

KEYWORDS: intelligent agent algorithms, intelligent repository, dynamic troubleshooting, heuristic reasoning, detailed test plans, data repositories

DoD Notice:  
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not allowed starting Dec 20, 2013, when DoD begins accepting proposals for this solicitation.
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