Deep Learning for Actionable Intelligence Discovery and Exploitation
Department of the Air Force, Air Force Material Command | Published August 11, 2015
NAICS CODE: 541712
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
BROAD AGENCY ANNOUNCEMENT (BAA) TITLE: Deep Learning for Actionable Intelligence Discovery and Exploitation
BAA ANNOUNCEMENT TYPE: Initial announcement
BAA NUMBER: BAA AFRL-RIK-2015-0014
CATALOG OF FEDERAL DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE (CFDA) Number: 12.800 and 12.910
I. FUNDING OPPORTUNITY DESCRIPTION:
The goal of this Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) is to develop and demonstrate a time-dominant data fusion and closed-loop Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) system for intelligence customers. The system will automate threat detection and classification with speed and precision and in a tactically relevant timeframe, automate the generation of in-mission intelligence reports, and be responsive to intelligence squadron needs. This announcement is for acquisition under the Neuromorphic Fusion of Timely Intelligence (NFTI) program.
The first objective is to develop an Exploitation Cloud that is significantly, if not completely, insusceptible to agile threats that attempt to deceive our RF/SIGINT (Radio Frequency/Signal Intelligence) products which rely on time difference of arrival (TDOA) based information. The Exploitation Cloud will also be designed to combat advanced tactics in camouflage concealment & deception (CC&D). The second objective is to "Close the ISR Loop" by developing the Actionable Intelligence Discovery and Exploitation (AIDE) service on a modernized SOA (Service-Oriented Architecture). AIDE will be cognizant of intelligence squadron needs through Human Intelligence (HUMINT) analysis of former and current mission intelligence reports, as well as other contextual information such as analyst chat/chat logs. AIDE will have the capability to deliver new actionable intelligence from the Exploitation Cloud or open-source intelligence (OSINT). The system will automatically generate tactical and in-mission intelligence reports. Prioritization on the discovery and exploitation of additional intelligence pertaining to detected emerging threats can be automatic or managed by an analyst or squadron commander with human-system integration in mind. The final objective is to focus the advanced raw data fusion capability of the Exploitation Cloud on the collection and processing of both known and unanticipated threats by responding to the analyst and mission needs derived from the second objective. This final objective also serves to reduce the communications bandwidth required for raw data fusion by only transmitting data within the aerial network that is required for high priority intelligence gathering. The goal is to seamlessly and pervasively capture user and mission intelligence needs to limit additional analyst search/query tasks and manual intelligence report documentation.
Focus areas of the BAA are as follows:
1) Closing the ISR Loop. This focus area seeks to develop the AIDE service which seamlessly and pervasively captures analyst intelligence need and can translate that need into the focused gathering from all available intelligence sources for the purposes of producing and providing additional actionable intelligence in a tactically relevant timeframe. AIDE should reason over unstructured text (OSINT, social media) and fused multi-source digital imagery data (such as Electro-Optical, Synthetic Aperture Radar, Infrared, and Hyperspectral) to automatically draft reports such as Intelligence Reports, Essential Elements of Information and In-Flight Reports for users, prioritize collection of sensing systems in the Exploitation Cloud, and potentially assist in Intelligence Preparation of the Battlespace (IPB). Approaches should consider applying and extending recent advances in deep learning, such as convolutional neural networks with localized object detection and classification, scene understanding/image captioning, text analytics using symbolic statistical inference, natural language processing for intermediate metadata tagging of text, context generation and semantics, and recommendation systems. Solutions should consider implementing AIDE on high performance computing (HPC) architectures by leveraging general purpose graphics processing units (GPGPU) technology for imagery analytics, leveraging open-source frameworks for all necessary analytics, and be embedded in an SOA across many networked systems that exposes the intermediate components of AIDE to other services in the architecture.
2) Exploitation Cloud. This focus area seeks to develop technologies capable of discovering and detecting anticipated and unanticipated events or targets of interest and be able to characterize them under various difficult sensing conditions within an aerial network of platforms. Approaches should consider conditions with low probability of intercept, deceptive conditions, advanced electronic warfare, short up time emissions, poor environmental conditions, dynamic Radio Frequency characteristics, and others. The solutions should consider exploiting multiple hard ISR data sources jointly (multi-source, multi-intelligence fusion) in order to optimize discovery. Hard ISR data refers to target signature data that is sensed and digitally converted; examples include passive Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), Radio Detection and Ranging (RADAR), Full Motion Video (FMV), imagery, and acoustical data. Jointly means that innovative methods should consider combining, or fusing, multiple modalities together in order to take advantage of inter-modal dependencies and phenomenology. In particular, developments that utilize upstream fusion of heterogeneous sensing data are of interest. Solutions to these objectives should consider advancements in machine learning as in focus area (1), as well as statistical and geometric data analysis approaches. An additional objective is to be able to distribute the algorithmic solutions amongst distributed sensing platforms but still maintain performance similar to that of centralized processing. Solutions must consider requirements for platform to platform communications and on-board computing requirements.
II. AWARD INFORMATION:
1. FUNDING: Total funding for this BAA is approximately $9,900,000. The anticipated funding to be obligated under this BAA is broken out by fiscal year as follows: FY16 - $1,000,000; FY17 - $3,000,000; FY18 - $3,000,000; and FY19 - $2,900,000. Individual awards will not normally exceed 36 months with dollar amounts normally ranging from $100,000 to $1,000,000 per year. There is also the potential to make awards up to any dollar value.
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.
2. FORM. Awards of efforts as a result of this announcement will be in the form of contracts, grants, cooperative agreements or other transactions depending upon the nature of the work proposed.
3. BAA TYPE: This is a two-step open broad agency announcement. This announcement constitutes the only solicitation.
As STEP ONE - The Government is only soliciting white papers at this time. DO NOT SUBMIT A FORMAL PROPOSAL. 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 regarding the proposal.
III. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION:
All qualified offerors who meet the requirements of this BAA may apply.
This BAA is closed to foreign participation at the Prime Contractor level.
Foreign Ownership, Control or Influence (FOCI) companies who have mitigated FOCI may inquire as to eligibility by contacting the contracting office focal point, Gail E. Marsh, Contracting Officer, telephone (315) 330-7518 or e-mail Gail.Marsh@us.af.mil for verification prior to submitting a white paper. Please reference BAA AFRL-RIK-2015-0014.
IV. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION:
All responses to this announcement must be addressed to the Technical point of contact (POC) listed in SECTION VII. DO NOT send white papers to the Contracting Officer.
1. SUBMISSION DATES AND TIMES: It is recommended that white papers be received by the following dates to maximize the possibility of award:
FY16 by 18 Sep 2015
FY17 by 06 May 2016
FY18 by 05 May 2017
FY19 by 04 May 2018
White papers will be accepted until 2 PM Eastern Time on 28 June 2019, but it is less likely that funding will be available in each respective fiscal year after the dates cited. This BAA will close on 30 September 2019.
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.
2. CONTENT AND FORMAT: Offerors are required to submit 3 copies of a 3 to 5 page white paper summarizing their proposed approach/solution. 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:
a. Section A: Title, Period of Performance, Estimated Cost, Name/Address of Company, Technical and Contracting Points of Contact (phone, fax and email)(this section is NOT included in the page count);
b. Section B: Task Objective; and
c. Section C: Technical Summary and Proposed Deliverables.
All white papers/proposals shall be double spaced with a font no smaller than 12 point. 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-AFRL-RIK-2015-0014 with their submission.
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).
3. HANDLING AND MAILING INSTRUCTIONS:
a. CLASSIFICATION GUIDANCE. All Proposers should review the NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL SECURITY PROGRAM OPERATING MANUAL, (NISPOM), dated February 2006 Incorporating Change 1 March 28, 2013, 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: http://www.dss.mil/.
In the event of a possible or actual compromise of classified information in the submission of your white paper or proposal, immediately but no later than 24 hours, bring this to the attention of your cognizant security authority and AFRL Rome Research Site Information Protection Office (IPO):
315-330-4048 0730-1630 Monday-Friday
315-330-2961 Evenings and Weekends
b. CLASSIFIED SUBMISSIONS. AFRL/RITB 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 offeror 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. Offerors that 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.
c. MAILING INSTRUCTIONS.
All mailed responses, unclassified/classified, to this announcement must be sent U.S. Postal Service, registered mail and addressed to AFRL/RITB, 525 Brooks Road, Rome NY 13441-4505, and reference BAA-AFRL-RIK-2015-0014. When mailing follow the directions regarding the number of copies required.
Unclassified electronic submission to firstname.lastname@example.org will also be accepted. Encrypt or password-protect all proprietary information prior to sending. Offerors are responsible to confirm receipt with the technical POC listed in Section VII. AFRL is not responsible for undelivered documents. If electronic submission is used, only one copy of the documentation is required.
Questions can be directed to the technical POC listed in Section VII.
4. OTHER SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS/CONSIDERATIONS:
a. COST SHARING OR MATCHING: Cost sharing is not a requirement.
b. SYSTEM FOR AWARD MANAGEMENT (SAM). Offerors must be registered in the SAM database to receive a contract award, and remain registered during performance and through final payment of any contract or agreement. Processing time for registration in SAM, which normally takes forty-eight hours, should be taken into consideration when registering. Offerors who are not already registered should consider applying for registration before submitting a proposal. The provision at FAR 52.204-7, System for Award Management (Jul 2013) applies.
c. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION AND FIRST-TIER SUBCONTRACT/ SUBRECIPIENT 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 which can be viewed at: http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=c55a4687d6faa13b137a26d0eb436edb&rgn=div5&view=text&
d. ALLOWABLE CHARGES: 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).
e. GOVERNMENT APPROVED ACCOUNTING SYSTEM: An offeror must have a government approved accounting system prior to award of a cost-reimbursement contract per limitations set forth in FAR 16.301-3(a) to ensure the system is adequate for determining costs applicable to the contract. The acceptability of an accounting system is determined based upon an audit performed by the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA). IMPORTANT: If you do not have a DCAA approved accounting system access the following link for instructions: https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=1cffad228f48b58057072a6c9113799d&tab
V. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION:
1. CRITERIA: The following criteria, which are 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:
a. Overall Scientific and Technical Merit -- The extent to which the offeror demonstrates the detailed approach, development, and testing of the proposed new technology to achieve relevant new capabilities and enhancements
b. Related Experience - The extent to which the offeror demonstrates relevant technology and domain knowledge
c. Openness, Maturity and Assurance of Solution - The extent to which existing capabilities and standards are leveraged and the relative maturity of the proposed technology
d. Reasonableness and realism of proposed costs and fees (if any)
No further evaluation criteria will be used in selecting white papers/proposals. 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.
3. ADEQUATE PRICE COMPETITION: The Government may simultaneously evaluate proposals received under this BAA with a common cutoff date for multiple offerors. In this case, the Government may make award based on adequate price competition, and offerors must be aware that there is a possibility of non-selection due to a proposal of similar but higher-priced technical approach as compared to another offeror.
VI. STEP TWO INFORMATION - REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL & AWARD:
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.
For additional information, a copy of the AFRL "Broad Agency Announcement (BAA): Guide for Industry," Mar 2015, and Proposal Preparation Instructions, Dec 2014 may be accessed at: https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=1cffad228f48b58057072a6c9113799d&
2. ADMINISTRATIVE AND NATIONAL POLICY REQUIREMENTS:
Depending on the work to be performed, the offeror may require a Confidential, SECRET, TOP SECRET or TS/SCI facility clearance and safeguarding capability; therefore, personnel identified for assignment to a classified effort must be cleared for access to SECRET, TOP SECRET or TS/SCI information at the time of award. In addition, 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 http://www.dlis.dla.mil/jcp/ and have a legitimate business purpose may participate in this solicitation. For questions, contact DLIS on-line at http://www.dlis.dla.mil/jcp 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 white paper/proposal.
3. DATA RIGHTS:
a. SBIR 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.
b. NON-SBIR RIGHTS. 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 for the reports.
5. SUPPLY CHAIN RISK: The provision at DFARS 252.239-7017, Notice of Supply Chain Risk (Nov 2013) applies.
6. GRANT AWARDS ONLY: For efforts proposed as grant awards, offerors must provide an abstract in their proposal (not to exceed one page) that is publicly releasable and that describes - in terms the public may understand - the project or program supported by the grant. The DoD will publically post the abstract to comply with Section 8123 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2015 (Pub. L. 113-235).
VII. AGENCY CONTACTS:
All white paper and proposal submissions and any questions of a technical nature shall be directed to the cognizant technical point of contact as specified below (unless otherwise specified in the technical area):
Mr. Morgan Bishop
525 Brooks Road
Rome, NY 13441-4505
Telephone: (315) 330-4620
Questions of a contractual/business nature shall be directed to the cognizant contracting officer, as specified below (email requests are preferred):
Telephone (315) 330-7518
Emails 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 2014) 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.