UNITED STATES SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND
16.1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
Proposal Submission Instructions


Introduction:

The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) seeks small businesses with strong research and development capabilities to pursue and commercialize technologies needed by Special Operations Forces (SOF). The USSOCOM Program Executive Officers (PEOs) submitted the topics to the USSOCOM SBIR Program Manager (PM) as topics that may transition to an acquisition Program of Record or Concept of Operation. In turn, the USSOCOM SBIR PM submitted the topics to the Department of Defense (DoD) for the DoD 16.1 SBIR solicitation.

A thorough reading of the “U.S. Department of Defense Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program: Program Solicitation FY 16.1” prior to reading these USSOCOM instructions is highly recommended. These USSOCOM instructions are additive to the DoD guidance; i.e., designed to tailor or enhance certain aspects of the solicitation to meet or explain certain unique aspects of the USSOCOM SBIR program.

Contact with USSOCOM:

During the pre-release period of this DoD 16.1 SBIR solicitation, any technical inquiries must be submitted in writing through sbir@socom.mil, rather than made directly to the topic authors as specified in Section 4.15.c. of the DoD 15.1 SBIR Program Solicitation instructions. All inquiries must include the topic number in the subject line of the e-mail. During the solicitation open period, all questions must be submitted through the SBIR Interactive Topic Information System (SITIS) at https://sbir.defensebusiness.org/sitis/. See Section 4.15.d of the DoD 15.1 SBIR Program Solicitation instructions for additional information on SITIS. During the source selection period, e-mail is the only method of communication that will be used by the Government Contracting Officer to notify the submitter/proposer if they have or have not been selected for an award.

Site visits will not be permitted during the pre-release and open stages of the solicitation.

Phase I and Phase II Proposal Submission:

USSOCOM will only accept Phase I proposals for the topics included in this USSOCOM solicitation, and select and fund for a Phase I award only those proposals that are most likely to succeed in meeting a USSOCOM need.

Small business concerns awarded a Phase I contract may choose to submit a Phase II proposal not later than thirty (30) calendar days following the end of the Phase I contract. Submission of a Phase II proposal is not included as part of the Phase I contract.

Potential offerors shall submit all Phase I and Phase II proposals in accordance with the DoD Program Solicitation at https://sbir.defensebusiness.org (Section 5.0 Phase I Proposal and Section 7.0 Phase II Proposal) with one exception. That is, offerors must complete the cost volume using the Cost Proposal form posted on the USSOCOM section of the submission site. The Cost Proposal information (in PDF format) shall be appended to and submitted with the Technical Volume. The Technical Volume shall not exceed 20 pages. Proposals with a Technical Volume exceeding 20 pages will not be evaluated. The appended Cost Proposal does not count toward the 20 page Technical Volume limit, nor does the Company Commercialization Report.

Phase I Evaluation:

USSOCOM conducts a formal source selection process to determine which offerors should be awarded Phase I SBIR contracts. USSOCOM evaluates Phase I proposals using the evaluation criteria specified in Section 6.0 entitled “Phase I Evaluation Criteria” of the DoD 16.1 SBIR Solicitation.

Informal Feedback: A non-selected offeror shall make a written request for feedback within 30 calendar days of receipt of notification of non-selection. USSOCOM will provide informal feedback in lieu of a debriefing. USSOCOM will provide informal feedback within 30 calendar days of an offeror’s written request. (These component-unique instructions are in accordance with paragraph 4.10, entitled "Debriefing", of the DoD 16.1 SBIR solicitation.)

Phase I Awards:

USSOCOM’s SBIR Program is small compared to most other participating DoD Components and, on average, awards three Phase I contracts per topic. The maximum amount of SBIR funding for a Phase I award is $150,000 and the period of performance is typically six months. USSOCOM does not include options in the resulting Phase I SBIR contracts. Phase I SBIR contracts are Firm Fixed Price contracts.

Phase I Kick-Off and Out-Brief Meetings: USSOCOM conducts Kick-Off and Out-Brief meetings during the Phase I period of performance. Firms selected for a Phase I SBIR contract shall have the ability to participate in the Kick-Off and Out-Brief meetings via electronic media mutually agreed upon by the firm and the Contracting Officer Representative.

Phase II Evaluation:

Each contractor’s Phase II proposal received will be assessed as an independent technology pursuit, and will be judged on (1) how well it meets USSOCOM requirements, and (2) considerations of programmatic risk. Factors to determine programmatic risk include but are not limited to:

Phase II Awards:

The timing of selection for a Phase II award will be dependent upon USSOCOM’s current requirements and available resources.

A Phase II award typically has a period of performance between 12 to 24 months and an award amount of approximately $750,000 to $1,000,000. USSOCOM may elect to increase or decrease the Phase II award amount when it is deemed to be in its best interests. Proposals should be based on realistic cost and time estimates, and not on the maximum time (months) and dollars budgeted. In preparing the proposal, offerors should consider that USSOCOM’s workload and operational tempo will preclude extensive access to Government and military personnel beyond established periodic reviews.

The Federal Acquisition Regulation mandate to compete federal procurements is satisfied during the Phase I source selection process. Only those companies awarded Phase I contracts are allowed to submit Phase II proposals.

USSOCOM considers each Phase I feasibility study as a separate and distinct study that does not compete against each other. The feasible solutions that result from the Phase I studies are considered technology options that can be applied when needed to solve SOF capability shortfalls. Phase I feasibility options not immediately pursued after the conclusion of Phase I may move forward to the Phase II demonstration effort to satisfy future capability shortfalls.

USSOCOM SBIR Program Point of Contact: Inquiries concerning the USSOCOM SBIR Program should be addressed to sbir@socom.mil.


USSOCOM SBIR 16.1 Topic Index


SOCOM16-001
Alternative or Redundant Global Positioning System Navigation
SOCOM16-002
Environmentally Stable Portable Point of Care Blood Analyzer
SOCOM16-003
Next Generation Identity Management Technologies / Tools
SOCOM16-004
Optically Transparent Tapered Resistive Films
SOCOM16-005
Wide Bandwidth High Frequency Digital Radio

USSOCOM SBIR 16.1 Topic Descriptions

SOCOM16-001
Alternative or Redundant Global Positioning System Navigation


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Electronics, Information Systems, Sensors

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation.

OBJECTIVE: Develop either an alternate means or a redundant Global Positioning System (GPS) capability for Special Operations Forces (SOF) aircraft to acquire and maintain accurate timing, position and navigation.

DESCRIPTION: Some of the issues with the current GPS include blind spots as well as spoofing and jamming of the GPS signal. Additionally, many GPS satellites are outside of their designed lifetime and are likely to become less reliable in the future. Finally, it is uncertain whether current budget cuts will allow the funding needed to launch new GPS satellites. An innovative and inexpensive means to acquire position, navigation and timing are required to ensure operational missions can continue without a GPS signal. Inertial systems in some of the SOF platforms provide a redundancy to GPS but they suffer from integration drift caused by small errors in the measurement of acceleration and angular velocity.

PHASE I: The overall objective of a USSOCOM Phase I SBIR effort is to conduct and document the results of a thorough feasibility study to investigate what is in the art of the possible within the given trade space that will satisfy a technology need. The feasibility study should investigate all known options that meet or exceed the minimum performance parameters specified in this write up. It should also address the risks and potential payoffs of the innovative technology options that are investigated and recommend the option that best achieves the objective of this technology pursuit. The funds obligated on the resulting Phase I SBIR contracts are to be used for the sole purpose of conducting a thorough feasibility study using scientific experiments and laboratory studies as necessary. Operational prototypes will not be developed with USSOCOM SBIR funds during Phase I feasibility studies. Operational prototypes developed with other than SBIR funds that are provided at the end of Phase I feasibility studies will not be considered in deciding what firm(s) will be selected for Phase II.

The specific objective of this Phase I is to conduct a feasibility study to develop an innovative alternative to the current GPS to acquire position, navigation and timing or a redundant GPS capability. The solution shall:

PHASE II: Develop a prototype that demonstrates that the innovative alternative or redundant GPS technology meets the requirements specified in the above “Phase I” paragraph. The prototype will be assessed in a comparable environment where SOF operate to ensure the technology is suitable for its intended use.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: USSOCOM, other DoD Components, Federal Agencies and commercial businesses that currently use the Global Positioning System.

REFERENCES:

KEYWORDS: Global Positioning System, GPS, Positioning, Navigation, Timing, PNT


SOCOM16-002
Environmentally Stable Portable Point of Care Blood Analyzer


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Biomedical

OBJECTIVE: Develop an environmentally stable (temperature, humidity) portable (hand-held) point of care blood analyzer device capable of conducting standard blood chemistry analysis to improve diagnostic capabilities and clinical outcomes particularly with respect to prolonged field care.

DESCRIPTION: Special Operations Forces medical providers require a handheld point of care blood analyzer device, capable of providing real-time, lab-quality results within minutes. Results of rapid point of care blood analysis accelerate clinical decision-making, and are invaluable as we focus more on prolonged field care. Current Commercially available Off the Shelf (COTS) devices are cartridge based systems where either diagnostic, calibration or quality control test cartridges require refrigeration, thereby making the devices unsuitable for SOF medics. The devices and/or cartridges are highly sensitive to environmental factors like temperature and humidity and, therefore, are not suitable in austere locations where SOF operate.

PHASE I: The overhead objective of a USSOCOM Phase I SBIR effort is to conduct and document the results of a thorough feasibility study to investigate what is in the art of the possible within the given trade space that will satisfy a needed technology. The feasibility study should investigate all known options that meet or exceed the minimum performance parameters specified in this write up. It should also address the risks and potential payoffs of the innovative technology options that are investigated and recommend the option that best achieves the objective of this technology pursuit. The funds obligated on the resulting Phase I SBIR contracts are to be used for the sole purpose of conducting a thorough feasibility study using scientific experiments and laboratory studies as necessary. Operational prototypes will not be developed with USSOCOM SBIR funds during Phase I feasibility studies. Operational prototypes developed with other than SBIR funds that are provided at the end of Phase I feasibility studies will not be considered in deciding what firm(s) will be selected for Phase II.

The specific objective of this Phase I is to conduct a feasibility study to develop an environmentally stable point of care hand held blood analyzer. The analyzer shall:

PHASE II: Provide and demonstrate a point of care blood analyzer prototype that meets or exceeds the requirements specified in the above paragraph entitled “Phase I”. The prototype shall be capable of advancing the research and/or clinical trials required for future FDA approval.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Likely transitions include a Service Common Advanced Development effort or jointly sponsored efforts with the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and other Services. The device would also have potential commercial application to the rest of the Department of Defense, the Department of State, Disaster Response Agencies, and Non-Governmental Healthcare Agencies.

REFERENCES:

KEYWORDS: Blood, Analyzer, Portable, Point-of-Care


SOCOM16-003
Next Generation Identity Management Technologies / Tools


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Information Systems

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation.

OBJECTIVE: To develop/demonstrate next generation high performance, scalable identity management technologies and toolsets to provide automated, smart analysis tools to enable rapid, concise understanding of adversaries knowledge of USSOCOM operators and assets.

DESCRIPTION: Recent headlines (see reference #1) highlight that technologies (such as: advanced internet, social media, cloud-based, data search/aggregation, crowd-sourcing, deep/dark Web, publicly available information, etc.) can be used by nefarious forces with rapid, global and asynchronous effects. Consequently, USSOCOM has a critical requirement to safeguard the identity information of Special Operations Forces and their assets from exploitation. Exploitation can be prevented through innovative technology that employs: education, policies, processes and a combination of technical systems that create, define, govern, and synchronize identity ownership and utilization. In order for USSOCOM to stay ahead of adversaries leveraging easily obtainable tools, the next generation identity management system shall be an integrated suite of scalable, high performance technologies and automated analysis tools to:

Current DoD efforts leverage commercial search and data aggregation tools, and the feasibility study should address how the proposed innovative technologies exceed the currently available tools and capabilities.

PHASE I: The overall objective of this USSOCOM Phase I SBIR effort is to conduct and document the results of a thorough feasibility study to investigate what is in the art of the possible within the given trade space that will satisfy a needed technology. The feasibility study should investigate all known options that meet or exceed the minimum performance parameters specified in this write up. It should also address the risks and potential payoffs of the innovative technology options that are investigated and recommend the option that best achieves the objective of this technology pursuit. The funds obligated on the resulting Phase I SBIR contracts are to be used for the sole purpose of conducting a thorough feasibility study using scientific experiments and laboratory studies as necessary. Operational prototypes will not be developed with USSOCOM SBIR funds during Phase I feasibility studies. Operational prototypes developed with other than SBIR funds that are provided at the end of Phase I feasibility studies will not be considered in deciding what firm(s) will be selected for Phase II.

The specific objective of this feasibility study is to determine what is in the art of the possible that satisfies the requirements specified in the above paragraph entitled “Description”.

PHASE II: Develop a prototype and conduct a scalable prototype demonstration of all critical technologies and attributes. While the demonstration may be conducted with limited number of data sources, it shall demonstrate its capability to integrate the full range of global and regional data sources. The Phase II effort shall also develop a detailed design that could eventually be developed to satisfy operational capabilities.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: These technologies have dual-use applications beyond the DoD that include commercial marketing, sales and investment banking.

REFERENCES:

KEYWORDS: Identity Management, Data Aggregation, Publically Available Information, Data Duplication


SOCOM16-004
Optically Transparent Tapered Resistive Films


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Ground/Sea Vehicles, Materials/Processes

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this topic is to develop an innovative film/process that provides a tapered resistive layer across the film while remaining transparent in the Visual and Near Infrared (NIR) optical bands for use in Radio Frequency (RF) applications.

DESCRIPTION: Naval Special Warfare (NSW) needs a tapered resistive layer that remains transparent in the Visual and NIR bands for use in optically transparent structures of glass and/or polycarbonates. The performance goal for Visual Light Transmission (VLT) level is 85%. The resistive layers shall provide a continuous taper from 1 ohm/square to 377 ohms/square across a 6 inch surface span for basic marine “X” and “S” band radar frequencies. This layer shall be compliant with manufacturing techniques and processes used in other visual transparent structures (e.g. windows). Resistive layers and/or constituent materials exposed to weather shall be marinized against heavy rain and sea spray and ruggedized to withstand vibration and mechanical shock caused by wave slams, sustained while the craft is operating at 40 knots in 4 foot combined seas (which is roughly equivalent to accelerations of 10g's, 100 milliseconds, half sine wave), depending on where and how the system is mounted on the craft.

PHASE I: The overall objective of a USSOCOM Phase I SBIR effort is to conduct and document the results of a thorough feasibility study to investigate what is in the art of the possible within the given trade space that will satisfy a technology need. The feasibility study should investigate all known options that meet or exceed the minimum performance parameters specified in this write up. It should also address the risks and potential payoffs of the innovative technology options that are investigated and recommend the option that best achieves the objective of this technology pursuit. The funds obligated on the resulting Phase I SBIR contracts are to be used for the sole purpose of conducting a thorough feasibility study using scientific experiments and laboratory studies as necessary. Operational prototypes will not be developed with USSOCOM SBIR funds during Phase I feasibility studies. Operational prototypes developed with other than SBIR funds that are provided at the end of Phase I feasibility studies will not be considered in deciding what firm(s) will be selected for Phase II.

The specific objective of this Phase I is to conduct a feasibility study to assess what is in the art of the possible that satisfies the requirements specified in the above paragraph entitled "Description." As a part of this feasibility study, the proposers shall address all viable overall system design options including manufacturing processes.

PHASE II: Provide and demonstrate a prototype system determined to be the most feasible solution during the Phase I feasibility study on a NSW combatant-craft in a realistic environment.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: This system could be used in a broad range of window designs requiring a tapered resistivity. Potential uses include heat generation in order to mitigate ice buildup.

REFERENCES:

KEYWORDS: Materials, Sea Vehicles, Resistive Films


SOCOM16-005
Wide Bandwidth High Frequency Digital Radio


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Electronics, Sensors

OBJECTIVE: Provide reliable, two-way, man-portable, low visibility, no intermediate infrastructure, surface-to-surface data communications within a 500 kilometer-diameter circle, delivering at least a 200 kilobits/second user data rate.

DESCRIPTION: Near-Vertical Incident Skywave (NVIS) is a variant of High Frequency (HF) {HF = 3 Megahertz – 30 Megahertz} communications that uses radio wave reflection from the ionosphere to link two or more radios on the ground within a several hundred kilometer distance from each other. However, traditional NVIS communications, based on a single, narrowband channel, are notoriously unreliable due to rapidly-changing ionosphere conditions and the many sources of HF interference. Furthermore, the size and orientation of broadband HF antennas make covert NVIS systems difficult.

PHASE I: The overall objective of a USSOCOM Phase I SBIR effort is to conduct and document the results of a thorough feasibility study to investigate what is in the art of the possible within the given trade space that will satisfy a technology need. The feasibility study should investigate all known options that meet or exceed the minimum performance parameters specified in this write up. It should also address the risks and potential payoffs of the innovative technology options that are investigated and recommend the option that best achieves the objective of this technology pursuit. The funds obligated on the resulting Phase I SBIR contracts are to be used for the sole purpose of conducting a thorough feasibility study using scientific experiments and laboratory studies as necessary. Operational prototypes will not be developed with USSOCOM SBIR funds during Phase I feasibility studies. Operational prototypes developed with other than SBIR funds that are provided at the end of Phase I feasibility studies will not be considered in deciding what firm(s) will be selected for Phase II.

The specific objective of this Phase I is to conduct a feasibility study to develop a high level design and simulate a HF NVIS waveform with antenna and related technology that:

PHASE II: Develop and provide a prototype system to demonstrate that what was determined to be in the art of the possible can be brought into reality. Develop a detailed system design with all appropriate building blocks needed to implement a field-ready product that meets the performance, SWaP and endurance targets discussed above.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Field-ready radio systems are built, tested, and delivered to USSOCOM for operational test and evaluation. Other DoD components and Federal Agencies would be interested in this technology; as would commercial industries, some of which include trucking, shipping, security, and medical.

REFERENCES:

KEYWORDS: WBHF, HF, NVIS, Digital Radio, Communications, Wireless, Physically Small Antenna