Identify innovative ways to improve multi-domain range scheduling and management to win part of a $75,000 prize pool.

Overview

The National Security Innovation Network (NSIN), in partnership with the Air Force 56th Range Management Office (RMO) and the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence (USAICoE) at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, will run a prize challenge to identify innovative capabilities for multi-domain range scheduling and management.

A team of subject matter experts will evaluate applicants and select up to 15 companies as finalists to participate in the hybrid Pitch Day in June 2024, to be held at the Defense Innovation OnRamp Hub: Arizona. Among these finalists, up to 3 companies will be selected as winners, with a total of $75,000 in awards allocated to the top-performing company/companies.

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is making significant investments in this arena and looking to support the growth of an integrated tool that facilitates efficient planning, communication, and coordination of range activities to meet mission objectives while optimizing resource utilization and minimizing conflicts.


Problem Statement

The DoD currently grapples with challenges to establishing intricate and congested training environments and lacks a system that offers pre-mission planning tools and real-time feedback mechanisms for scheduling and deconfliction. The military requires a range planning resource optimization tool and viewer that provides a range common operating picture (COP). This tool would enable users to effectively schedule and utilize ranges and related resources and would enable approvals and clearances across numerous disparate groups, adhering to standards and factors encompassing air, spectrum, available range areas, resources, and range standard operating procedure.

The technology must encompass four key capabilities to meet the experimental objectives set by the USAICoE:

1. Information Accessibility and Visualization:

  1. Shared resource for planning information
  2. Range activity access
  3. User-specific visualizations

2. Inter-Branch Communication:

  1. Collaboration and communication across DoD branches
  2. Ensuring seamless coordination between different military units and branches

3. Mission Support and Command and Control:

  1. Visibility for mission needs
  2. Providing leaders with command and control capabilities
  3. Supporting decision-making processes with real-time information

4. Real-time Data Updates:

  1. Capability for live data updates
  2. Providing leaders with command and control capabilities
  3. Ensuring the accuracy and timeliness of information for effective decision-making

Key Dates

May 2, 2024: “Ask Me Anything” Session

May 23, 2024: Solicitation Closes & Down-selection Begins

June 6, 2024: Down-selection Ends & Finalists Announced

June 18, 2024: Pitch Rehearsal

June 20, 2024: Hybrid Pitch Event

July 3, 2024: Finalists Announced

Fall 2024: Vanguard 24 Event


Judging Criteria

Applications and Pitches will be judged on six major criteria:

  • Technical: Soundness, technical merit, innovation of proposed approach, and feasibility of the proposed solution.
  • Team: Qualifications of proposed principals, support staff, and consultants.
  • Commercialization: Company has a technology solution that is viable in non-defense markets.
  • Quality of Pitch: Company presents a clear and concise overview of its company and technology, demonstrates how its technology solves one or more of the defined problem areas, and effectively answers questions from strategic advisors.
  • Operational Effectiveness: Proposed solution aligns with listed features.
  • Cost & Scalability: Forecasted costs and scalability of proposed solution are feasible for adoption.

Technical Features

Required Features

1. Visualization Enhancements:

  • Colored coding for airspace portion, including indication of ground training area status
  • Exact replica map with training area and range names
  • Enhanced graphics displaying the entire battlefield for contextual understanding

2. Database Functionality:

  • Database storing more than two years of information
  • User-selectable report details for customized reporting
  • Automated deletion of inactive accounts

3. Military Airspace Management System:

  • Real-time visibility of Arizona Special Use Airspace (SUA) status via color coding
  • Access for all military airspace owners/schedulers with electronic approval/denial capability
  • Visual display of current and not-in-use airspace
  • Bridging tool (basic functionality will be clicking more than one airspace group under this tab will show all parts active together) for combining airspaces after coordination with FAA center

4. System Dashboard and Database Size:

  • Graphical dashboard and display
  • Database capable of storing all available ranges/training areas, SOPs, maps, and contact information

Desired Features

1. System Interoperability:

  • Accessible from cell phones for live updates
  • Translator capability to interface with existing Air, Spectrum, and Range Software across all services

2. Weather Integration:

  • Interactive weather system with Doppler access for future scheduling

Benefits of Participating

  • $75,000 in awards to the top performing company/companies
  • Exposure to leaders across multiple branches of the DoD
  • Potential for follow-on opportunities such as Other Transaction Agreements (OTAs), Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), and others
  • Potential for access to cutting-edge Multi-Domain Operations experimentation, live threat simulations, collaboration with top stakeholders, and direct contribution to advancing Intelligence and Electronic Warfare objectives at Vanguard 24

Eligibility

  • U.S. owned and operated companies
  • CAGE code required for submission
  • Early- to mid-stage ventures (i.e., little to no DoD contracts, equal to or earlier than Series A); OR non-traditional defense contractors
  • Ventures able to demonstrate the solution’s capabilities by June 2024

Pitch Deck Submission Requirements

Teams will submit a pitch deck outlining their technology capabilities that addresses the required and desired features above. Pitch decks should meet the following format requirements:

  • Sized 16:9 (1920x1080 pixels)
  • Horizontal presentation
  • PDF file
  • Maximum 10 slides

About National Security Innovation Network

NSIN is a program office in the U.S. Department of Defense, nested within the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU). We are set up to collaborate with a wide variety of innovators to include universities, researchers, students, entrepreneurs and start-ups. We create opportunities for collaboration across communities and connect those that might not traditionally work in national security. Together, we help drive national security innovation and develop technologies that directly support the individuals responsible for protecting our country.

For more information or interview requests with Team NSIN, please contact us at media@nsin.mil.


About Vanguard

Vanguard is an annual experimentation event at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, focusing on Multi-Domain Operations and leveraging the unique electromagnetic environment for live threat signal emission and electromagnetic attacks. This year’s event, Vanguard 2024, collaborates with various military branches, industry partners, academia, and other stakeholders to advance Intelligence and Electronic Warfare transformation objectives while integrating emerging terrestrial, airborne, and space-based technologies. The Vanguard 24 Community of Interest aims to explore and integrate emerging technologies to inform and enable modernization objectives in intelligence, electromagnetic warfare, space, and cyber domains, reducing development risk for IEWS&C enabled systems. Finalists may be selected for attendance and will have the opportunity to contribute to achieving Intelligence and Electromagnetic Warfare training, testing, and experimentation objectives, and to develop home station training requirements while experiencing a realistic electromagnetic environment for testing and training.


About 56 RMO

The 56th Range Management Office oversees the Barry M. Goldwater Range East and Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field and is responsible for more than 200 military, civilian and contract personnel. The BMGR East is the Air Force’s largest dedicated training range for U.S. and allied pilots consisting of over 1.05 million acres. 56 RMO and the BMGR East is in direct support of the 56th Fighter Wing mission (along with supporting the 355th and 162nd Wings) and is an essential part in training the world’s greatest fighter pilots and combat ready Airmen. The services provided are unique as it incorporates the mission of one single unit encompassing a variety of skill sets including scientists, operations and airspace specialists. They direct all operational environment stewardship activities to ensure sustained range operations. They are also responsible for the 11 million acres of airspace assigned to Luke Air Force Base. In resolving airspace and land management issues, they liaise directly with 15 separate Federal and State of Arizona agencies well as 26 Native American tribes.


About USAICoE

The U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, develops doctrinally founded MI professionals and drives Intelligence Warfighting Function force modernization across Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership & Education, Personnel, Facilities & Policy, enabling our Army to compete and win in Large Scale Combat Operations against peer threats in multi-domain contested environments through Army 2030 to Army 2040.


Intellectual Property Considerations: Applicants retain ownership of existing Intellectual Property (IP) submitted under this Challenge and agree that their submissions are their original work. Applicants are presumed to have sufficient rights to submit the submission. For any submission made to the Challenge, you grant NSIN, 56 RMO and USAICoE a limited license to use this IP for testing and evaluation for efforts specifically related to the Challenge. NSIN, 56 RMO and USAICoE will negotiate with individual competitors in the event additional usage, integration, or development is contemplated.


Other Transaction Authority: This NSIN Challenge public announcement is an open call to small businesses and non-traditional defense contractors seeking innovative, commercial technologies proposed to create new DoD solutions or potential new capabilities fulfilling requirements, closing capability gaps, or providing potential technological advancements, technologies fueled by commercial or strategic investment, but also concept demonstrations, pilots, and agile development activities improving commercial technologies, existing Government-owned capabilities, or concepts for broad Defense application(s). As such, the Government reserves the right to award a contract or an Other Transaction for any purpose, to include a prototype or research, under this public announcement. The Federal Government is not responsible for any monies expended by the applicant before award and is under no obligation to pursue such Other Transactions.


Satisfying Competition Requirements: This NSIN Challenge Open Call Announcement is considered to have potential for further efforts that may be accomplished via FAR-based contracting instruments, Other Transaction Authority (OTA) for Prototype Projects 10 USC 4022 and Research 10 USC 4021, Prizes for advanced technology achievements 10 USC 4025, and/or Prize Competitions 15 USC 3719. The public open call announcement made on the IdeaScale website is considered to satisfy the reasonable effort to obtain competition in accordance with 10 USC 4025(b), 15 USC 3719 (e) and 10 USC 4022 (b)(2). Accordingly, FAR-based actions will follow announcement procedures per FAR 5.201(b).