US DoD Wants to Develop Near Real-Time Spectrum Management Technologies

US DoD Wants to Develop Near Real-Time Spectrum Management Technologies

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has issued a third Request for Prototype Proposal (RPPs) in support of electromagnetic spectrum research related to the capabilities of the 400+ members of the National Spectrum Consortium. Issued under DOD's Spectrum Access Research & Development (SAR&DP) Program, the RPP is part of a series of requirements to develop near real time spectrum management technologies that leverage machine learning/artificial intelligence to more efficiently and dynamically allocate spectrum assignments based on operational planning and intended operational outcomes.

The RPP is specifically centered on the Operational Spectrum Comprehension, Analytics, and Response (OSCAR) effort. This project will create a software application with a unified graphical user interface, automated workflows, sensor network, and extensible framework needed at testing and training ranges for aerial combat training to ensure that spectrum is available when and where needed for AWS-3 impacted systems and incumbent systems.

The goal is to provide advanced spectrum management capabilities to the incumbent systems in the AWS-3 bands; however, this prototype will be applicable to all spectrum being managed on range so as to not fragment tool suites for Installation Managers. OSCAR will provide the spectrum management tools, workflows, and sensor network necessary to increase spectrum utilization and improve range spectrum management.

"NSC members look forward to collaborating with the government to develop tools that address the need for near-real time spectrum management for effective training and deliver cutting-edge spectrum maneuver capabilities to the operational force. OSCAR will enable military aircraft to continue to get the rigorous training they need, while also supporting expanded commercial activity. But the solutions that are developed won't be limited to domestic use.  They will also support operational capabilities called for in the Joint All-Domain Command and Control and Electromagnetic Superiority strategies," said National Spectrum Consortium Executive Director Maren Leed. "I'm excited to see the innovations that our more than 400 members, with their unparalleled technical breadth and depth, will bring to this challenge. Leveraging their collective expertise, NSC members will make sure that aviators have access to the information they need at the moment it is needed, whether on the range or in the fight."

National Spectrum Consortium Chief Strategy Officer, Vice Admiral Joseph Dyer, USN (ret) said that there is a growing appreciation for how critical it is that their warfighters have assured, near real time access to spectrum in order to meet operational imperatives. They strongly encourage their members to collaborate and respond to this important RPP to make sure that the nation's armed forces can remain agile and utilize spectrum in dynamic, near real time manner.

Earlier this month, the DoD issued two additional RPPs related to near real time spectrum management – Risk Informed Spectrum Access (RISA) and Multiband Instrumented Control Channel Architecture (MICCA). Click here for an overview.

These RPPs are the first to be issued under the National Spectrum Consortium's 5-year, $2.5 billion ceiling Other Transaction Agreement, which was signed in December 2020. Additional RPPs are expected to be issued through the NSC in the coming days and weeks.

Request for Prototype Proposal

NSC-21-RPP-04 – Operational Spectrum Comprehension, Analytics, and Response (OSCAR)

This RPP is one of a number of projects in the Spectrum Access Research & Development Program (SAR&DP) portfolio being solicited in Tranche 2.  This includes:

  1. Risk Informed Spectrum Access (RISA)
  2. Operational Spectrum Comprehension, Analytics, and Response (OSCAR)
  3. Multiband Instrumented Control Channel Architecture (MICCA)
  4. Cooperative Spectrum Access for Testing (CSAT)

Contractors on these projects are expected to work in a cooperative manner with other project teams within the SAR&DP Tranche 2 portfolio to align schedules and harmonize the development of interfaces and protocols with complimentary systems between projects. Members of the NSC in good standing can submit proposals in response to the RPPs. Proposals related to the OSCAR RPP are due June 01, 2021 at 11:59 PM ET. 

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