SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  SOCOM07-003 (SOCOM)
Title:  Automated Vehicle Identification at a Distance
Research & Technical Areas:  Sensors, Electronics

Acquisition Program:  Tagging Tracking and Locating program
 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 3.5.b.(7) of the solicitation.
  Objective:  The development of an innovative, inexpensive device that automatically differentiates between like vehicles at a standoff distance using light weight, low power, man portable technology.
  Description:  Automated Vehicle Identification at a Distance (AVID) could be utilized by both the military and law enforcement agencies and could be leveraged for wide-scale use by industry. The development of an AVID system would increase the precision with which identification is conducted while reducing the danger associated with identifying vehicles operated by hostile forces. Current automated vehicle identification relies on a signal being transmitted from inside the vehicle to a sensor (source: http://www.transguide.dot.state.tx.us/mdi/AVI.html). Commercial applications include, but are not limited to, the use by the automotive industry to enhance maintenance tracking, security applications such as the use by gated communities or vehicle identification by overhead doors. Any new technology should satisfy the following requirements: • Vehicle identification should be feasible in all light/environmental conditions. • System should be capable of differentiating vehicles of the same make, model, color and year. • Any method used for vehicle identification must be visually undetectable. • The identification must occur without physical contact with the vehicle to be monitored. • Vehicle identification should occur at ranges greater than 500 meters. • Should be ruggedized and have a small, lightweight form factor • Should utilize Commercial Off-The-Shelf equipment to minimize follow-on production costs • Should be low power with the ability to use Alternating Current or Direct Current power • Should be designed with a network environment in mind to allow for unattended operation Development of such a capability would satisfy aspects of Sensors, Electronics and Electronic Warfare a DoD Critical Technology Area.

  PHASE I: Develop a proof of concept for the proposed method of identifying individuals at range. Vendors shall submit a business plan for the commercialization of the technology developed under this topic. The Small Business Administration's web site www.sba.gov provides guidance, examples as well as contact information for assistance. All firms shall include as part of the Phase I proposal transportation costs to travel to Tampa, Florida for two separate meetings. The first travel requirement shall be the Phase I kick-off meeting and the second travel requirement shall be for the Phase I out brief. The meetings shall take less than four hours and at least the Principal Investigator is required to attend both meetings. Notwithstanding the requirement for the Principal Investigator to attend both meetings, any other individual needed to discuss all aspects of the firm's approach to address the SBIR topic shall also attend the meetings.
  PHASE II: Develop a working prototype that can be tested by end users in a real life working environment that resembles the form factor of the final system.

  PHASE III

  DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Produce operation units that can be employed by the military, law enforcement and the commercial market sector.

  References:  None.

Keywords:  BIOMETRICS, SENSORS, TAGGING, TRACKING, LOCATING

Questions and Answers:
Q: 1. If the objective is to identify each specific vehicle in a group of identical vehicles, what is the desired output of the system? Should it provide a list of make, model, year, color, engine type, etc? Should it provide a VIN number?
2. Will the vehicles to be identifed have already been available to be pre-identified and have their identifying charactistics stored in a database?
A: 1. A unique vehicle ID possibly associated with a previous collect or a known vehicle of interest.
1a. Not necessarily.
1b. Not necessarily.

2. That is a possibility but the converse is also a possibility.
Q: If the technology is already commercially available, developed with a combination of off-shore and on-shore resources (including foreign nationals), will the underlying technology then be considered ITAR to use it in this application? In other words, is it the application that is ITAR or is it the underlying technology?
A: The application of technology and/or underlying technology can be restricted depending on the specific circumstances. It would seem from the question that the underlying technology is already available and not restricted. If the application is proven to meet the topic requirements, then the application would logically be restricted.

A source for further research based on the particulars of the situation is the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DTC). To get a contact point for this office, one can go to the web site http://www.commerce.gov/ and drill down: Free Trade (right hand column), Export Regulations, Visit BIS's Home Page, Resource Links (brings up DTC). Also, Section 120.3 of the ITAR, "Policy on designating and determining defense articles and services." may answer part of the company's question regarding characterization and application.
Q: 1. In the solicitation it states "Any method used for vehicle identification must be visually undetectable." Does that mean a device that cannot be seen on or within the vehicle?
2. Please further explain "differentiating between like vehicles." Is it being implied that there could possibly be several vehicles at a given instant within the 500- meter range that would need to be uniquely identified?
3. How are you intending to test and use the Phase II prototype system in a real life working environment?
A: 1. A device can not be applied to the vehicle.

2. Several visually identical vehicles may be within the FOV.

3. The prototype will be tested in a simulated operational environment.
Q: Can the vehicle(s) be accessed prior to the identification process in order to place a device?
A: No, the objective of this effort is to provide an identification capability without emplacing a tag.
Q: If the technology is already commercially available, developed with a combination of off-shore and on-shore resources (including foreign nationals), will the underlying technology then be considered ITAR to use it in this application? In other words, is it the application that is ITAR or is it the underlying technology?
A: The application of technology and/or underlying technology can be restricted depending on the specific circumstances. It would seem from the question that the underlying technology is already available and not restricted. If the application is proven to meet the topic requirements, then the application would logically be restricted.

A source for further research based on the particulars of the situation is the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DTC). To get a contact point for this office, one can go to the web site http://www.commerce.gov/ and drill down: Free Trade (right hand column), Export Regulations, Visit BIS's Home Page, Resource Links (brings up DTC). Also, Section 120.3 of the ITAR, "Policy on designating and determining defense articles and services." may answer part of the company's question regarding characterization and application.
Q: 1. In the solicitation it states "Any method used for vehicle identification must be visually undetectable." Does that mean a device that cannot be seen on or within the vehicle?
2. Please further explain "differentiating between like vehicles." Is it being implied that there could possibly be several vehicles at a given instant within the 500- meter range that would need to be uniquely identified?
3. How are you intending to test and use the Phase II prototype system in a real life working environment?
A: 1. A device can not be applied to the vehicle.

2. Several visually identical vehicles may be within the FOV.

3. The prototype will be tested in a simulated operational environment.
Q: Can the vehicle(s) be accessed prior to the identification process in order to place a device?
A: No, the objective of this effort is to provide an identification capability without emplacing a tag.
Q: 1. If the objective is to identify each specific vehicle in a group of identical vehicles, what is the desired output of the system? Should it provide a list of make, model, year, color, engine type, etc? Should it provide a VIN number?
2. Will the vehicles to be identifed have already been available to be pre-identified and have their identifying charactistics stored in a database?
A: 1. A unique vehicle ID possibly associated with a previous collect or a known vehicle of interest.
1a. Not necessarily.
1b. Not necessarily.

2. That is a possibility but the converse is also a possibility.

Record: of