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Solicitation Number: BAA-RIK-12-08
Agency: Department of the Air Force
Office: Air Force Material Command
Location: AFRL/RIK - Rome
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Added: Nov 16, 2012 12:50 pm
FEDERAL AGENCY NAME: Department of the Air Force, Air Force Materiel Command, AFRL - Rome Research Site, AFRL/Information Directorate, 26 Electronic Parkway, Rome, NY, 13441-4514

TITLE: Airborne Connectivity and Dissemination

ANNOUNCEMENT TYPE: Initial announcement




The Air Force Research Laboratory - Information Directorate (AFRL/RI) is soliciting white papers under this BAA for research, design, development, test, evaluation and experimentation of innovative technologies and techniques for Airborne Network Connectivity and Dissemination.

The objective of the BAA is to conceive, develop and demonstrate innovative and affordable technologies that provide agile and secure information transmission, network and dissemination capabilities to airborne platforms that enable the sharing of quality information within resource and policy constraints. The intent is to expand the Global Information grid (GIG) to connect three major domains of warfare: Air, Space, and Terrestrial. The goal is to deliver timely, reliable, and actionable information to war-fighters and systems across the United States Air Force enterprise to support Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance.

Efforts under this program are expected to enable the Air Force to provide a transportable network, flexible enough to communicate with any air, space, or ground asset in the area. The network will provide a beyond line-of-sight (LoS) communications infrastructure that can be packed up and moved in and out of the designated battle-space, enabling the military to have a reliable and secure communications network that extends globally. The network is designed to be flexible enough to provide the right communication and network packages for a specific region, mission, or technology.
White papers may describe but are not limited to

• Hardware brass-boards and/or software systems development.
• Activities for validation with model-based design and simulation.
• Demonstration of hardware brass-boards and antenna in-the-loop validation techniques.

Research efforts under this program are expected to result in functional capabilities, concepts, theory, and applications addressing Air Force airborne network connectivity problems. The effectiveness of the developed technologies for potential operational use will be assessed through testing and evaluation activities. Technologies that can be transitioned for operational use are of high interest. Offerors are encouraged to describe the pre-conditions that are necessary for the proposed techniques to work effectively.

Work is encouraged in, but not limited to, these focus areas:

1. Airborne Network Architecture

• Develop network architectures that support self-organizing, self- healing autonomous machine-to- machine data routing and dissemination.

• Develop self-aware/sentient cross-Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) layer network communications paradigms that support cooperative learning and reconfiguration-on-the-fly of mobile networks, by sensing and adapting to operational environment and mission requirements.

• Demonstrate cooperative wireless network communications that allow nodes in a wireless network to share resources and to cooperatively transmit, providing reliable, robust connectivity via multipath routing.

2. Information Transport Performance Management

• Develop the communications management capabilities to support the management of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) related network and information system and communications resources.

• Develop information management algorithms capable of dynamically requesting data from multiple ISR sensors in order to enhance current capabilities for detecting, locating, identifying, and tracking ground moving targets.

• Develop the mechanisms to enable mission-based priority schemes and assured information delivery techniques supporting the exchange of ISR traffic, as well as other network traffic. Develop metrics such as Kill Chain Reduction, Bandwidth Efficiency, or Network Availability to gauge performance and effects.

3. Integration and Interoperability with the Global Information Grid (GIG)

• Integrate new communications resources available on the ISR platform(s), to enable increased communications capability.

• Study potential ISR collection planning and envisioned dynamic tasking techniques being developed for current and future Air Operations Centers (AOCs). Develop the information management algorithms to ensure they will operate within the constraints of these envisioned collection management techniques.

• In conjunction with the Government, work with the operational community to address Concepts of Operation (CONOPS) issues associated with ISR platform interoperability.

• Conduct airborne flight experiments utilizing multiple ISR assets aimed at demonstrating capabilities for increasing multi-platform interoperability and tracking performance.

4. Advanced Tactical Data Links (ATDL)

Tactical Data Links (TDL) are used in both peace time and combat environments to exchange information such as fixed formatted messages, data, radar tracks, target information, platform status, imagery, free text messaging and command assignments. TDLs provide interoperability, local and global connectivity, and situational awareness to the user when operating under rapidly changing operational conditions. TDLs increase mission effectiveness, providing enhanced situational awareness, positive combat identification of aircraft in the network, correlation of on- and off-board sensor data, and digital machine to machine target and threat information sharing, enabling time critical targeting and other mission assignment tasking. In combat TDLs enable engagement of high-value, time-critical targets in anti-access/area-denial environments. TDLs are used by all Service Theater Command and Control (C2) elements, weapons platforms, and sensors. TDLs include, but are not limited to: Link 16, Link 11, Situational Awareness Data Link (SADL), Variable Message Format (VMF), Intra-Flight Data Link (IFDL), and other Advanced Tactical Data Link technologies, such as Tactical Targeting Network Technology (TTNT), and Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL).

• Conduct experiments and demonstrations providing validation of critical capabilities and enhancements to the Aerial Layer Network.

• Conduct experiments demonstrating interoperability among Air Force fighter platforms. Provide validation to ensure the Air Force fighter fleet maintains standardization, to develop interoperable data link exchanges.

• Conduct RF in-the-loop experiments to demonstrate ATDL validation and model authentication supporting Global Strike (GS), Global Persistent Attack (GPA), Offensive and Defensive Counterair (OCA and DCA), Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD), and Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses (DEAD) missions.

• Demonstrate ATDLs on the fighter fleet to expand Line of Sight (LOS) and Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) data link connectivity.

• Model future ATDL concepts for the next-generation conceptual fighter fleet to demonstrate scenario-based mission impact.

ATDL validation activities are encouraged but not required to include the use of AFRL antenna measurement facilities. The AFRL Rome Research Site maintains the largest advanced antenna measurement facilities of its kind in the United States. The facilities support installed antenna measurement on full-scale air-frames and ground vehicles. AFRL has a large inventory of airframes including F-35, all three variants, F-22, F-16, F-15, A-10, and Global Hawk.


Total funding for this BAA is approximately $24.9M. The anticipated funding to be obligated under this BAA is broken out by fiscal year as follows: FY 13 - $3.7M; FY 14 - $3.8M; FY 15 - $4.4M; FY16 - $5.5M; FY17 - $7.5M. Individual awards will not normally exceed 36 months with dollar amounts normally ranging between $250K to $3M per award. There is also the potential to make awards above or below this range. Awards of efforts as a result of this announcement will be in the form of contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements depending upon the nature of the work proposed. The Government reserves the right to select all, part, or none of the proposals received, subject to the availability of funds. All potential Offerors should be aware that due to unanticipated budget fluctuations, funding in any or all areas may change with little or no notice.


1. ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS: All potential applicants are eligible. Foreign or foreign-owned offerors are advised that their participation is subject to foreign disclosure review procedures. Foreign or foreign-owned offerors should immediately contact the contracting office focal point, Lynn G. White, Contracting Officer, telephone (315) 330-4996 or e-mail for information if they contemplate responding. The e-mail must reference the title and BAA- RIK-12-08.

2. COST SHARING OR MATCHING: Cost sharing is not a requirement.

3. CCR Registration: Unless exempted by 2 CFR 25.110 all offerors must:

(a) Be registered in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) prior to submitting a white paper or proposal;

(b) Maintain an active CCR registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or a white paper or proposal under consideration by an agency; and

(c) Provide its DUNS number in each application or proposal it submits to the agency.

4. Executive Compensation and First-Tier Sub-contract/Sub-recipient Awards: Any contract award resulting from this announcement may contain the clause at FAR 52.204-10 - Reporting Executive Compensation and First-Tier Subcontract Awards. Any grant or agreement award resulting from this announcement may contain the award term set forth in 2 CFR, Appendix A to Part 25


1. APPLICATION PACKAGE: THIS ANNOUNCEMENT CONSTITUTES THE ONLY SOLICITATION. WE ARE SOLICITING WHITE PAPERS ONLY. DO NOT SUBMIT A FORMAL PROPOSAL AT THIS TIME. Those white papers found to be consistent with the intent of this BAA may be invited to submit a technical and cost proposal. See Section VI of this announcement for further details.
For additional information, a copy of the AFRL "Broad Agency Announcement (BAA): Guide for Industry," May 2012, may be accessed at:

2. CONTENT AND FORM OF SUBMISSION: Offerors are required to submit a three page white paper in three copies summarizing their proposed approach/solution. Unclassified submittals shall be mailed via USPS, FedEx, or UPS. Classified submittals shall be mailed via USPS registered mail. The purpose of the white paper is to preclude unwarranted effort on the part of an offeror whose proposed work is not of interest to the Government. The white paper will be formatted as follows.

• Section A: Title, Period of Performance, Estimated Cost, Name/Address of Company, Technical and Contracting Points of Contact (phone, fax and email), and target technology area (e.g., Cyber Resilience or Cyber Situation Awareness, etc.) - (this section is NOT included in the page count);

• Section B: Task Objective
• Section C: Innovative Claims (How will this effort enhance or replace the state-of-the-art?);
• Section D: Technical Approach (Why is this approach superior to alternatives or current practice?);
• Section E: Biggest Technical Challenge (What are the major technical challenges in the approach? How will those challenges be mitigated?);
• Section F: Schedule and Proposed Deliverables.

Multiple white papers within the purview of this announcement may be submitted by each offeror. If the offeror wishes to restrict its white papers/proposals, they must be marked with the restrictive language stated in FAR 15.609(a) and (b). All white papers/proposals shall be submitted in Microsoft Word format and be double spaced with a font no smaller than 12 pitch with any figures, tables, and charts easily legible. In addition, respondents are requested to provide their Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) number, their Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, a fax number, an e-mail address, and reference BAA-RIK-12-08 with their submission. All responses to this announcement must be addressed to the technical POC, as discussed in Section VII of this section.

3. SUBMISSION DATES AND TIMES: It is recommended that white papers be received by the following dates to maximize the possibility of award: FY 13 by 16 Dec 2012; FY 14 by 1 Oct 2013: FY15 by 1 Oct 2014; FY16 by 1 Oct 2015; and FY17 by 3 Oct 2016. White papers will be accepted until 2PM Eastern Time on 29 Sep 2017, but it is less likely that funding will be available in each respective fiscal year after the dates cited. The closing date for this BAA is 29 Sep 2017.

4. FUNDING RESTRICTIONS: The cost of preparing white papers/proposals in response to this announcement is not considered an allowable direct charge to any resulting contract or any other contract, but may be an allowable expense to the normal bid and proposal indirect cost specified in FAR 31.205-18. Incurring pre-award costs for ASSISTANCE INSTRUMENTS ONLY, are regulated by the DoD Grant and Agreements Regulations (DODGARS).

5. CLASSIFICATION GUIDANCE FOR WHITE PAPER SUBMISSIONS: AFRL/RITE will accept classified responses to this BAA when the classification is mandated by classification guidance provided by an Original Classification Authority of the U.S. Government, or when the proposer believes the work, if successful, would merit classification. Security classification guidance in the form of a DD Form 254 (DoD Contract Security Classification Specification) will not be provided at this time since AFRL is soliciting ideas only. After reviewing incoming proposals, if a determination is made that contract award may result in access to classified information; a DD Form 254 will be issued upon contract award. Proposers who intend to include classified information or data in their white paper submission or who are unsure about the appropriate classification of their white papers should contact the technical point of contact listed in Section VII for guidance and direction in advance of preparation.

6. All Proposers should review the NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL SECURITY PROGRAM OPERATING MANUAL, (NISPOM), dated February 28, 2006 as it provides baseline standards for the protection of classified information and prescribes the requirements concerning Contractor Developed Information under paragraph 4-105. Defense Security Service (DSS) Site for the NISPOM is:

7. OTHER SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS: DO NOT send white papers to the Contracting Officer. Unclassified white papers must be mailed in 3 paper copies and one digital copy on compact disc after contacting the technical POC listed in Section VII. All classified responses to this announcement must be sent via U.S. Postal Service registered mail and addressed to AFRL/RITE, 525 Brooks Road, Rome NY 13441-4505, and reference BAA RIK-12-08. Questions can be directed to the technical POC listed in Section VII. Please notify the Technical POC in Section VII prior to sending classified submissions.


Use classification and marking guidance provided by previously issued security classification guides, the Information Security Regulation (DoD 5200.1-R), and the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (DoD 5220.22-M) when marking and transmitting information previously classified by another original classification authority. Classified information at the Confidential and Secret level may be mailed via U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Registered Mail. For proposals of higher classification levels or for alternate submission mechanisms please contact the technical POC listed in Section VII. When mailing, ensure the response is appropriately marked, sealed, and mailed in accordance with the classified material handling procedures. The classified mailing address is:

Ref: BAA-RIK-12-08
525 Brooks Road
Rome NY 13441-4505


1. CRITERIA: White papers and proposals will be evaluated through a peer or scientific review process using the following criteria, which are listed in descending order of importance, and will be used to determine whether white papers and proposals submitted are consistent with the intent of this BAA and of interest to the Government:

(1) Overall Scientific and Technical Merit --The approach for the development and/or enhancement of the proposed technology including technical feasibility, degree of innovation, understanding of the technical and operational approach for evaluation of the technology.

(2) Related Experience - The extent to which the offeror demonstrates relevant technology and domain knowledge.

(3) Reasonableness and realism of proposed costs and fees (if any).

No further evaluation criteria will be used in selecting white papers/proposals. Individual white paper/proposal evaluations will be evaluated against the evaluation criteria without regard to other white papers and proposals submitted under this BAA. White papers and proposals submitted will be evaluated as they are received.

2. REVIEW AND SELECTION PROCESS: Only Government employees will evaluate the white papers/proposals for selection. The Air Force Research Laboratory's Information Directorate has contracted for various business and staff support services, some of which require contractors to obtain administrative access to proprietary information submitted by other contractors. Administrative access is defined as "handling or having physical control over information for the sole purpose of accomplishing the administrative functions specified in the administrative support contract, which do not require the review, reading, and comprehension of the content of the information on the part of non-technical professionals assigned to accomplish the specified administrative tasks." These contractors have signed general non-disclosure agreements and organizational conflict of interest statements. The required administrative access will be granted to non-technical professionals. Examples of the administrative tasks performed include: a. Assembling and organizing information for R&D case files; b. Accessing library files for use by government personnel; and c. Handling and administration of proposals, contracts, contract funding and queries. Any objection to administrative access must be in writing to the Contracting Officer and shall include a detailed statement of the basis for the objection.


1. AWARD NOTICES: Those white papers found to be consistent with the intent of this BAA may be invited to submit a technical and cost proposal. Notification by email or letter will be sent by the technical POC. Such invitation does not assure that the submitting organization will be awarded a contract. Those white papers not selected to submit a proposal will be notified in the same manner. Prospective offerors are advised that only Contracting Officers are legally authorized to commit the Government.

All offerors submitting white papers will be contacted by the technical POC, referenced in Section VII of this announcement. Offerors can email the technical POC for status of their white paper/proposal no earlier than 45 days after submission.


Depending on the work to be performed, the offeror may require a SECRET or TOP SECRET facility clearance and safeguarding capability; therefore, personnel identified for assignment to a classified effort must be cleared for access to SECRET or TOP SECRET/SCI information at the time of award. The offeror may be required to have, or have access to, a certified and Government-approved facility to support work under this BAA. This acquisition may involve data that is subject to export control laws and regulations. Only contractors who are registered and certified with the Defense Logistics Information Service (DLIS) at and have a legitimate business purpose may participate in this solicitation. For questions, contact DLIS on-line at or at the DLA Logistics Information Service, 74 Washington Avenue North, Battle Creek, Michigan 49037-3084, and telephone number 1-800-352-3572. You must submit a copy of your approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement, with your Proposal.

3. Data Rights: The potential for inclusion of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or data rights other than unlimited on awards is recognized. In accordance with (IAW) the Small Business Administration (SBA) SBIR Policy Directive, Section 8(b), SBIR data rights clauses are non-negotiable and must not be the subject of negotiations pertaining to an award, or diminished or removed during award administration. Issuance of an award will not be made conditional based on forfeit of data rights. If the SBIR awardee wishes to transfer its SBIR data rights to the Air Force or to a third party, it must do so in writing under a separate agreement. A decision by the awardee to relinquish, transfer, or modify in any way its SBIR data rights must be made without pressure or coercion by the agency or any other party. Non-SBIR data rights less than unlimited will be evaluated and negotiated on a case-by-case basis. Government Purpose Rights are anticipated for data developed with DoD-reimbursed Independent Research and Development (IR&D) funding.

4. REPORTING: Once a proposal has been selected for award, offerors will be given complete instructions on the submission process.


Questions of a technical nature shall be directed to the technical point of contact, as specified below:

Dan McCarthy
Telephone: (315) 330-2519

Questions of a contractual/business nature shall be directed to the contracting officer, as specified below:

Lynn White
Telephone (315) 330-4996

The email must reference the solicitation (BAA) number and title of the acquisition.

In accordance with AFFARS 5301.91, an Ombudsman has been appointed to hear and facilitate the resolution of concerns from offerors, potential offerors, and others for this acquisition announcement. Before consulting with an ombudsman, interested parties must first address their concerns, issues, disagreements, and/or recommendations to the contracting officer for resolution. AFFARS Clause 5352.201-9101 Ombudsman (Apr 2010) will be incorporated into all contracts awarded under this BAA. The AFRL Ombudsman is as follows:

Ms. Barbara Gehrs
1864 4th Street
Building 15, Room 225
Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433-7130
FAX: (937) 656-7321; Comm: (937) 904-4407

All responsible organizations may submit a white paper which shall be considered.


AFRL/Information Directorate
26 Electronic Parkway
Rome, New York 13441-4514
Lynn G. White,
Contracting Officer
Phone: (315) 330-4996