SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  N07-111 (Navy)
Title:  Global Information Grid (GIG) Tactical Edge Networks (TEN)
Research & Technical Areas:  Information Systems

Acquisition Program:  Integrated Shipboard Network System, Afloat Digital Network System ACAT IIs
 RESTRICTION ON PERFORMANCE BY FOREIGN NATIONALS: This topic is “ITAR Restricted”. The information and materials provided pursuant to or resulting from this topic are restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which control the export of defense-related material and services, including the export of sensitive technical data. Foreign nationals may perform work under an award resulting from this topic only if they hold the “Permanent Resident Card”, or are designated as “Protected Individuals” as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). If a proposal for this topic contains participation by a foreign national who is not in one of the above two categories, the proposal may be rejected.
  Objective:  Expand the GIG TEN service efforts to improve situational awareness and Joint connectivity in the battlefield.
  Description:  Achieving a decisive military advantage through end-to-end communications and universal situational awareness is the idea behind net-centric operations. The Department of Defense's (DoDs) vision is to connect everyone in the field, from the commander to the warfighter, who operates along the "Tactical Edge." Achieving net-centricity depends on the supporting infrastructure of the DoD's GIG. The GIG is a network of networks—a complex system that links hundreds of information system elements to enable the rapid exchange of information among the U.S. services, the Intelligence Community (IC), and multinational allies. The GIG involves more than just technology. Rather, it is a globally connected, end-to-end set of information capabilities, associated processes, and personnel for collecting, processing, storing, disseminating, and managing information on demand. It comprises most of the DoD's information systems, software, and services, and supports the DoD and IC in peace time and during conflicts. With the abundance of non-compatible legacy radio systems, waveforms, and networking protocols in use, another major challenge in this environment is available bandwidth. In an office, workstations are supported with various Local Area Networks (LANs) (e.g., Ethernet) that connect to the Internet through high speed connections. Data rates are not a major issue. In the mobile environment, however, all communications require mobile wireless connections. Current DoD radios provide only limited data rates on the order of dial-up connections in the 1970s and 1980s—much less than in today's office environment. It's one thing to receive a text message—and even that is not guaranteed on the battlefield—but downloading photographs and maps cannot be accomplished in a reasonable time period. Additionally, as vehicles maneuver on the battlefield, wireless connections are continuously broken and re-established. This results in a very difficult application environment on the "Tactical Edge." Improved mechanisms and applications are required to better share and re-use available network connections. TEN are a collection of communications nodes that provide direct connectivity for users executing tactical missions while also reaching back from the "Tactical Edge" into services that are provided by the rest of the GIG. TEN are envisioned to provide networked capabilities over the battlespace, to support a Mobile Ad Hoc Network (MANET) that enables Just In Time (JIT), netted connectivity with highly mobile and disadvantaged users; and to support a high bandwidth backbone service to interconnect larger Command and Control (C2) and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) nodes in the battlespace. This solicitation seeks innovative software applications that will provide expansion of the GIG TEN services efforts to improve the Joint connectivity in the battlefield. The proposed product will shorten the kill chain, improve the Common Operational and Tactical Picture (COTP), and enhance decision making speed and quality. This application must support one of the three proposed network types: 1. TEN-A Very stable, low (tens of Kbps), medium (hundreds of Kpbs) and high data rate (up to hundreds of Mbps) Radio Frequency (RF) links based on very long duration (weeks, months) communications relays, including tactical intra-theater Satellite Communication (SATCOM). 2. TEN-B (backbone) Stable, medium and high data rate RF links based on medium duration (hours, days) communications relays, including Line Of Sight (LOS) relays involving manned and unmanned aerial platforms. 3. TEN-M (MANET) Rapidly changing low, medium, and high data rate RF links based on direct platform-to-platform communications, where both the physical proximity and composition of platforms in the network varies over time scales of minutes.

  PHASE I: Investigate the feasibility of developing new applications and/or protocols to integrate data and voice sensors to align with the expansion of the GIG TEN services efforts, by improving Joint connectivity in the battlefield, improving the Common Operational Tactical Picture (COTP) and enhancing the speed and quality of these services for the Warfighter and Decision Makers. Develop a prototype of a web-based knowledge management technology for maintaining common situational awareness that instantiateds and demonstrates these technologies. Develop and write the initial Feasibility study.
  PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate a prototype software application or protocol to integrate voice and data sensors into simulated U.S. Navy operational networks using either a TEN-A, TEN-B, or TEN-M network type. Define a design and demonstrate a simple prototype of the application with a simulated field unit and internet-connected client. Develop a functioning, web-based experimentation testbed of the technology for Joint Force mission planning and execution. Perform a Certification Test and Evaluation of the application in a laboratory environment.

  PHASE III: Install and implement the application and/or protocol to integrate voice and data sensors into existing U.S. Navy operational networks using either a TEN-A, TEN-B, or TEN-M network types. Perform a Security Test and Evaluation (ST&E) of the functionality of voice and data sensors of the TEN network type into an existing Navy operational network. Transition the technology product developed in Phase III into an existing Navy Program of Record (PoR) system, e.g., Integrated Shipboard Network System (ISNS), Afloat Digital Network System (ADNS), or the Consolidated Afloat Network Enterprise Services (CANES). PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/

  DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: This technology product could be applied to any Transport Control Protocol (TCP)/Internet Protocol (IP) network and significantly enhance the civil sector’s emergency response to disasters.

  References:  1. “Tactical Edge Perspective”; Brian Clingerman, OPNAV N6FT 2. “Navy Transition: IPv6”; Mark Evans, Office of the Chief Engineer (SPAWAR San Diego), 20 October 2005 3. “How the Global Information Grid is Transforming Communications for the Warfighter”; Marc Richard and Dave Roth; MITRE publications. Fall 2005.

Keywords:  MANET, network, interoperability, GIG, net-centric, backbone, common operational picture, legacy radio, bandwidth, connectivity, COTP, ISNS, ANDS, CANES

Additional Information, Corrections, References, etc:
Ref #1: available at: https://www.opengroup.org/conference-live/uploads/40/10273/Mon_-_am_-_3_-_Clingerman.pdf
Ref #1: available at: https://www.opengroup.org/conference-live/uploads/40/10273/Mon_-_am_-_3_-_Clingerman.pdf
Ref #2: available at: http://www.usipv6.com/6sense/2005/dec/01.htm
Ref #2: available at: http://www.usipv6.com/6sense/2005/dec/01.htm
Ref #3: available at: http://www.mitre.org/news/the_edge/fall_05/richard.html
Ref #3: available at: http://www.mitre.org/news/the_edge/fall_05/richard.html

Questions and Answers:
Q: The Phase I description talks about "data and voice sensors," while Phase II and III talk about "voice and data sensors." If the latter can be correctly rewritten "data sensors and voice sensors," can you please clarify "voice sensors" by mentioning some examples? Or clarify that "voice" refers to telephony-like facilities such as VOIP, and not, e.g., a passive sensor covertly listening for voices, e.g., as an intelligence gathering sensor in a MOUT scenario.
A: Voice refers to VOIP.
Q: The Phase I description talks about "data and voice sensors," while Phase II and III talk about "voice and data sensors." If the latter can be correctly rewritten "data sensors and voice sensors," can you please clarify "voice sensors" by mentioning some examples? Or clarify that "voice" refers to telephony-like facilities such as VOIP, and not, e.g., a passive sensor covertly listening for voices, e.g., as an intelligence gathering sensor in a MOUT scenario.
A: Voice refers to VOIP.

Record: of