The U.S. Army Program Executive Office Command Control Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T) would like to invite interested entities to participate in the xTech Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Waveform Challenge. Entities are invited to submit a Part 1: Concept White Paper by 08:00 AM EST April 13, 2021. The xTech|SBIR Waveform Challenge incentivizes small businesses to propose innovative, viable technology concepts to the Army to develop an open hardware architecture for software defined radios (SDRs) that can facilitate the decoupling of hardware and software-based waveforms. Each participant with a selected Concept White Paper will receive a $10,000 prize and be invited to participate in Part 2: Technology Pitches where participants will have an opportunity to present their technology concept to an Army panel. Winners of the Part 2: Technology Pitches will each receive a $50,000 prize and will be invited to participate in Part 3, to submit either a Phase I SBIR or a Direct to Phase II (D2PhII) SBIR proposal to prototype their proposed technology innovations. Prize money will be awarded to selected participants through the Army xTech program and SBIR contract awards will be awarded through the Army SBIR program.
The prize competition, consisting of Part 1: Concept White Paper and Part 2: Technology Pitch, will be used to identify small business concerns that meet the criteria for award of a Phase I or D2PhII SBIR contract under 15 U.S.C. §638. Winners selected from Part 2: Technology Pitches will be the only firms eligible to participate in Part 3 and submit a Phase I or D2PhII SBIR proposal under this announcement. A separate SBIR announcement will be issued concurrent with this prize competition announcement.
The efforts described in this Notice are being pursued under the authorities of 10 U.S.C. § 2374a, 10 U.S.C. § 2371b, and 15 U.S.C. § 638.
The xTech|SBIR Waveform Challenge aims to accelerate integration of technology prototypes for crucial Army capability gaps into military platforms. Submissions will be open to technology solutions that can considerably improve Army terrestrial tactical radio communications by addressing the problem statement below.
Topic: Waveform Challenge for Tactical Radios
Problem Statement: The Army seeks a standardized, open architecture, non-proprietary SDR that may be configured to adapt to various waveforms, frequency bands, bandwidths, and modes of operation to support tactical, terrestrial communications requirements on the battlefield. Specifically, they aim to identify and source interoperable, platform agnostic solutions to encourage innovation and economies of scale. Current Army tactical SDRs exhibit proprietary hardware and software integration by a single vendor, which reduces potential waveform innovation and competitive pricing for future enhancements and upgrades.
Science and Technology (S&T) intellectual property (IP) providers lack a clear entry point into the Army’s SDR value chain. The Army desires an open hardware architecture that can enable innovative S&T development activities to provide rapid demonstrations of new capabilities. The SDR architecture shall support the integration of waveforms, software solutions, and updates.
Objective: Develop a standardized, open hardware architecture (e.g., Software Communications Architecture (SCA), C4ISR Modular Open Suite of Standards (CMOSS), and Modular Open RF Architecture (MORA )) that facilitates the decoupling of hardware and associated software-based waveforms, enabling of multi-vendor solutions, rapid integration of waveforms, and competitive pricing.