SOFWERX: UAS Capability Assessment Event

SOFWERX, in connection with the Military Information Support Operations (MISO), has created an event to determine those types of payload systems that are available to provide increased flexibility of the full range of MISO capabilities to target audiences in denied or hostile environments with minimal risk.

The submission deadline is August 16, 2019.

What’s in it for you?

USSOCOM seeks to enter into non-FAR based agreements with industry partners whose solutions are favorably evaluated by USSOCOM MISO subject matter experts.This event is considered competitive in the same manner as a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) or Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO), and solutions will be evaluated independently of one another primarily for technical merit.Official recognition for your company or idea.

What are the Areas of Interest?

1. Internet of Things Receiver Payload: MISO lacks a sUAS receiver capable of collecting metadata information from multiple scatterable media devices at the same time and relaying that metadata to the user in a format that facilitates sentiment analysis for measures of performance/effectiveness (MOP/MOE).

Operational Use Scenario: Scatterable media devices will be disseminated via aerial delivery platform over target audience(s) with a pre-programed audio message. A sUAS with an internet of things receiver is dispatched to fly over the scatterable media devices that have been dispersed and collects the metadata information to include but not limited to: GPS location/tracking information and number of times message was played/reprogrammed etc. After collecting the metadata, the payload transmits the metadata back to the user for analysis. It is highly desireable that the receiver has AI/ML edge analytics to conduct the analysis on platform.

Standards:

• Payload should weigh ~4 lbs or less, however operationally relevant capabilities that weigh slightly more may be considered as the operator may trade endurance

• Must gather media GPS locations and number of playbacks

• LoRa is desired to potentially wider area network and is GPS enabled

• Frequency hopping or alternative anti-jamming strategies are desired

• AI/ML edge analytics and/or data collation conducted on platform is highly desired

Technology Research Areas: Denied GPS, frequency hopping, telemetry

2. UMS Broadcast: MISO currently lacks the ability to intercept, jam, modify and transmit/broadcast FM/Television/Cellular across sUAS platforms during short duration operations and to conduct sUAS MISO messaging.

Operational Use Scenario: During an operation, MISO forces utilize broadcast messaging to influence target audience in order to support US operational objectives. During these operations, MISO utilizes short duration Audio/Audio-Visual messaging on existing broadcast frequencies as well as middleman 3G/LTE SMS/MMS solution(s) to modify SMS/MMS messages between sender and recipient. Vignette: In austere conditions a MISO operation is being conducted against an adversary. To increase force protection (FORCEPRO), the sUAS would jam a known FM/Television broadcast to release a public safety message. Subsequently the target objective releases a SMS/MMS message requesting assistance. The sUAS platform capability modifies the message to redirect enemy reinforcements.

Standards:

• Payload should weigh ~4 lbs or less, however operationally relevant capabilities that weigh slightly more may be considered as the operator may trade endurance.

• Must operate in all weather conditions

• Must be able to receive and transmit messages remotely (remote operator messaging interface)

• FM broadcast range of 25nm

• TV broadcast range of 15nm

• Cellular bradcast range of 8nm

Technology Research Areas: Telemetry

3. sUAS Leaflet Drop Payload: MISO currently lacks the ability to conduct targeted leaflet drops with organic air assets

Operational Use Scenario: The UAS Leaflet platform could be used by a MISO team in both tactical and humanitarian environments. Tactical: The UAS Leaflet payload could be used to fly into a village before the teams’ arrival for preparation of the environment. It could drop leaflets with influence messaging that would be in support of the current mission. Once the drop has been conducted the operator could bring the UAS back to home base to pack up and the team could then continue their mission. Humanitarian: The MISO team could use the leaflet payload during humanitarian or disaster relief operations. The leaflet drop would be used to deliver a leaflet with public information on food and water points, medical facilities and shelter to those who are stranded in areas of destruction who can’t currently be reached via traditional means.

Standards:

• The payload must weigh ~4 lbs. or less with an assumed leaflet/distributable media weight of ~2 lbs. However, if the best, most robust design is >2 lbs., it will still be considered as the operator may trade endurance

• Must be capable of dropping either leaflets or digital media which can be scattered

• Should be capable of remotely controlled release, although it is also highly desired that it releases based on location data autonomously

Technology Research Areas: Payload delivery without maneuverability and stability interference, air time

4. sUAS Loudspeaker Platform: MISO currently lacks the ability to conduct Loud speaker operations from an aerial platform.

Operational Use Scenario: The UAS loudspeaker platform could be used by a MISO team in both tactical and humanitarian environments. Tactical: The UAS Loudspeaker could be used to fly into a village ahead of the teams arrival for preparation of the environment. It could broadcast influence messages that would be in support of the current mission. Once the broadcasts have been conducted the operator could bring the UAS back to home base to pack up and the team could then continue their mission. Humanitarian: The MISO team could use the loudspeaker payload during humanitarian or disaster relief operations. The Loudspeaker would be used to broadcast public information on food and water points, medical facilities and shelter to those who are stranded in areas of destruction who wouldn’t have the ability to get information via other sources.

Standards:

• Payload should weigh ~4 lbs or less, however operationally relevant capabilities that weigh slightly more may be considered as the operator may trade endurance.

• Have either self supporting power or a non-proprietary interface to obtain power (interoperable)

• Must perform in all weather conditions

• Volume must be able to be controlled remotely

• Must be able to either stream pre-recorded messages or broadcast a live message

• Although not required – it is highly desireable to have “listen back” capabilities

Technology Research Areas: Loud speakers, such as Next Generation Loud Speaker (NGLS), speaker clarity/quality of sound, distance to transmit clear announcements, telemetry

5. sUAS Full Motion Video (FMV): MISO currently lacks the ability to collect raw footage from sUAS platforms to be used for products/MOE/MOP/Sentimental Analysis such as assessments, influence messaging and media creation.

Operational Use Scenario: Operators are currently required to be on site, manually taking photos or video streams which require face to face access. It is envisioned that sUAS capabilities will allow for snapshots and streaming video that can be used for assessments and influence messaging material for both situational awareness and media creation. Because of the sUAS platform, it is further envisioned this can be accomplished either remotely, or autonomously. Allowing the operator to have access to denied or permissive areas of interest before, during and after events of significance. MISO is also highly interested in AI/ML concepts that can determine sentiment analysis, object recognition or other useful modalities particularly if the analytics are performed on platform. Vignette: After a successful operation, insurgent narratives make false claims against US Forces. DoD forces subsequently release metadata free, raw footage to news outlets to combat the enemy narrative of Civilian Casualties. Additionally, raw footage was modified to create follow-on influence messages based on MOE derived from sentiment analysis resulting in increased message effectiveness.

Standards:

• Payload should weigh ~4 lbs or less, however operationally relevant capabilities that weigh slightly more may be considered as the operator may trade endurance

• Camera capable of recording industry level video in low light conditions

• Transmitted in a non-proprietary method so that it can be transferred to print/digital media

• Raw camera footage with dual file output 1) metadata, 2) no metadata

• A camera capable of supporting facial recognition/detection is highly desired such that it can conduct 60% accurate sentiment analysis near real time and 99% accurate sentiment analysis in a cloud based, post processing environment

Technology Research Areas: AI/ML object recognition, sentiment analysis, video transmission, telemetry, first person video/remote person view

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