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Tactical Intelligence Targeting Access Node (TITAN) Ground Station


Responses Due By

11 Apr 2020 23:59 EST

AMENDMENT 1: Please see one change to the Area of Interest below ("and high altitude" was removed from the first bullet below "The TITAN prototype should support:"). Question and Answer content has also been posted below. Finally, the due date has been extended by 7 calendar days to 10 April 2020.

AMENDMENT 2: Update to Question and Answer content posted below (see "Question & Answer Update (4/2/20)" section).

The Department of Defense (DoD) seeks commercial solutions for deployable ground stations capable of rapidly and semi-autonomously tasking, receiving, processing, exploiting, fusing, and disseminating space based sensor data to provide networked situational awareness and direct tactical support to Army commanders at echelon.  The mobile ground station prototype will task and receive data from a diverse set of space-based sensors. The goal of the program is to reduce sensor to shooter latency via automated metadata correlation to provide time-dominant intelligence for delivery of desired effects (e.g. Long-Range Precision Fires [LRPF]).

The mobile ground station prototype should include everything required to operate during a designated exercise(s) and demonstration(s) as well during real world operations, including the vehicle/trailers, power generation/conditioning, antennae, communications/network hardware/software (to include line of sight and beyond line of sight), processing hardware/software, and analytical hardware/software. The prototype will require accreditation and certification prior to connecting to Government networks or data sources.

The TITAN prototype should support:

  • Automated wideband data signal processing, decryption, and ingest from satellite systems
  • Autonomous cross-cueing and tasking operations between satellites
  • Ingest of relevant emitter data for cueing and geolocation applications.
  • Automated processing and exploitation of satellite data and derived analytics such as: (a) electro-optical data products (including motion imagery), (b) multi- and hyper-spectral data, (c) thermal and overhead persistent (OPIR) data, (d) synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data, (e) emitter location data, (f) light detection and ranging (LIDAR) data, (g) mapping data, and (h) ALT NAV / Assured PNT data
  • Storage and processing of data from multiple commercial data providers
  • Development and/or application of machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, and advanced processing techniques
  • Hybrid edge and cloud-based processing and analytics
  • Rapid deployment to diverse operational environments via strategic lift and once deployed, be capable of rapid setup, tear down, movement, and assembly to meet operational commander’s needs
  • Sustained operations through any loss of non-local communications or networks for a reasonable period of time
  • Analysis and collaboration environment for a team of multi-disciplined intelligence and geospatial analysts (as part of TITAN)

The access node should be a modular, open systems architecture, making it easy to upgrade software/firmware, analytics/algorithms, and ingest additional data streams as commercial vendors and national data become available. The access node architecture should be:

  • Capable of concurrently storing and processing unclassified and classified data up to TS/SCI
  • Capable of concurrently disseminating unclassified and classified data up to TS/SCI
  • Built leveraging robust cloud-based services and applications when connected to BLOS networks
  • Built utilizing common, industry standard hardware form factors wherever possible
  • Built implementing modern DevSecOps principles and practices where applicable
  • Built integrating government furnished equipment (GFE)
  • Built to provide intuitive user interface with the enabling low latency data analysis and dissemination, enabled by machine learning and other automation where possible

This will be a competitive, 24-30 months prototype project involving U.S. companies only, and includes the (1) delivery of 2 (up to 6) working prototype mobile ground stations capable of immediate testing and evaluation at a government led theater warfighter exercise (2) demonstration of reduced latency direct downlink of data/imagery from both commercial space sensors, and national overhead systems sensors (3) demonstration(s) of semi-autonomous tasking and data processing, (4) delivery of fused data product to users of interest in tactically relevant timelines.  We envision this effort being executed in two phases: Phase 1 includes the development, integration, testing, accreditation and delivery of 2 complete prototype systems not later than January 2022.  Phase 2 includes the testing, assessment, and refinement of the prototype systems based upon participation in and feedback from several exercises and evaluations (CONUS and OCONUS). This phase will include user training, TTP development, exercise participation, and incremental improvements/modifications based upon assessment results and operator feedback.  Phase 2 also includes the option of delivering up to 4 additional prototype systems. 

Companies should demonstrate technical expertise in one or more of these areas. Companies are encouraged to present their own teaming arrangements in their solution briefs to address all areas, including accreditation, integration and testing.  Sensor data providers may also submit their solution briefs to address integration of their data, algorithms, and/or analytics into the prototype. The government may facilitate teaming arrangements among submissions offering complimentary capabilities to achieve an overall desired effect.

The Government is also pursuing a separate parallel effort for the objective TITAN ground station design to accommodate Aerial and Terrestrial sensors as well.  It will be necessary for the contractor(s) in this effort to establish agreements with the contractor(s) building the objective TITAN ground station. Both contractors will need to coordinate designs to ensure seamless integration of the space components into the objective TITAN ground station.  Software developed under this OTA will be available for transition to the objective TITAN ground station. To support the prototype timelines and reduce risk of integration, the Government is offering the Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) listed in Appendix A (as-is). Additionally, the objective TITAN Ground Station Reference Architecture Design Guide is available as a resource to help vendors with proposals.  Companies are encouraged to leverage the GFE, industry standards, and open source solutions to the maximum extent feasible.

Questions will be fielded until 31 March 2020. Please email all inquiries to tmyers@diu.mil. Answers will posted to this site as they are received.

Government Furnished Equipment:

  • 5 Ton Truck M1083 (2)
  • S280 Shelter with Environmental Control Unit (ECU)
  • Generator – 60 KW
  • MIDAS Remote Terminal (MRT) (includes processing h/w and crypto)
    • Advanced Miniaturized Data Acquisition System (AMDAS) containerized
      s/w
  • Ground Antenna Transmit and Receive (GATR) (includes processing h/w
    and crypto)
    • Remote Ground Terminal (RGT) containerized s/w
  • Distributed Common Ground System- Army (DCGS-A) Cross Domain Server Set
    • Tactical Communications Support Processor (TCSP)
    • Trusted Gateway System (TGS)
  • NGA components
    • Cedallion and Information Store (iSToRE) s/w to load on servers
  • Trojan Lite V1
 Note: If Companies are interested in viewing the reference architecture, please email Robert.L.Gooding@usace.army.mil.
 
Question & Answer:
 

Will sensor specific processing chains/software (or at least raster calibrated imagery) be provided as GFE? 

The GFE components will be available for integration into the TITAN Prototype by the second or third quarter of Fiscal Year 2021. Within 30 days of contract award, sample sensor data can be made available.

Will raw commercial data be downlinked directly to an in theatre mobile facility or will it arrive already at least partially processed? If partially processed, what tap-point/format is it processed to?

Commercial imagery will be downlinked unprocessed into TITAN. TITAN will process and produce a formatted image using the GFE RGT provided. If a satellite has onboard processing, the imagery will be downlinked in a processed format.

For all the phenomenologies, will data be provided raw, or if processed, what will the partially processed tap-point/format be? If partially processed, can you specify what each format will be for each phenomenology?

For commercial imagery, the imagery will come in as raw directly off of the satellites, and the raw data/Images will be processed into NITF 2.1 format (unless an on-board processing capability exists on the satellite, in which case the imagery will be downlinked in a processed format).

What defines "mapping data”? Should there be a capability to receive NGA MC&G products or should this solution include the ortho-rectification and Digital Terrain Elevation Data (DTED) processing?

TITAN will be able to receive and store National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) Mapping, Charting, and Geodesy (MC&G) data. Ortho-rectification capabilities are desired in TITAN

Is it correct to assume that fusion of data from both disparate platforms and intelligence types is part of the ask? Is it desirable to fuse data over multi-INT/phenomenologies?

Yes

How are Autonomous cross-cueing and tasking operations between satellites envisioned to work? Will we have access to PGMM? For true autonomous cue/task, it would require onboard processing and comms. Is there a desire to develop this architecture for future satellite systems?  

The TITAN Prototype is the focused on the ground segment. However, the TITAN Prototype would like to take advantage of an on-board processing if they exist in industry.  Access to PGMM is not expected.

Is the dissemination requirement for communications listed in the solicitation (“Capable of concurrently disseminating unclassified and classified data up to TS/SCI”) solely routing data via the listed GFE DCGS-A Cross Domain Server set to recipients at that location, e.g. Corps or Division command post, to external elements (DCGS-A or Mission Command systems)?

Initially, yes; however, the Government is interested in other accreditation methods to move data across domains.

Can the GFE be described in more physical and functional detail?

Additional documentation will be made available upon request from Robert.L.Gooding@usace.army.mil.

Can companies offer an alternative solution to Cedallion and iStore?

Yes, as long as the same access to data is achieved.

Does the Government expect the Space-Ground Subsystem Kit to include the same GFE as the TITAN Prototype?

Yes

Does the MIDAS equipment include an aperture? Can the GFE be described in more detail?

The MRT trailer contains a 2.0 M L/ S-Band tracking antenna.

Does the GATR equipment include an aperture?

The GATR is a 2.4 M tracking X-band antenna.

Should we anticipate supporting all the platforms that were shown in the Space Prototype OV-1 that was included in the December 4, 2019 TITAN Industry Day discussion?

At a minimum, the TITAN Prototype will be expected to support the platforms currently supported by the GFE provided equipment.

Do you want only a full solution or are you also interested in a partial solution?

Teaming in order to offer a comprehensive solution is encouraged, but partial solutions will also be considered.

In lieu of providing specific satellite parameters, can you provide antenna EIRP and G/T requirements as well as operating frequencies, waveforms, bands and data rates?

The RGT currently supports numerous commercial satellites (e.g. RADAR SAT, World View, Blacksky, Deimos), and these values can be obtained as new satellite vendors are implemented in the RGT.

The Area of interest requests a full commercial solution which would include the platform, comm, antennas, etc.  However, you provided a number of GFE platforms and systems. Is the intent to use/mount the solution on those platforms? 

Either solution can be proposed.

If a company has a mobile platform capable of supporting this mission, is that of value to the program or is the Government only interested in software solutions that can be mounted on existing Government platforms?

The Government is interested in any commercial solutions.

Does TITAN intend to fly the satellite from the platform in theater, fly remotely, or both?

TITAN does not have the requirement for telemetry, tracking, and control (TT&C) of space vehicles

Are there established interface specifications between services and networks?

There are established specifications for cross domain solutions between networks

Please provide information on the condition of the GFE (new from manufacturer or used)?

The GFE will be a combination of new and refurbished components.

What is the current state of the GFE? Is it assembled, functional, and tested?

When the GFE is delivered to the integration facility, contractor support will be provided to assist with integration and testing.

Is the generator currently trailer-mounted?

The intent is to provide a trailer-mounted military generator.

Will the government provide the interface documentation for the DCGS-A Cross Domain Server Set (to include TCSP and TGS), RGT, and ADV?

The GFE components will be provided with the necessary documentation.

What are the high-altitude systems envisioned to operate with the TITAN Space prototype as different from the space (LEO) sensors? 

The TITAN Prototype will be responsible for down linking Space sensors, both Commercial and National satellites.  High Altitude Aerial sensors are not a requirement for the prototype (note: language referring to high-altitude systems was removed from the Area of Interest [AoI] above).

Can examples, classes, and/or types of the communications systems be identified for the reference in Paragraph 2 stating “line of sight and beyond line of sight” communications/network hardware/software?

A full solution that addresses all areas of the AoI should identify/propose various radios/SATCOM that can provide this connectivity in various DoD bands for dissemination of various data types.

Can exemplars/sources be identified within the list of “Automated processing and exploitation of satellite data…” which would produce Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) data and Full Motion Video (FMV)?

These date type were used as a reference not as a specific requirement.

The third bullet in the “access node architecture” list states that cloud-based services and applications are to be leveraged when connected to BLOS networks.  Why is this limited to only when connected to BLOS networks?

The intent of the statement is to convey that the Government is open to incorporating available cloud-based services. The addition of the phrase, “when connected to BLOS networks," indicates that this functionality will be tied to available network connectivity to the cloud and alleviates the need to store the cloud functionality in the stand-alone local system architecture for when operators do not have connectivity.

Is it implied that functionality associated with items on the GFE list are to be included within the functional scope of the Titan prototype?

The Government is aware that incorporating the GFE will provide a system capable of meeting the minimum requirements.  This equipment will be not be mandated for use but will be made available.

The first item in the GFE list (the 1083 truck) lists a quantity of two.  Are quantities for the remaining items limited to one (1) each?

Yes.

For the first item, one truck will host an S280 shelter and the other truck will be used for transport.

It is unclear how limited the integration space available is in the GFE shelters. Industry would like to assess the ability to add advanced processing capability to the GFE equipment. Can the government provide details as to remaining rack space?

The Government will provide an estimation of the rack space requirement for the GFE equipment in the GFE description. Additional documentation will be made available upon request from Robert.L.Gooding@usace.army.mil.

Question & Answer Update (4/2/20)

Can you provide any documentation on the GFE special and containerized software components architectures?

These efforts are currently underway and documentation is not available at this time, but documentation will be made available early in the integration effort.  The GFE components will be provided as pre-processors and limited integration is expected to be required.

Can you provide the generalized hardware components that comprise the receive/transmit elements of MIDAS, RGT, and Trojan V1?

Components of the AMDAS include Data Acquisition System (DAS) Control Processor (DCP), Signal Formation Element (SFE), a DCP Terminal (the operator interface) and the Miniaturized Data Acquisition System (MiDAS) Remote Trailer (MRT). The MRT is remoted from the shelter via a fiber optic cable.

RGT consists of GATR TRAC antenna (includes Cross Technologies Up and Down Convertors), the MPS (Microwave Photonics System) converts the IF to fiber and back to IF before the signal goes into the QMR modem/receiver.

The Trojan SPIRIT Lite (V)1 is a transit-cased transportable C-band and Ku-band SATCOM. The terminal consists of a 2.4 meter dish, associated High Powered Amplifiers (HPA), Low Noise Amplifier (LNA), a Block Transceiver Unit (BTU), and an interface unit that allows the remote connectivity of the dish up to 125 ft from the L-band Single Channel Per Carrier (SCPC) MODEM.  There is also a Trojan Black Transport Network router that provides connectivity through the Trojan network.

The GFE description breaks down the rack capacity allocated to processing of different systems, but does not say what the total capacity is or what the estimated capacity reserve is expected to be for the DIU Space Ground prototype. Can the Government provide further definition on this?

The GFE description accounts for 105U of rack space, and the integrator will be responsible for providing a shelter design that provides adequate space to contain the GFE, and any additional components identified by the integrator that are required to meet the Prototype objectives.  Based on previous experience we believe it is possible to place up to six racks in an S-280 shelter.

Is the bullet under “access node architecture” that states “built leveraging robust cloud-based services and applications when connected to BLOS networks” referencing use of the TS V1 or other, non-prototype effort BLOS capabilities (i.e. non-TITAN systems)?

Correct. The expectation is that the TITAN Prototype could be connected to networks using other assets already fielded to the unit, but this connectivity will certainly not be guaranteed at all times.

What bandwidth should be assumed for the BLOS connectivity?

Bandwidth will vary depending on what Army-provided communications circuits are available to the unit in-garrison and when deployed.  An expected range, as advertised by the WIN-T program, is: greater than 1.5 Mbps and less than 50Mbps.

For the prototype demonstration, who is responsible for the licensing of the communications?

For government-sponsored demonstrations, the Government will provide authorization and Host Nation Approvals. If the vendor selects equipment that does not have DoD Spectrum Certification (a J/F 12 number), the vendor is responsible for preparing the Stage 4 DD form 1494.

Do you already have a predefined list of commercial data partners whose raw data we need to process, or do we need to bring our own partners?

Maxar/Digital Globe (WorldView 1 and 2, RADARSAT-2), Deimos-2, and BlackSky satellites are included in the RGT today.  Additionally, Maxar/Digital Globe WorldView 3 as well as R2 Space satellites are planned to be added to the RGT baseline in time for integration into the TITAN Prototype.

For GFE sensor data, will the processing chains and software be provided? We are already aware that sample data can be provided within 30 days.

Yes, the processing chain to include the software will be provided as GFE with the final GFE delivery no later than the 3rd Quarter of Fiscal Year 2021.

With regards to disseminating data, is support for NGSO communications desired or otherwise assumed as part of the solution?

Given the expected utilization of GFE in the TITAN Prototype, the use of Non-geostationary Satellites (NSGO) for dissemination is not required, but the Government is interested in this technology if it could be used for the Prototype. There is also potential for future usage.

Are we responsible for providing the space segment (i.e. the satellites) for test demonstrations? As in, will the government be providing satellites that we can task, or do we need to provide our own satellites?

No, satellites do not need to be provided for test/demonstrations. As stated above, any satellite access for testing/demonstration will be accomplished with customer coordination as part of the GFE.

To ensure our overall system is operating at peak performance, what metrics should we be using to measure the performance of the data services/applications that are being run?

TITAN prototype shall have an operational availability (Ao) of 90% (T), 95% (O) during sustained wartime operations in accordance with the pending wartime operational mode summary/mission profile (OMS/MP). Ao is the minimum percentage of time over a 72 hour mission (as delineated in the pending (OMS/MP) that the system must be fully mission capable. This is supported by a Maximum Time To Repair (MaxTTR) of no greater than 60 minutes 90% of the time and an Administrative and Logistics Delay Time (ALDT) no greater than six (6) hours.