By Maj. Douglas Halleaux (Army National Guard)February 10, 2020
DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich. -- U.S. Army researchers in early Fiscal Year 2020 selected a handful of proposals for funding through its Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) and Small Business Innovation Fund (SBIR) efforts, targeting technology advancements in vehicle protection, survivability, and maneuverability, vehicle-based fuel cells, and autonomy.
The announcement comes from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC), the Army's Research, Development and Technology Integration hub for its combat and tactical vehicles.
Pratt & Miller (New Hudson, Michigan) was selected through the RIF for advances in Fuel Cell Mission Extension for Trackless Moving Targets-Vehicle (TMT-V).
RIF is a program that is designed to meet an operational or national security needs through accelerating or enhancing military capability and stimulate innovative technologies. RIF, as a program, is designed to reduce acquisition and life cycle costs while improving timeliness and thoroughness of test & evaluation outcomes.
RIF contracts are typically no longer than two years and don't exceed $3 Million. The terms of this RIF contract are negotiated after initial selection.
The center also announced a series of SBIR selections. SBIR awards are awarded in two phases. Phase I awards are designed to establish the technical merit, feasibility, and commercial potential of proposed R&D efforts and to determine the quality of performance of the small business awardee organization itself. This informs the government on providing further Federal support in Phase II.
The Army selected six companies for Phase I awards, which are typically short in length, 6 months, and normally don't exceed $167,500.
Three companies were selected for Active Blast Mitigation Systems (ABMS) integration technology advancement, technologies that empower safe and effective integration of ABMS onto vehicle platforms to limit risk to the vehicle and its operators. The Army selected Corvid Technologies, LLC (Mooresville, North Carolina), Defense Engineering Services, LLC (Charleston, South Carolina), and Friedman Research Corporation (Austin, Texas).
The Army made a second Phase I selection for Improving Ground Vehicle Maneuverability Enhancing Survivability. Three companies were selected: SiC Technologies, Inc. (Costa Mesa, California), Robotic Research, LLC (Gaithersburg, Maryland), and KTISIS, LLC (Sterling Heights, Michigan).
The Army also selected six companies in four technology efforts for SBIR Phase II awards. Phase II contracts continue previous Phase I efforts, and the funding is based upon the results and potential shown in the earlier phase. Phase II selections are limited to previous Phase I awardees and typically produce a technology prototype. These contract awards usually don't exceed $1.1 Million over two years.
The Phase II selections are:
• Charles River Analytics Inc. (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and Oceanit Laboratories, Inc. (Honolulu, Hawaii), each for "Novel, Localized Intrusion Detection System (IDS) for the Vehicle Control Area Network (CAN) Bus"
• ANDRO Computational Solutions, LLC (Rome, New York), "Adaptive Radio for Robotic Warfare (ARROW)"
• Global Embedded Technologies, Inc. (Farmington Hills, Michigan), "High Voltage Motor Controller"
• Integrated Solutions for Systems, Inc. (Huntsville, Alabama), and Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (Petersboro, Utah), each for "Intelligent Urgent Stop"
GVSC regularly calls for, and accepts, SBIR and RIF proposals from industry. SBIR announcements are distributed on the Department of Defense SBIR Innovation Portal, www.dodsbirsttr.mil, and RIF requests for proposals are announced on the U.S. Government's Contract Opportunities website, beta.sam.gov.
ABOUT U.S. ARMY COMBAT CAPABILITIES DEVELOPMENT COMMAND (CCDC) GROUND VEHICLE SYSTEMS CENTER
Headquartered at the U.S. Army Detroit Arsenal in Warren, Mich., the Ground Vehicle Systems Center is a major research, development and engineering center for the Army Futures Command's Combat Capabilities Development Command.