ADAPT - Advanced, Agile Manufacturing of Limited-Production Swarming Unmanned Systems (UxS) to Support Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Operations
Navy SBIR 2020.1 - Topic N201-X01
Navy SBIR/STTR Program Management Office - navy-sbir-sttr@navy.mil
Opens: January 14, 2020 - Closes: February 12, 2020 (8:00 PM ET)

N201-X01

TITLE: ADAPT - Advanced, Agile Manufacturing of Limited-Production Swarming Unmanned Systems (UxS) to Support Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Operations

 

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Battlespace

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: NAVAL Shipyards, Fleet Readiness Centers (FRC), Marine Corps Logistics Command (MARCORLOGCOM)

OBJECTIVE: Volatilities in global weather and geo-political climate are increasing the frequency and magnitude of natural and manmade disasters. Providing rapid response to affected areas is critical to saving lives, as the immediate aftermath of a disaster presents the greatest risks to survivors and to first responders. The highly dynamic environments resulting from debris and infrastructure destruction creates a significant challenge in moving supplies into and survivors out of disaster zones. The Navy and Marine Corps seek to develop and demonstrate rapid, distributed, on-demand manufacturing of unmanned systems capable of supporting multiple payloads dependent on the situation.

DESCRIPTION: The Department of the Navy (DON) seeks to develop and demonstrate rapid, distributed, on-demand, small-scaled, domestic manufacturing of unmanned systems capable of supporting multiple payloads depended on the situation. DON intends to collaborate with innovative small businesses for technologies and methods related to the following Focus Areas:

1. Agile manufacturing on-demand solutions for Unmanned Systems (UxS) products
2. Control systems for unmanned platforms to include either Group 1 – Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or conversion of manned watercrafts into Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USV)
3. Notional payload concepts based on using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technologies

1. Agile manufacturing on-demand solutions for UxS products: define and develop customizable systems with the ability to fabricate close to the point-of-need. This includes access to manufacturing of components and assemblies across multiple facilities to accommodate surge requirements. This includes supply chain authentication and management required for the rapid local UxS assembly.
2. Control systems for unmanned platforms to include either Group 1 – UAS or USV: develop reconfigurable control systems demonstrating the ability for self-swarming organization and redistribution, fratricide-collision avoidance, and waypoint-based navigation. These systems must be rapidly tailorable to enable the conversion and use of any available assets as UxS under emergency conditions.
3. Notional payload concepts based on using COTS technologies: demonstrate capability for rapid acquisition and configuration for modular payloads to enable rapid response in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations. Needed capabilities include communication, improved situational awareness, supply delivery, and victim extraction.

PHASE I: Please add the primary Focus Area number you are proposing to as a prefix to the Phase I Proposal title.

Proposers will develop and demonstrate an initial functional prototype meeting at least one primary Focus Area of the three Focus Areas listed under this topic. However, a proposer may choose to include secondary Focus Area(s) within the proposal submission.  Technical proposals are limited to 5-pages and must provide sufficient information to allow assessment that the initial prototype demonstrated at the end of Phase I will function in a relevant environment in a manner meeting the specified capability. This information may include, but is not limited to, detailed designs, component and system laboratory testing, or a minimum viable product (MVP) [Ref. 1].  Ideally, the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) [Ref. 2] at the start of Phase I will be TRL 4-5 with the functional prototype at or near TRL 6 at Phase I completion. At the end of Phase I, the initial functional prototype will be demonstrated, a detailed report on prototyping test results, and detailed plans for the small-scaled manufacturing of the prototypes will be provided to the Government. Proposals must include a discussion of the dual-use defense and commercial market opportunities for the technology being proposed, including a preliminary assessment of commercial market potential. Phase I period of performance shall not exceed 4 months, and the total fixed price shall not exceed $200K.

PHASE II: During Phase II, the functional prototype from Phase I can be further developed and refined into an operational prototype based on defense and commercial customer feedback. Phase II will consist of three Rounds of funding with progression between Rounds contingent upon meeting defined milestones. For this topic, proposers must meet defined milestones for each Round to be considered for the next Round. Full details for Phase II proposal requirements will be provided to Phase I awardees; however, general descriptions for Phase II Rounds I, II, and III are provided below:

Round I.  Demonstration of Viability – Round I further builds on the Phase I functional prototype to meet DON user’s needs. Round I is limited to a firm fixed price of $500,000 and the period of performance is not to exceed 6 months. During this Round, the proposer will focus on moving beyond proving basic achievement of meeting DON needs to meeting all of the usability features required for integration and deployment. The proposer will produce no-less-than 100 units of the prototypes under consideration. The proposer will be expected to work with actual end users and systems integration personnel to ensure that requirements beyond technological performance of the prototype are identified (e.g., Human System Interface, logistics, training, maintenance, installation). The proposer will use feedback from DON users, systems integrators, and other potential defense and commercial beneficiaries and stakeholders to modify and adapt its prototype to meet defense operational and technical needs and to meet potential dual-use commercial applications. At the end of Round I, the prototype must demonstrate operational and/or commercial viability. The proposer must recommend test procedures to demonstrate viability and an appropriate facility for the test; however, the Government is not required to use the proposed testing procedures or facilities. It is very likely that Government personnel will be present for the demonstration. Only those firms that produce technologies suitable for testing and demonstration of operational and/or commercial viability will be eligible for continuation to the next Round and additional funding. The Government reserves the right to fund some, none, or all of the Round I participants into Round II depending on the availability of SBIR funds and the capabilities of final Round II prototypes to meet DON needs.

Round II. Pilot Testing in an Operational Environment – Round II, if funded, is limited to a firm fixed price of $1,000,000 and the period of performance is not to exceed 9 months. During Round II, the proposer will produce no-less-than 320 units of the prototypes under consideration, and meet with DON command stakeholders and operational end users to conduct pilot tests of fully functional prototypes in an operational environment. These tests are designed to be performed using DON operational personnel in real end user environments and scenarios. All testing will be coordinated with DON command and operational stakeholders. Results of this testing will inform stakeholders on the capabilities of the developed technology and the probability for its deployment in an operational environment. During Round II, the SBC will use feedback from DON users, systems integrators, and other potential defense and commercial beneficiaries and stakeholders to adapt their prototype to optimize defense operational and technical benefits and to provide optimal dual-use commercial market fit. Only those firms that produce technologies suitable for further testing in anticipation of DON deployment into an operational environment and/or commercialization in the private sector will be eligible for continuation to the next Round and additional funding. The Government reserves the right to fund some, none, or all of the Round II participants into Round III depending on the availability of SBIR or non-SBIR funds and the capabilities of final Round II prototype operational testing.

Round III. Operational Test and Evaluation in Multiple User Scenarios - Round III is intended for additional operational testing, if required, using multiple prototypes and users simultaneously in a DON operational environment. This Round may require delivery of no-less-than 1,000 prototypes and/or licenses of the technology for testing purposes. If non-government personnel are utilized as part of the testing, appropriate Non-Disclosure Agreements will be obtained to protect against disclosure of the proposer’s intellectual property (if properly marked). The proposer may be required to support the conduct of the tests, but the operation of the prototypes in the test must be capable of being performed by the Government. SBIR funding, if available for Round III, will require non-SBIR Government or private funds included as a 1:1 Cost-Match, with SBIR funds not to exceed $1,500,000 under the 1:1 Cost-Match. The required number of end users and prototypes as well as the operational scenarios to be run are not yet defined. Therefore, this Round is currently undefined.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Given the need for these capabilities at numerous sites, the Federal Government will coordinate funding to maximize benefit for affected sites. Depending on financial estimates, a phased procurement may be required to reach full implementation at the necessary sites. Coordination between the Government and the provider will be required during Phase III to ensure support and proper proficiency of the solution is in place prior to completion of the effort.
 
Finally, the Federal Government sees the development of these capabilities as benefiting industrial maintenance activities in partnership with the Navy. The ability to keep critical assets in operation is a common need for which the Navy is seeking willing partners.

REFERENCES:

1. Minimum Viable Product: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimum_viable_product

2. Technology Readiness Levels: https://www.army.mil/e2/c/downloads/404585.pdf

3. Information on Business Accelerator Pilot opportunity with H4XLabs for ADAPT Phase I Awardees (defined in Business Accelerator Services section in Proposal Submission Instructions for ADAPT Topics). https://www.h4xlabs.com/sbir

KEYWORDS: Unmanned Systems; UxS; Unmanned Aircraft Systems; UAS; Unmanned Surface Vehicles; USV; Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief; HADR