20 Jul 2018 - By

Improved Networking Through Embedded Processing and Sensing

Type of document: Contract Notice
Country: United States

Improved Networking Through Embedded Processing and Sensing

Department of the Air Force

Official Address:
26 Electronic Parkway Rome NY 13441-4514

Zip Code:

Gail E. Marsh, Contracting Officer, Phone 315-330-7518, Email Gail.Marsh@us.af.mil


Date Posted:


Contract Description:

The purpose of this modification is to republish the original announcement, incorporating any previous amendments, pursuant to FAR 35.016(c).

This republishing also includes the following changes:

(a) The NAICS Code is updated to 541715;
(b) Section I: Add information regarding Fundamental Research and Cloud Computing;
(c) Section III: Eligibility Requirements have been updated;
(d) Section IV.4.d: Update reference;
(e) Section VI.1: Update proposal instructions:
(f) Section VI.2: Update to DLIS information;
(g) Section VI.5: Update to clause information; and
(h) Section VII: Update to ombudsman information.

No other changes have been made.

NAICS CODE: 541715

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: Improved Networking through Embedded Processing and Sensing

BAA 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 Improved Networking through Embedded Processing and Sensing.

The objective of the BAA is to develop, demonstrate, and evaluate new sources and methods for improving network connectivity and stability through embedded processing and sensing. This effort is expected to provide research and development activities to enhance warfighter mission capabilities and advance baseline performance beyond what is currently considered satisfactory. Under the proposed effort, it is anticipated that improved network connectivity research and development will be conducted in support of Command & Control (C2) operations.

Efforts under this program are expected to provide the DoD and mission partners with system network enhancements that provide the flexibility required to adapt to and operate in contested, congested, or intermittent environments. The framework will provide an infrastructure that is extensible to all levels of the battlespace, integrating both legacy, current, and next generation communication technologies. Enterprise network resource analyses and planning should be taken into consideration when designing this framework.

Research efforts under this program are expected to result in improved capabilities, concepts, and applications addressing DoD and mission partners’ communication network resiliency problems. The effectiveness of the enhancements to software, systems, and sensors currently in operational use will be assessed through testing and evaluation activities. Technology innovations that deliver new or improved operational capabilities 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. Network Sensing Technologies

• Develop methods, models, and rigorous semantics for interoperability and integration across heterogeneous systems.

• Develop methods for sensing and data processing to allow both wired and wireless networks to self-organize into a distributed network topology.

• Demonstrate, test, and measure improved performance of the designed interconnected sensors, actuators, and component networks.

2. Network Embedded Processing

• Develop information management capabilities at multiple OSI (Open System Interconnection) layers to support the integration of different protocols used in identified networks

• Develop models and algorithms that optimize in-network processing in terms of computation and communication, and analyze resource usage for the purpose of extending the lifetime of network processors.

• Demonstrate, test, and evaluate the hardware and software performance of the proposed architecture.

3. Distributed Control

• Integrate and test cyber warfare and knowledge management technologies and techniques. This includes producing mission needs analyses and risk and vulnerability assessments.

• Enable transition of data-sharing and collaboration frameworks across the government to achieve greater levels of situational awareness, and enable more accurate and timely decision-making.

• Develop systems management technologies to enable strategic operational, tactical level C2 of current and future architectures, ensuring connectivity and maximizing effectiveness of operations in a contested environment.

• Develop network architectures designed for continuous operations in the face of uncertain C2 capabilities. Include real-time adaptability mechanisms for planning strike, Intelligence, Surveillance, Recognizance (ISR) and Electronic Warfare (EW) missions.


FUNDAMENTAL RESEARCH. It is DoD policy that the publication of products of fundamental research will remain unrestricted to the maximum extent possible. National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 189 defines fundamental research as follows:

‘Fundamental research’ means basic and applied research in science and engineering, the results of which ordinarily are published and shared broadly within the scientific community, as distinguished from proprietary research and from industrial development, design, production, and product utilization, the results of which ordinarily are restricted for proprietary or national security reasons.

As of the date of publication of this BAA, the Government cannot identify whether work proposed under this BAA may be considered fundamental research and may award both fundamental and non-fundamental research. Proposers should indicate in their proposal whether they believe the scope of the research included in their proposal is fundamental or not. While proposers should clearly explain the intended results of their research, the Government shall have sole discretion to select award instrument type and to negotiate all instrument terms and conditions with selectees. Appropriate clauses will be included in resultant awards for non-fundamental research to prescribe publication requirements and other restrictions, as appropriate.

For certain research projects, it may be possible that although the research being performed by the awardee is restricted research, a sub-awardee may be conducting fundamental research. In those cases, it is the awardee’s responsibility to explain in their proposal why its sub-awardee’s effort is fundamental research.

CLOUD COMPUTING. In accordance with DFARS Clause 252.239-7010, if the development proposed requires storage of Government, or Government-related data on the cloud, you need to ensure that the cloud service provider you intend to use has been granted Provisional Authorization by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) at the level appropriate to the requirement.


1. FUNDING: Total funding for this BAA is approximately $49.2M. The anticipated funding to be obligated under this BAA is broken out by fiscal year as follows:

FY15 – $.9M*
FY16 – $4.1M
FY17 – $7.7M
FY18 – $9.4M
FY19 – $12.1M
FY20 – $15M

Individual awards will not normally exceed 36 months with dollar amounts normally ranging between $1M to $3M per year. There is also the potential to make awards up to any dollar value.

* NOTE: Some funding has been set aside in FY15; however it is more likely that any awards will be made starting in FY16.

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 ONEThe 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.


1. ELIGIBILITY: All qualified offerors who meet the requirements of this BAA may apply.


a. 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-2015-0007.

b. Any performance by foreign nationals at any level (prime contractor or subcontractor) must be clearly identified in the Offerors proposal. Identify any foreign citizens or individuals holding dual citizenship expected to be involved as a direct employee, subcontractor, or consultant. For these individuals, please specify their country of origin, the type of visa or work permit under which they are performing and an explanation of their anticipated level of involvement. You may be asked to provide additional information during negotiations in order to verify the foreign citizen’s eligibility to participate on a contract issued as a result of this announcement.

c. Information Regarding Non-US Citizens Assigned to this Project

1) Contractor employees requiring access to USAF bases, AFRL facilities, and/or access to U.S. Government Information Technology (IT) networks in connection with the work on contracts, assistance instruments or other transactions awarded under this BAA must be U.S. citizens. For the purpose of base and network access, possession of a permanent resident card (“Green Card”) does not equate to U.S. citizenship. This requirement does not apply to foreign nationals approved by the U.S. Department of Defense or U.S. State Department under international personnel exchange agreements with foreign governments. It also does not apply to dual citizens who possess US citizenship, to include Naturalized citizens. Any waivers to this requirement must be granted in writing by the Contracting Officer prior to providing access. Specific format for waiver request will be provided upon request to the Contracting Officer. The above requirements are in addition to any other contract requirements related to obtaining a Common Access Card (CAC).
2) For the purposes of Paragraph 1, it an IT network/system does not require AFRL to endorse a contractor’s application to said network/system in order to gain access, the organization operating the IT network/system is responsible for controlling access to its system. If an IT network/system requires a U.S. Government sponsor to endorse the application in order for access to the IT network/system, AFRL will only endorse the following types of applications, consistent with the requirements above:

a) Contractor employees who are U.S. citizens performing work under contracts, assistance instruments or other transactions awarded under this BAA.
b) Contractor employees who are non-U.S. citizens and who have been granted a waiver.

Any additional access restrictions established by the IT network/system owner apply.

3. FEDERALLY FUNDED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTERS AND GOVERNMENT ENTITIES: Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) and Government entities (e.g., Government/National laboratories, military educational institutions, etc.) are subject to applicable direct competition limitations and cannot propose to this BAA in any capacity unless they meet the following conditions:

a. FFRDCs: FFRDCs must clearly demonstrate that the proposed work is not otherwise available from the private sector; and FFRDCs must provide a letter on official letterhead from their sponsoring organization citing the specific authority establishing their eligibility to propose to Government solicitations and compete with industry, and their compliance with the associated FFRDC sponsor agreement’s terms and conditions. This information is required for FFRDCs proposing to be prime contractors or sub-awardees.

b. Government Entities: Government entities must clearly demonstrate that the work is not otherwise available from the private sector and provide written documentation citing the specific statutory authority and contractual authority, if relevant, establishing their ability to propose to Government solicitations. While 10 U.S.C.§ 2539b may be the appropriate statutory starting point for some entities, specific supporting regulatory guidance, together with evidence of agency approval, will still be required to fully establish eligibility.

FFRDC and Government entity eligibility will be determined on a case-by-case basis; however, the burden to prove eligibility for all team members rests solely with the proposer.


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 30 October 2015
FY17 by 1 November 2016
FY18 by 1 November 2017
FY19 by 1 November 2018
FY20 by 1 November 2019

White papers will be accepted until 2 PM Eastern Time on 30 September 2020, 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 2020.

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 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-2015-0007 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, they must be marked with the restrictive language stated in FAR 15.609(a) and (b).


a. CLASSIFICATION GUIDANCE. All Proposers should review the NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL SECURITY PROGRAM OPERATING MANUAL, (NISPOM), dated February 2006 Incorporating Change 2, 18 May 2016, 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: .

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):

Vincent Guza
315-330-4048 0730-1630 Monday-Friday
315-330-2961 Evenings and Weekends
Email: vincent.guza@us.af.mil

b. CLASSIFIED SUBMISSIONS. AFRL/RITF 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.


All mailed responses, unclassified/classified, to this announcement must be sent U.S. Postal Service, registered mail and addressed to AFRL/RITF, 525 Brooks Road, Rome NY 13441-4505, and reference BAA-RIK-2015-0007. When mailing follow the directions regarding the number of copies required.

Electronic submission to AFRL.RIT.RomeX@us.af.mil 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.


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 (Oct 2016) 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 (Oct 2016). Any grant or agreement award resulting from this announcement may contain the award term set forth in 2 CFR, Appendix A to Part 25.

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 2 CFR Part 200.458, Pre-Award Costs.

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).


1. CRITERIA: The following criteria, which are listed in descending order of equal 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 soundness of approach for the development and/or enhancement of the proposed technology, with proven, incremental, or novel techniques,
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, and
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.


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. FEDERAL AWARDEE PERFORMANCE AND INTEGRITY INFORMATION SYSTEM (FAPIIS) PUBLIC ACCESS: The Government is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the FAPIIS before making any award in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $150,000) over the period of performance. An applicant may review and comment on any information about itself that a federal awarding agency previously entered. The Government will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other information in FAPIIS in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 2 CFR § 200.205 Federal Awarding Agency Review of Risk Posed by Applicants and per FAR 9.104-6 FAPIIS.


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. When developing proposals, reference the AFRL “Broad Agency Announcement (BAA): Guide for Industry,” Mar 2015, and RI-Specific Proposal Preparation Instructions, Jan 2017.


Depending on the work to be performed, the offeror may require a SECRET to TOP SECRET facility clearance and safeguarding capability; therefore, personnel identified for assignment to a classified effort must be cleared for access to SECRET to TOP SECRET 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) 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 1-800-352-2255 (24/7). You must submit a copy of your approved DD Form 2345, Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement, with your white paper/proposal.


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.

a. Contract Applicable: Once a proposal has been selected for award, offerors will be given complete instructions on the submission process for the reports.
b. FAPISS Applicable: As required by 2 CFR 200 Appendix XII of the Uniform Guidance and FAR 9.104-6, non-federal entities (NFEs) are required to disclose in FAPIIS any information about criminal, civil, and administrative proceedings, and/or affirm that there is no new information to provide. This applies to NFEs that receive federal awards (currently active grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts) greater than $10,000,000 for any period of time during the period of performance of an award/project.

5. NOTICE: The following provisions* apply:
(a) FAR 52.209-11, Representation by Corporations Regarding Delinquent Tax Liability or a Felony Conviction under any Federal Law
(b) DFARS 252.204-7008, Compliance with Safeguarding Covered Defense Information Controls
(c) DFARS 252.239-7017, Notice of Supply Chain Risk
* Please note that the current versions or deviations of the related clauses will be included in any resulting contract.

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).


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):

Robert Denton
525 Brooks Rd. Rome, NY 13441
Telephone: (315) 330-7067
Email: AFRL.RIT.RomeX@us.af.mil

Questions of a contractual/business nature shall be directed to the cognizant contracting officer, as specified below (email requests are preferred):

Gail Marsh
Telephone (315) 330-7518
Email: Gail.Marsh@us.af.mil

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 (Jun 2016) will be incorporated into all contracts awarded under this BAA. The AFRL Ombudsman and AFRL Alternate Ombudsman are as follows:

Ombudsman:  Ms Lisette K. LeDuc,
1864 Fourth St.
Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433-7130

Alternate Ombudsman:   Ms Kimberly L. Yoder
1864 Fourth St.
Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433-7130

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