DIRECT TO PHASE II - On Demand Training Solutions for Maintenance Technicians
Navy SBIR 2019.3 - DIRECT TO PHASE II Topic N193-D01
NAVAIR - Ms. Donna Attick - donna.attick@navy.mil
Opens: September 24, 2019 - Closes: October 23, 2019 (8:00 PM ET)

N193-D01

TITLE: DIRECT TO PHASE II - On Demand Training Solutions for Maintenance Technicians

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Human Systems

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMA-205, Naval Aviation Training Systems

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 3.5 of the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.

OBJECTIVE: Adaptive training environments with deployable training for maintenance are applicable to general and commercial aviation communities. Further, programs for training aviation maintainers, which includes high school magnet programs through college degree programs, would benefit from this type of interactive and standardized training. It is likely that similar technology would transition to other maintenance type trades, include automobile mechanics as well. Finally, with space exploration and commercialization advancing, providing just-in-time training for complex, unique, and rarely used tasks are likely to be in high-demand training in the future.

DESCRIPTION: It is all too common for a Sailor to go through "A" school and "C" school, receive advanced training and earn a Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC), only to spend years away from the system he was taught to maintain, performing unrelated work. This is often the case when Sailors go to shore duty, and then return to an operational unit where the skills they once had have become eroded. While the Navy is working toward extending first shore tours to provide more experience to maintainers early in their careers, providing on demand training capabilities throughout the training pipeline to include operational tours is critical for minimizing skill decay and ensuring proficiency at the time skills are required. [Ref 6] Further complicating the matter is a pendulum shift to increase pilots' monthly flight hours to increase readiness. As noted by Deputy Commandant for Aviation Lt. Gen. Steven Rudder: "While there's still no direct link between low readiness rates and causation to Class A mishap rates, we continue to believe a true metric of health of naval aviation is aircrew flight hours. Well trained, practiced aviators react to malfunctions and difficult circumstances far better and are much less likely to make mistakes, which in turn allow them to react in a fluid situation or unforeseen event."

Rear Adm. Roy Kelley, commander of Naval Air Forces Atlantic, said, "Class C mishaps, which involve $50,000 to $500,000 in damages to aircraft or a nonfatal injury, have doubled in the Navy since 2012." [Ref 6] Ensuring that maintainers have the tools required to react to maintenance issues is a crucial part of addressing the cause-or-effect relationship maintenance has in mishap incidence. Previous efforts by the Navy to invest in readiness-builders, including increased inventory of spares, maintenance, and logistics, have shown positive gains. [Ref 6] However, investment in ready relevant training solutions and capabilities for assessing performance of skills are necessary. This topic seeks the development of a training environment that will provide refresher training normally left up to the operational command. Naval Aviation Squadrons face this training problem whenever sailors return from shore duty, and an elegant system for refresher training would save training dollars and improve readiness. Initiatives like Sailor 2025 are scratching the surface by identifying updates to schedules for formal, milestone training and providing tools that allow maintainers to focus on topic-based training and standardized recurring refresher training at the squadron level. Introduction of training at this level fills a gap associated with infrequent maintenance tasks, complex maintenance repairs, and emerging recurring maintenance trends. It is possible that the resulting technology may be incorporated into the Navy Marine Corp Internet (NCMI) arena and will therefore need to meet Information Assurance (IA) requirements as illustrated in the Refs 4 & 5. Additional information will be provided to performers during the Phase II.

This Direct to Phase II SBIR topic addresses refresher training for aircraft maintenance technicians who have completed tours of duty away from the system for which an NEC was earned. Specifically, the Navy seeks an approach that combines the benefits of hands-on training, computer-based instruction support and performance assessment into a single, immersive solution. Further, a solution that incorporates objective assessment of proficiency based on training performance and job experiences would expand the use of the system to support readiness tracking, management of personnel, and refinement of training curricula. Training curricula will be explored as part of the Phase II in coordination with transition partners and will be made available during Phase II.

PHASE I: Design a proof-of-concept technology that integrates benefits of hands on training, computer based instruction support and performance assessment. The proposed design should integrate (1) job aiding solutions that delivers expert systems advising maintainers on diagnostic and repair procedures in context, and (2) a training technology solution leveraging computer-based training, hands on training opportunities, and performance assessment, to develop sailor knowledge of diagnostic strategies and system components. During development, adhere to the Risk Management Framework guidelines [Refs 4 & 5] to support information assurance compliance.

For a Direct to Phase II topic, the Government expects that the small business would have accomplished the following in a Phase I-type effort. It must have developed a concept for a workable prototype or design to address at a minimum the basic requirements of the stated objective. The below actions would be required in order to successfully satisfy the requirements of Phase I:

- Determined the technical feasibility of integrating (1) job aiding solutions that deliver expert systems advising maintainers on diagnostic and repair procedures in context, and (2) a training technology solution leveraging computer-based training and hands-on training opportunities.

- Determined the technical feasibility of applying integrated performance assessment capabilities.

- Demonstrated a training solution that integrates hands-on training, computer-aided instruction and performance assessment to develop sailor knowledge of diagnostic strategies and system components.

- Determined the feasibility of the technology meeting Risk Management Framework guidelines [Ref 4] to support cybersecurity compliance.

FEASIBILITY DOCUMENTATION: Proposers interested in participating in Direct to Phase II must include in their response to this topic Phase I feasibility documentation that substantiates the scientific and technical merit and Phase I feasibility described in Phase I above has been met (i.e., the small business must have performed Phase I-type research and development related to the topic, but feasibility documentation MUST NOT be solely based on work performed under prior or ongoing federally funded SBIR/STTR work) and describe the potential commercialization applications. The documentation provided must validate that the proposer has completed development of technology as stated in Phase I above. Documentation should include all relevant information including, but not limited to: technical reports, test data, prototype designs/models, and performance goals/results. Work submitted within the feasibility documentation must have been substantially performed by the proposer and/or the principal investigator (PI). Read and follow all of the DON SBIR 19.3 Direct to Phase II BAA Instructions. Phase I Proposals will NOT be accepted for this BAA.

PHASE II: Develop a prototype of the integrated training system. Consider and adhere to the Risk Management Framework guidelines during the development to support information assurance compliance. [Refs 4-5]

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Develop hardened system architecture and complete the Risk Management Framework process to gain cybersecurity accreditation for system deployment. Integrate transition-specific content for initial training capability transition.

Adaptive training environments with deployable training for maintenance are applicable to general and commercial aviation communities. Further, programs for training aviation maintainers, which include high school magnet programs through college degree programs, would benefit from this type of interactive and standardized training. It is likely that similar technology would transition to other maintenance type trades, include automobile mechanics. Finally, with space exploration and commercialization advancing, providing just-in-time training for complex, unique, and rarely used tasks are likely to be in high-demand in the future.

REFERENCES: 1. Dzikovska, M. O., Steinhauser, N., Farrow, E., Moore, J.D., and Campbell, G.E. "BEETLE II: Deep natural language understanding and automatic feedback generation for intelligent tutoring in basic electricity and electronics." International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education: Volume 24, Issue 3, September 2014, pp. 284-332. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs40593-014-0017-9

2. Durlach, P.J., & Lesgold, A.M. (Eds.) "Adaptive Technologies for Training and Education." Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2012, pp. 289-302. https://www.cmu.edu/dietrich/sds/ddmlab/papers/Gonzalez2012.pdf

3. De Crescenzio, Francesca, Fantini, Massimiliano, Persiani, Franco, Di Stefano, Luigi, Azzari, Pietro, and Salti, Samuele. "Augmented Reality for Aircraft Maintenance Training and Operations Support." IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, Volume 31, Issue 1, Jan-Feb 2011.http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=5675633&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D5675633

4. Risk Management Framework (RMF) for DoD Information Technology (IT)F. https://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/851001_2014.pdf

5. Risk Management Framework. BAI Information Security Consulting & Training. https://rmf.org/

6. Eckstein, Megan. "Less Experienced Maintainers Contribute to Rise in Naval Aviation Mishaps." USNI News, June 22, 2018. https://news.usni.org/2018/06/22/less-experienced-maintainers-contribute-rise-naval-aviation-mishaps?utm_source=USNI+News&utm_campaign=fbdc11b781-USNI_NEWS_DAILY&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0dd4a1450b-fbdc11b781-233734809&ct=t(USNI_NEWS_DAILY)&mc_cid=fbdc11b781&mc_eid=7d5455738c

KEYWORDS: Maintenance Training; Maintenance Readiness; Just in Time Training; Adaptive Training; Mixed Methods Training; Performance Assessment

TPOC-1: Beth Atkinson
Phone: 407-380-4773

TPOC-2: Matthew Pierce
Phone: 407-380-4555

 

** TOPIC NOTICE **

These Navy Topics are part of the overall DoD 2019.3 SBIR BAA. The DoD issued its 2019.3 BAA SBIR pre-release on August 23, 2019, which opens to receive proposals on September 24, 2019, and closes October 23, 2019 at 8:00 PM ET.

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