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USSOCOM highlights desired technologies

03rd March 2017 - 12:00 by Scott Gourley

USSOCOM highlights desired technologies

United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) representatives have released new guidelines on the eight specific technology areas the command is seeking to advance in order to delivery 'innovative capabilities to the SOF warfighter'.

A new appendix to the solicitation for the 'Advancement of Technologies for Use by Special Operations Forces' programme, titled G-2, identifies specific areas of interest to support the Rapid Capability Insertion (RCI) business process.

While the announcement states that there are eight specific areas of interest, the supporting documentation only identifies seven topics: Biometrics/Forensics and Sensitive Site Exploitation; Data Exfil; Signal Detection and Exploitation; Force Protection / Counter-Measure; Sensors ; Support and Ancillary Equipment; and Tagging, Tracking, and Locating (TTL).

In the case of Biometrics/Forensics and Sensitive Site Exploitation, for example, the announcement describes the product line as covering 'technologies used to collect, analyse, and distribute various physical parameters that can be used to identify personnel and activities inside a sensitive site to exploit personnel, documents, electronic data, and material obtained at the site'.

'There is particular interest in technologies with a small form factor that rapidly identify personnel, reduce false alarm rates and/or offer novel approaches at short to long distances in all environmental conditions,' the appendix stated.

'This product line also covers the collection and processing of both physical and electronic information obtained from target locations,' it added. 'The technologies should provide improvements in software applications, sensitivity, identification, processing speed, and data correlation.'

Specifically identified subsets of this category include: reduced size, weight, power (SWaP) of existing tools, and expand mobile wireless capabilities; deployable and compliant Rapid DNA profiling capability (less than two hours); multi-modal biometric enrollment and matching device that includes a combination of iris scanner, facial recognition, DNA, and fingerprint capture and processing.

In addition, the areas of interest include: biometric/forensic tools (e.g. dustless fingerprint collection, voice print-analysis, iris scan) at extended target distance; document exploitation, to include rapid scan and translation of foreign language, for hard copy documents utilising a small form factor device such as a laptop, tablet, smart phone; electronic media exploitation, including computers and cell phones/sim cards; trace evidence collection, identification and processing, both explosive/chemical and biological; and detection of hidden rooms/chambers.

In each of the identified areas, RCI is interested in projects starting at a minimum of Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 and at project completion products should be TRL 7.

The latest announcement clarifies that it is not intended to supersede earlier supplemental releases, but rather 'is a request for focus on specific subsets for purposes of supporting the RCI business process'.

This BAA will remain open through 26 May 2017.

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