Navy Technology Acceleration - Advanced Technologies (including AR/VR) for Manpower, Personnel, Training, and Education
Navy SBIR 2019.3 - Topic N193-A03
Opens: September 24, 2019 - Closes: October 23, 2019 (8:00 PM ET)

N193-A03

TITLE: NAVY TECHNOLOGY ACCELERATION - Advanced Technologies (including AR/VR) for Manpower, Personnel, Training, and Education

 

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Battlespace, Human Systems

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: OPNAV N9 - FTWC, OPNAV N1 - 21st Century Sailor, PEO-IWS1IT - TSTC, USMC TECOM, and USFF N72

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: The Naval (Navy and Marine Corps) Enterprise is interested in all facets of training and education to improved mission warfighter readiness and lethality. Driven by ubiquitous computing and advanced analytics techniques, the commercial applications for Manpower (e.g., human resources) and education communities have grown. The Navy seeks to apply those successes to military relevant applications across the Naval (Navy and Marine Corps) Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education (MPT&E) Enterprise. The broad topic will include various training and measurement technologies (e.g., game–based training, augmented and virtual reality domains) and the science of learning (e.g., cognitive models) to provide individual and collective training, along the training continuum (e.g., schoolhouse and to the fleet).

DESCRIPTION: We are seeking innovative solutions of technologies and methods within the following areas:
The United States Navy and Marine Corps seek a common shipboard and Rotary Wing Augmented, Mixed or Virtual Reality (AR/MR/VR)-enabled crew trainer to support and facilitate training objectives with a low cost and small footprint. Submit no more than one proposal per topic to one of the following Focus Areas:

1 - Instruments for assessing readiness in schoolhouse and operating forces
2 - Rapid and actionable After Action Reviews (AAR) technologies and methodologies
3 - Secure training architecture for LVC Training in a Degraded and Denied Environment (D2E)
4 - Distributed secure wireless network for shipboard training in a LVC environment
5 - Shared, sensed, distributed undersea and atmospheric simulation environment for use in maritime LVC training at sea
6 - Simulation into the cockpit of live aircraft
7 - Design Guidelines / Models for training system fidelity
8 - Game-based training systems for individual and collective skills
9 - Mixed reality AR/VR adaptive scaffolding tools for enhancing readiness

1. Instruments for assessing readiness in schoolhouse and operating forces:

The Fleet needs hardware and software to capture warfighters warfare performance starting from the accession through the advanced training pipeline. The Navy lacks an end-to-end (E2E) solution to collect, fuse, analyze, and present this type of data across the whole training spectrum. In order to collect and analyze the warfighter performance this solution must be scalable and nimble to accept, tag, and fuse various data sources and types (e.g., live, virtual) until a Fleet wide data standard is accepted and implemented. The solution should be able to track a Sailor or Marine throughout his or her career whether at training commands, deployed overseas, CONUS, or at sea. Additionally, these assessments must be able to be combined into team/crew/unit/Strike Group level warfighting performance and warfare readiness. This will allow for comparison within Strike Groups at various levels (individual, team, crew) and across Strike Groups throughout the training pipeline.

2. Rapid and actionable After Action Reviews (AAR) technologies and methodologies:

The Fleet needs a standardized AAR solution across domains (e.g., surface, aviation) that will provide near real-time feedback to warfighters at the appropriate level of detail focused on mission tasks in training, assessment, or certification event(s). This feedback should be provided at the individual, unit, and strike group level. Near real-time is defined as one to two hours after the conclusion of the individual and unit level evolution(s) and eight to twelve hours for complex multi-unit, cross platform, multi-mission at sea events. Moreover, this solution should also focus on providing instructors with real-time assessment tools to enable rapid synthesis/aggregation of instructor learning points to support the near real-time requirement. This solution needs to seamlessly operate in a shipboard, aircraft, and submarine combat system(s) with the capability to be backhauled from sea to shore-based training facilities. The solution should also address current shortfalls in data availability and integration (e.g., chat, voice, radar) for assessing performance real time and post hoc.

3. Secure training architecture for LVC Training in a Degraded and Denied Environment (D2E):

The Fleet needs the ability to execute large at sea exercises to train, assess, and certify units and large collections of ships and aircraft while operating in a simulated Command and Control in a Degraded and Denied Environment (C2D2E). In order to execute this live, virtual, and constructive (LVC) at sea exercise two-way communications must be maintained for the simulation and mentors/assessors data between the simulation center ashore and the ships and aircraft at sea. This should address using existing Navy Communication Circuits but should use intelligent agents to optimize and prioritize the simulation and mentor/assessor data flow from ships and aircraft at sea and the shore.

4. Distributed secure wireless network for shipboard training in a LVC environment:

The Fleet needs the ability to train, assess, and certify Sailors onboard ships while underway using commercial AR headsets without being hardwired to a network or computer. In order to use commercial AR headsets, it requires a wireless connection to the simulation for locating the wearer of the AR headset. This should address connecting wireless headsets to a classified simulation network onboard a ship while operating at sea. The solution(s) should be able to connect inside the confines of the ship, as well as outside the skin of the ship, and between the confines of the ship and outside the skin of the ship.

5. Shared, sensed, distributed undersea and atmospheric simulation environment for use in maritime LVC training at sea:

The Fleet needs the ability to train, assess, and certify ships and aircraft in cross platform warfare against submarines and anti-ship missiles in a shared environment either under water or above the water. Currently each platform uses separate environmental data bases and target parameters which causes mismatches in various areas (e.g., ranges, detection parameters, aspect presentation, etc.). This leads to not being able to share targeting data across platforms and “negative training”. The solution(s) should be able to share usable target data (e.g., range, speed, target aspect, tracking frequencies, etc.) to allow platforms to share targeting data for under water threats and above water threats from a shared environment.

6. Simulation into the cockpit of live aircraft:

The Fleet needs the ability to train, assess, and certify the aircraft carrier and amphibious assault ship along with its embarked aircraft. Currently aircraft train, assess, and certify before they embarked at instrumented land ranges without the supporting aircraft carrier or amphibious assault ship. The solution(s) should be able to inject threats with all the required data to appear as live threats in the cockpit of the aircraft, and the aircraft carrier or amphibious assault ship should have the same shared scenario as the aircraft. Additionally, the solution(s) must use existing operational/tactical circuits and must not overload these circuits.

7. Design Guidelines / Models for training system fidelity:

The Navy needs evidence-based tools and models for training system fidelity, current simulations and simulators are developed in an ad hoc manner and are costly. The solution for training developers is scientifically validated methods and tools to understand and select the optimum level of fidelity for training simulators and simulation systems. Models/tools are needed to understand the differing effects of fidelity on learning, taking into consideration trainee experience level of fidelity and task complexity, and how these factors interact to produce different learning outcomes.

8. Game-based training systems for individual and collective skills:

The Navy and Marine Corp need methods and tools to train small unit commanders to develop tactics and strategies in a dynamic and uncertain battle space. The solution is the use of multiplayer action video games designed to teach unit commanders and their team members to develop tactics and strategies on the fly. Action video games have in numerous studies demonstrated that playing multiplayer games is associated with increased cognitive performance, such as increased problem solving and decision making. These multiplayer games must have the capability to author new scenarios that reflect actual mission requirements and the ability to collect performance metrics at both individual and unit levels.

9. Mixed reality AR/VR adaptive scaffolding tools for enhancing readiness:

The Navy seeks an AR/MR- enabled Head Mounted job performance aid (JPA) to support maintenance and operations. Develop and validate two types of tools a mixed reality tool for extraction and preservation of expert domain knowledge. Develop a validate JPA for transferring domain knowledge and supporting skill acquisition for classroom and ship-based training and job support. This solution will require a pedagogical framework and design guidelines.

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

Validate the product-market fit between the proposed solution and Navy stakeholder and define a clear plan for trial and/or test with the proposed solution and the focus area. The proposed solution should directly address:
1. Identify the Navy end user(s) and explore the benefit area(s) which are to be addressed by the proposed solution(s)
2. Define clear objectives and measurable results for the proposed solution(s) – specifically how the proposed solution(s) will impact the end user
3. Describe the cost and feasibility of integration with current mission-specific products
4. Describe how the proposed solution(s) can be used by other government customers, both DoD and non-DoD
5. Describe technology related development that is required to successfully field the proposed solution(s)

The funds obligated on any resulting Phase I SBIR contract are to be used for the sole purpose of conducting a thorough feasibility study using scientific experiments, laboratory studies, and commercial research. Prototypes may be used or developed with SBIR funds during Phase I to better address the risks and potential return on innovative technologies.

PHASE II: Develop, integrate, and demonstrate a prototype determined to be the most feasible solution during the Phase I period. The demonstration should focus on:

1. Evaluating the proposed solution against the objectives and measurable results as defined in Phase I
2. Describing in detail how the solution can be scaled to be adopted widely
3. A clear transition path for the proposed solution that takes into account input from stakeholders
4. Specific details on how the proposed solution can be integrated and how it will be supported/sustained

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Expand mission capability to a broad range of government and civilian users and applications. Coordinate with the government for additional research and development, or direct procurement of products and/or services developed in coordination with the Navy.

REFERENCES:

1. A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority Version 2.0 DTD December 2018. https://www.navy.mil/navydata/people/cno/Richardson/Resource/Design_2.0.pdf

2. Surface Force Strategy and Implementation of Distributed Lethality. https://www.navy.mil/strategic/SurfaceForceStrategy-ReturntoSeaControl.pdf

3. Information on Business Accelerator Pilot opportunity with H4XLabs for N193-A03 Phase I Awardees (defined in Business Accelerator Services section in Proposal Submission Instructions for Technology Acceleration Topics). https://www.h4xlabs.com/sbir

KEYWORDS: Training; AR/VR; LVC Environment; Command and Control; Models for Training; Shipboard

TPOC-1:

Ray Perez (Focus Areas 1 and 7 – 9)

Email:

ray.perez@navy.mil

 

TPOC-2:

Harold Hawkins (Focus Areas 3 – 5)

Email:

harold.hawkins@navy.mil

 

TPOC-3:

Ami Bolton (Focus Areas 2 and 6)

Email:

amy.bolton@navy.mil

 

TPOC-4:

Peter Squire (Focus Areas 1 – 2 and 7 – 9)

Email:

peter.squire@navy.mil

 

** 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.

Direct Contact with Topic Authors. From August 23 to September 23, 2019 this BAA is issued for Pre-Release with the names of the topic authors and their phone numbers and e-mail addresses. During the pre- release period, proposing firms have an opportunity to contact topic authors by telephone or e-mail to ask technical questions about specific BAA topics. Questions should be limited to specific information related to improving the understanding of a particular topic’s requirements. Proposing firms may not ask for advice or guidance on solution approach and you may not submit additional material to the topic author. If information provided during an exchange with the topic author is deemed necessary for proposal preparation, that information will be made available to all parties through SITIS (SBIR/STTR Interactive Topic Information System). After this period questions must be asked through SITIS as described below.

 

SITIS Q&A System. Once DoD begins accepting proposals on September 24, 2019 no further direct contact between proposers and topic authors is allowed unless the Topic Author is responding to a question submitted during the Pre-release period. However, proposers may submit written questions through SITIS at https://sbir.defensebusiness.org/topics . In SITIS, the questioner and respondent remain anonymous and all questions and answers are posted electronically for general viewing.

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