USSOCOM Seeks Body Worn Sensors

Not long ago, we mentioned Joint Threat Warning System, USSOCOM’s program of record for SIGINT collection systems. For ground-based collection, that is the AN/PRD-13(V)2. By default, it is also the system used by the US Army, which seems to have checked out of developing tactical SIGINT systems. Many capabilities which SOCOM adopts in the SI realm, also find their way into US Army LLVI.

USSOCOM, Special Operations Forces Acquisition Technology and Logistics (SOF AT&L), Program Executive Officer for Special Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Exploitation (PEO – SRSE), Program Manager for Joint Threat Warning Systems (PM-JTWS) recenty released an RFI to industry for Body worn sensor with low Size Weight and Power (SWaP). As communications systems become more sophiticated, so must the equipment designed to collect against them.

According to the RFI, the Program Manager is specifically interested in signals intelligence technologies, ideas and solutions which advance in the following Key Interest Areas:

1) Body worn sensor with low Size Weight and Power (SWaP)
2) Low profile DF antenna

JTWS is seeking potential solutions with the below criteria as initial guidance but not formal direction:

• Hardware:
o Software Defined Radio Threshold –
-Ability to conduct surveys of special/advanced Signals of Interests (SOIs)
-Provide Narrowband automatic signal detection
-Ability to search (scan) special frequency bands
-Ability to search (scan) operator created search parameters or tables
-The system shall have the ability to be sanitized upon command
-The system shall have the ability to be zeroized upon command
-Zeroize feature shall include a fail-safe device to prevent inadvertent zeroizing

o Software Defined Radio Objective –
-Survey capability between the frequency range of 3 – 6,000 MHz
-Provide Wideband automatic signal detection
-Allow for remote zeroization and sanitization

o Antenna Threshold –
-Multiple cables lengths and calibration tables for different operational environments
-Antenna repair kit
-Convenient antenna and cable kit
-Shall conform to platform specific requirements for use on a full range of platforms
-Man-packable antenna shall come with the ability to be mounted off the body for operations on-the-halt

o Dedicated SIGINT Communications Architecture Threshold –
-LOS Meshed Network / Self-Healing connectivity to support collaborative operations

o Dedicated SIGINT Communications Architecture Objective –
-Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) Meshed Network / Self-Healing connectivity to support collaborative operations
-Low Probability of Interception (LPI) and Low Probability of Detection (LPD) waveforms

o Data Storage Devices Threshold –
-Removable, replaceable and separated from operating system storage
-Store a minimum of 100 GB of data storage in a removable form factor
-Clear identification markings for emergency destruction

o Data Storage Devices Objective –
-Encryption for data-at-rest
-Digitally record, catalog and store a minimum 500 GB of data in a removable form factor

o Environmental and EMI/EMC conditions
-Compliant with MIL-STD-810F and MIL-STD-461F as required, or commercial requirements in accordance with operational platform

o Global Positioning System (GPS)
-Receive, display and metatag collected sensor data with GPS-based position, time stamp and/or platform navigation data from either internal or external source(s)
– ystem clock time synchronization to the sensor; if GPS loses synchronization the sensor time will be maintained until GPS is reacquired
-Comply with CJCSI 6140.01.

o Weight Threshold –
-Sensor shall weigh no more than 12 lb with batteries, less antenna(s) and ancillary cabling

o Weight Objective –
-Reduction of weight between 3 lb to 9 lb

o Batteries Threshold –
-Sensor shall be powered by hot-swappable MIL-SPEC batteries for a minimum of eight (8) continuous hours using batteries carried by the operator
-Sensor shall store a Hold Up Battery (HUB) in an effort to prevent loss of data during unexpected system power down

o Batteries Objective –
-Increase operating time on batteries to a minimum of twelve (12) hours

• Data:
o Sensor will detect, collect, locate and process multiple data types
o Sensor will output common audio and data formats
o Exchange of data utilizing File Transfer Protocol (FTP), IPV6 and Secure file transfer protocol (SFTP)
o Ability to exchange data with other sensors and networks

• GUI:
o Human Machine Interface (HMI) / Graphic User Interface (GUI) Threshold –
-Interface with RaptorX
-Display frequency spectrum type observation of signals (separable into up to three {3} spectral displays selectable by the operator)
-Ability to adjust the basic receiver tuning via a spectral display
-Selectable visual and/or aural indications of a newly detected signal within five (5) seconds of the signal’s presence
-Display status of all channels
-Ability to start or stop recording on any channel from the GUI
-Ability to convey sensor status in the form of a Built In Test (BIT), with corresponding error codes
-Support searching in both manual and automated modes
-Include frequency-spectrum separable for up to three spectrums between 3 – 6000 MHz
-Provide audio / graphic monitoring on spectral display with minimum update rate of 3 Hz.
-Adjustable basic receiver tuning via the spectral display (volume, frequency, squelch, span)
-Display results in near-real time across the JTWS family of systems
-Overall system and all subsystem visual output shall be on a single, common display, with screens for each subsystem or system function set selectable
-Provide enough display area to simultaneously view and manage user defined functions/features of sensor (i.e. higher resolution displays or enhanced user interfaces)
-Displays shall be readable in bright sunlight when in direct frontal view by the operator
-Equipment shall not disrupt operator user of night vision goggles when not viewing system display
-Variable brightness control from zero illumination to its maximum, sufficiently illuminated for nighttime operations and daytime operations
-Display emitter location data/results in real-time on a user defined map (e.g., Ellipse, Heat map, LOB, point target)
-Upon user request, display operator geographic location (GPS) and compass orientation to equipped sensors
-Transmit positional data across networks
-Display estimated signal source location on a moving map display
-Color-code or otherwise provide distinguishing display of each signal being tracked
-Displays shall be NVG compatible
-User shall be able to play back historical libraries with the ability to combine previous and current information
-Produce an output data stream compatible with current DOD geospatial mapping programs

o Human Machine Interface (HMI) / Graphic User Interface (GUI) Objective –
-Provide acquired information to onboard / off board (when selected by operator) processing elements for intelligence and Command & Control (C2) purposes (for both organic and external / off board force employment) and provide updates to onboard / off board Common Operation Picture (COP)
-User interface for mapping, audio control, sensor control and data manipulation

o Audio Processing real-time and post mission audio manipulation Threshold –
-User Interface (UI) shall provide audio controls for volume, frequency, squelch, span, noise reduction and advanced filtering
-Audio output compatibility with various interphone systems / headsets
-Provide reduction of signal noise to improve raw collection for audio quality and speech detection
-Provide selectable real-time filtering of audio
-Displays shall provide for dual audio outputs
-Displays shall route audio to operator(s) from any four simultaneous signals

o Audio Processing real-time and post mission audio manipulation Objective –
-Route audio to operator(s) from any four simultaneous signals, each present for at least two seconds; each audio stream 100% complete
-Quickly retrieve and play back a segment of audio data collected within the past 15, 30, 45, or 60 seconds in order to further analyze the data
-Buffer real-time audio, so that upon resumption the operator will be able to recall missed audio during playback times
-Provide the user the option to post process audio for language identification, speaker identification, gender identification, speech detection and group identification via post mission analysis using audio processing software
-Provide the user the option to process audio in near real-time for Language identification, speaker identification, gender identification, speech detection and group identification. Also audio should be available via post mission analysis using audio processing software.

• Software:
o Information Assurance to comply to ICD 503 protection level 3, Integrity Level Of Concern (ILOC) medium, Availability Level of Concern (ALOC) medium or equivalent Office of the Director of National intelligence (ODNI) directives/publications

Remember, this is still just an RFI and the information will be used to inform requirements. However, if as a company, you don’t participate, the government may not be aware of a capability you can provide and won’t issue a requirement for it. They need to know the art of the possible. The Government requests submissions NLT 28 JUL 17.

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4 Responses to “USSOCOM Seeks Body Worn Sensors”

  1. Mehmaster says:


    • Bob from Tagab says:

      About as ‘meh’ as your name implies. While the VRod is a leap ahead of the legacy AN/PRD-13, especially in form factor and user interface, it’s not the full spectrum solution that this RFI is looking for.

  2. Thulsa Doom says:

    And this sounds like a challenge has been thrown to DRT.

    • Bob from Tagab says:

      Thankfully there have been a host of new players on the field in the past couple years. DRT makes a good product but it’s not quite the end-all-be-all they want it to be. There are a couple promising young companies that should give them a run for their money, Mastodon Design being one such company. How this shakes out over the next year or two should be interesting for those of us who spin and grin.

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