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Fleet Visual Information Capture Challenge

Fleet VI is a no-fail mission designed to document with video, for the purpose of being released to the media, unsafe and unprofessional interactions with adversaries against U.S. assets at sea and in the air.

Department of Defense, Office of Naval Research, Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $350,000
Type of Challenge: Technology demonstration and hardware
Partner Agencies | Federal: Office of the Navy, Chief of Information (CHINFO), Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF), Naval Accelerator (NavalX)
Partner Agencies | Non-federal: Begin Morning Nautical Twilight Consulting (BMNT)
Submission Start: 10/13/2020 07:00 AM ET
Submission End: 12/11/2020 11:59 PM ET

Description

PROBLEM STATEMENT Navy sailors conducting operational tasking for capturing Fleet Visual Information (Fleet VI) need a standalone solution that can quickly and effectively capture broadcast-quality interactions between US Naval vessels and adversarial units violating internationally recognized seafaring protocols to chronologically report these incidents to Combatant Commanders, the Secretary of Defense, and the American public.

BACKGROUND Operational Task Visual Information (OPTASK VI) is a coordinated Navy-wide operational tasking message that defines the Navy requirements and procedures for the collection and dissemination of Fleet VI. Its purpose is to win the battle of the narrative of unsafe and unprofessional interactions by foreign militaries against our maritime vessels. To be first with the truth, video and still photos of these incidents must be recorded to show the whole story. Visually presenting the facts and the context of the encounters brings the Navy one step closer to winning the battle of the narrative. However, the content and context are not enough, timely release of Fleet VI is essential for presenting the facts before a false narrative takes hold. OPTASK VI sets a 40-minute goal for transmitting Fleet VI to the appropriate maritime operations center and/or fleet command at the end of an event. Nevertheless, a broadcast-quality product at one hour is better than a poor product at 40 minutes. Content, context, and time together are ingredients needed to win the battle of the narrative.

To effectively integrate content, context, and timing, Fleet VI teams need to be trained to capture and transmit still photos with full-motion and high definition videos at sea anytime day or night. Some of the training includes capturing video clips that do not exceed 60-seconds in length; these video clips help tell the story of the event. They must maintain consistent point-of-view and field-of-view with both ships in frame. Video clips should also be sent with at least one photo of the event that can further help detail the story. For example, a wide perspective shot that contains visual adversarial ship markers such as flags, vessel hull numbers, and personnel. The ability to capture such video clips and photos minimizes adversary’s ability to produce a false narrative.

Current Solution Fleet VI teams understand the importance of winning the battle of the narrative for unsafe and unprofessional interactions by foreign militaries against our maritime vessels. The current standard operating procedures vary from vessel to vessel; however, effectively integrating content, context, and timing remain a high priority. One example, when a VI event is announced by the commanding officer of the vessel, sailors must hastily assume his/her immediate new role. Switching roles is just one impediment Fleet VI teams face. Other difficulties include maneuvering around several obstacles on the ship with various handheld cameras and/or recording devices to achieve the best footage possible. Once the raw footage is captured, Fleet VI teams must aggregate the footage from many storage devices and engage with multiple shipboard personnel to collect additional data. For example, multiple sensors, bridge-to-bridge communications, ships current location, range, heading and bearing, all of which are potentially important in accurately portraying the story. Lastly, the data must be organized and stored for easy retrieval.

Ideal Solution Even the best trained Fleet VI teams and the most well thought-out standard operating procedures can fall short of effectively and efficiently capturing Fleet VI events. Fleet VI teams need innovative solutions that reliably capture broadcast-quality footage for Combatant Commanders, the Secretary of Defense, and the American public. An ideal solution, as defined by the Navy, would be one that maintains continuous high-definition, wide-angle field-of-view, and point-of-view footage around US Navy vessels in various environmental conditions. Therefore, the Fleet VI Challenge is looking for Submitters as identified in the eligibility, that have Hardware Solutions that are either currently available or will soon (less than 2-years) be available to the private sector and require little to no modification for the Navy’s relevant environment. A Hardware Solution as defined by the Navy as suitable for Fleet VI is as follows: A reliable, scalable, and user-friendly architecture that has multiple Sensors that interface together at a central video management system. This interface may be wireless, hardwired, or a combination of the two; however, it MUST maintain reliable connectivity to a central video management system for maintaining a constant state of continuous recording of VI events. Sensors, as defined by the Navy, must capture, and record high definition quality video and photos of sea interactions between vessels while maintaining a wide field-of-view and a reference point-of-view given various environmental conditions. These clear high definition videos and photos must be managed by a central video management system that may or may not have software/firmware embedded; however, this management system must be reliable, scalable, ruggedized, user-friendly, and capable of organizing captured footage. It must also contain storage capacity either internally or externally that allows sailors the capability to access stored footage at a future date.

Submitter Hardware Interface

Key Dates

  • Challenge Registration and Submissions Opens: October 13, 2020
  • Challenge Registration Deadline: December 8, 2020
  • Full proposal/Quad-chart & Opt. Video Presentation Deadline: December 11, 2020
  • Review/Down-Selection Reveal: December 22, 2020
  • Virtual Q/A Session for competitors: January 12, 2021
  • Competition Track #1 (Presentation/Demonstration): March 8, 2021
  • Competition Track #2 (Presentation/Demonstration): March 9, 2021
  • Final Judging (Start/Competition): March 10-11, 2021
  • Announcement of Winners: March 15, 2021
  • Prize award Competition: March 31, 2021
  • Posted Winner on Challenge Submission Platforms: March 31, 2021

Definitions

  • Challenge: Fleet VI Capture Competition Challenge pertaining to stages 1-6
  • Competition: Pertaining to only stages 4-6 of the Fleet VI Capture Competition Challenge
  • SA: Selection Advisors
  • SC: Selection Consultants
  • SME: Subject Matter Expert
  • SP: Selection Plan
  • Hardware Solution: A reliable, scalable, and user-friendly architecture that has multiple Sensors that interface together at a central video management system. This interface may be wireless, hardwired, or a combination of the two; however, it MUST maintain reliable connectivity to a central video management system for maintaining a constant state of continuous recording of VI events. Sensors, as defined by the Navy, must capture, and record high definition quality video and photos of sea interactions between vessels while maintaining a wide field-of-view and a reference point-of-view given various environmental conditions. These clear high definition videos and photos must be managed by a central video management system that may or may not have software/firmware embedded; however, this management system must be reliable, scalable, ruggedized, user-friendly, and capable of organizing captured footage. It must also contain storage capacity either internally or externally that allows sailors the capability to access stored footage at a future date.

Please note that the Challenge is a tiered approach, so not all registered submitters will make it to the Competition stages. Please see “How to Enter” for details.

Prizes

Total Cash Prize Pool

Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Pacific has set the total prize to $350,000 for the Fleet VI Capture Challenge

Prize Breakdown

The Fleet VI Capture Challenge will have two winners that will be notified via email and/or by phone. A cash prize of $250,000 will be awarded to the first-place winning entry. A cash prize of $100,000 will be awarded to the second-place winning entry. The judging criteria will contain guidance in the event of an initial tie. A re-evaluation of the baseline performance metrics with the respective judges will determine the winner of a tie.

If a prize goes to a team of Submitters, NIWC Pacific will award the cash prize to the individuals/team’s point of contact who is registered in the Challenge.gov website, for further distribution to the team, as the team members see fit.

This Challenge does not in any way obligate NIWC Pacific or the Department of the Navy to procure any of the items within the scope of this Challenge from any submitters, including the winners. Dependent upon the outcome of the Challenge and the actions of the Federal partners, owners of the Hardware Solutions may or may not asked to further collaborate on a fully integrated solution in the future.

Tax treatment of prizes will be handled in accordance with U.S. Internal Revenue Service guidelines. The winner must provide a U.S. Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TIN) (e.g. Social Security Number (SSN), Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), and or Employer Identification Number (EIN)) to receive the cash prize.

Rules

Eligibility: The Challenge is open to individual Submitters, teams of Submitters, universities/colleges, and commercial entities. Commercial entities must be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States (U.S.). Universities/colleges must also be in the United States (U.S.). Individual Submitters and all members of teams of Submitters must be U.S. citizens or U.S. Permanent Residents and be 18 years or older at start of the Challenge. All Submitters (commercial entities or individuals or universities) must have a Social Security Number (SSN), Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), or Employer Identification Number (EIN) to receive a prize.

The Fleet VI Challenge is looking for Submitters as identified above, that have Hardware Solutions that are either currently commercially available or will soon (less than 2-years) be available to the private sector and require little to no modification for the Navy’s relevant environment. A Hardware Solution as defined by the Navy as suitable for Fleet VI is as follows: A reliable, scalable, and user-friendly architecture that has multiple Sensors that interface together at a central video management system. This interface may be wireless, hardwired, or a combination of the two; however, it MUST maintain reliable connectivity to a central video management system for maintaining a constant state of continuous recording of VI events. Sensors, as defined by the Navy, must capture, and record high definition quality video and photos of sea interactions between vessels while maintaining a wide field-of-view and a reference point-of-view given various environmental conditions. These clear high definition videos and photos must be managed by a central video management system that may or may not have software/firmware embedded; however, this management system must be reliable, scalable, ruggedized, user-friendly, and capable of organizing captured footage. It must also contain storage capacity either internally or externally that allows sailors the capability to access stored footage at a future date.

Eligibility is subject to verification before any prize is awarded. Federal Government employees, NIWC Pacific and BMNT are not eligible to submit to this Challenge.

Violation of the rules contained herein or intentional or consistent activity that undermines the spirit of the Challenge may result in disqualification. The Challenge is void wherever restricted or prohibited by law.

Intellectual Property Rights: Because of the number of anticipated Challenge entries, NIWC Pacific cannot and will not make determinations on whether third-party materials in Challenge submissions have protectable intellectual property interests. By submitting to this Challenge, each Submitter (whether submitting individually, as a team, or as a commercial entity) warrants and assures the Government that any data, hardware, and electrical/data interfaces are used for the sole purpose of submitting an entry for this Challenge, were obtained legally, and through authorized access. By entering the Challenge and submitting the Challenge materials, the Submitter agrees to indemnify and hold the Government harmless against any claim, loss, or risk of loss for patent or copyright infringement with respect to such third-party interests.

This Challenge does not replace or supersede any other written contracts and/or written challenges that the Submitter has or will have with the Government, which may require delivery of any materials the Submitter is submitting herein for this Challenge effort. This Challenge constitutes the entire understanding of the parties with respect to the Challenge.

NIWC Pacific may update the terms of the Challenge from time to time without notice. Submitters are strongly encouraged to check the website frequently. Each stage of the Challenge contains the details submission requirements and deliverable. If during any stage a submitter fails to submit the required submissions and/or is absent or late 30-minutes for the start of their presentation and/or demonstration, then that submitter shall be disqualified from the competition.

If any provision of this Challenge is held to be invalid or unenforceable under applicable federal law, it will not affect the validity or enforceability of the remainder of the Terms and Conditions of this Challenge.

Results of the Challenge:

Winners will be announced on the Challenge.gov website and or by email or both. This Challenge does not in any way obligate NIWC Pacific or the Department of the Navy to procure any of the items within the scope of this Challenge from any submitters, including the winners. Dependent upon the outcome of the Challenge and the actions of the Federal partners, owners of the presented Hardware Solutions may or may not asked to further collaborate on a follow-on procurement. NIWC Pacific may award, pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 2371(b), a follow-on production contract or transaction to one or more submitters who successfully demonstrated and effective Hardware Solution under this Challenge.

Release of Claims:

The Submitter agrees to release and forever discharge any and all manner of claims, equitable adjustments, actions, suits, debts, appeals, and all other obligations of any kind, whether past or present, known or unknown, that have or may arise from, are related to or are in connection with, directly or indirectly, this Challenge or the Submitter’s submission.

Compliance with Laws:

The Submitter agrees to follow and comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and policies.

Governing Law:

This Challenge is subject to all applicable federal laws and regulations. ALL CLAIMS ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING TO THESE TERMS WILL BE GOVERNED BY THE FEDERAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

Limits on Exchanges:

Government personnel involved in the prize Challenge shall not engage in conduct that favors one competitor over another. In addition, any means of dissemination that reveals a technical solution, including unique technology, innovative and unique uses of commercial items, or any information that could compromise a competitor’s intellectual property to another competitor is prohibited.

Judging Criteria

Evaluation Committee Evaluators Responsibilities (ECE): ECE are members who will evaluate submitters and serve as judges for the Challenge and are voting members of the EC. They are responsible for determining how well proposals and demonstrations satisfy the evaluation criteria. ECE will be made up of senior level personnel and operators who have operations experience on Fleet VI.

EC Selection Consultants (SC) Responsibilities: The SC will provide consultation on the execution of the prize Challenge. They have vast experience in OPTASK VI requirements for the Department of the Navy. They are also the immediate stakeholders who have provided extensive support and guidance on how the prize Challenge shall be executed. It must be noted that members of the SC are non-voting members; however, their input will be considered in the final selection of the prize Challenge winners.

Judging Criteria

This Challenge will use a normalized weighted metric approach. All Hardware Solution requirements were identified by Fleet VI SME. Each requirement is correlated to multiple measurable technical attributes that have been identified by EC members. Customer Requirements, Requirements Relative Weight, Technical Attributes, Customer Importance value, and Attribute Relative Weight, together form a correlation matrix. This type of correlation matrix is referred to as a level-one Quality Function Deployment (QFD). A QFD identifies the voice of the customer. EC members will use a level-one QFD to understand numerically the Technical Attribute Relative Weight.

The figure below identifies the customer requirements (highlighted in blue) and how important the customer views that specific requirement. The Customer Importance (highlighted yellow) is on a scale measured from zero to five. A Customer Importance of zero would indicate that the requirement is not important at all, while a Customer Importance of five would indicate that the requirement is of the highest importance. Given this information, EC members can calculate the Requirements Relative Weight of each requirement (highlighted white) using the equation below. The relative weight of each requirement will be used to calculate the Attribute Relative Weight.

Requirement Relative Weight Equation

Requirement, Requirement Relative Weight, and Customer Importance Image

Requirement, Requirement Relative Weight, and Customer Importance Image

The Customer Requirements, identified in the figure above, alone are ambiguous; therefore, Technical Attributes that make the Customer Requirements possible must be identified. For example, if my Customer Requirement is “Capable of HD Data Capture”, then one attribute could be the “Resolution of Footage”. The understanding of the correlation between a Customer Requirement and a measurable Attribute is critical for a level-one QFD. After all possible Technical Attributes are listed, a Relationship Value is given for each Attribute that correlates to the Customer Requirements. A Relationship Value of 1, 3, or 9 will be given. A Relationship Value of one would indicate a weak correlation, while a value of nine would indicate the strongest correlation. Symbols were used for wide view of correlations.

Relationship Values

Relationship Values

The figure below identifies the column titled “Resolution Footage”, which is one of 60 Attributes (refer to stages # 2, # 3, # 5 for list of Attributes) that will be used for grading during the Challenge. The Importance Rating Sum (highlighted yellow) is the sum-product of the correlated Attributes column and the Requirements Relative Weight row. EC members can calculate the Attribute Relative Weight of each requirement (highlighted in blue) using the equation below. These 60 relative weighted percentages will be used in the final scoring for each submitter. The sum-product of all the individual scores will result in an overall final percentage.

Attribute Weight Equation

Attribute Relative Weight

Attribute Relative Weight

A level-one QFD is not enough to carefully select a winner to the Challenge. This is because a QFD is intended to identify what technical attributes can be reduced or eliminated in a design phase of a new system while still maintaining the voice of the customer. This Challenge does not intend to seek out a submitter to develop from scratch a Hardware Solution. It intends to seek a submitter who already has a Hardware Solution that best aligns with Fleet VI requirements that may or may not require slight modifications for the Navy’s environment. Therefore, a minimum baseline on each measurable Attribute identified will be added to the QFD. Each ECE will grade each submitter’s Hardware Solution attributes on how it measures up to the minimum baseline. The grading values are does not meet baseline (3pts), meets baseline = (5 pts), slightly exceeds baseline (7 pts), and exceeds the baseline (9 pts). These grading values will each be multiplied by their respective Attribute Relative Weight percentages. The sum-product of all the individual scores will render an overall final percentage score. See example and image below.

Example: (refer to image below) Resolution Footage Baseline = 1080P Resolution Footage Baseline points (Meets Baseline) = 5 Resolution Footage Attribute Relative Weight = 3.54% (Highlighted blue)

  • Each competitor will be given a score of either 3, 5, 7, or 9 based on the performance of the resolution attribute
  • Arbitrary numbers have been entered in the Resolution Footage column for each competitor for this example.
  • If this Attribute was the sole measure of the Challenge winner, then competitor #6 would be the winner at 3.808% (highlighted green)

Resolution Footage Example

Resolution Footage Example

How to Enter

Stage #1: Registration

Registration is the first stage for entering in the Challenge. All submitters who are eligible are highly encouraged to register for the Challenge. Registration is as easy as sending an email. The email sent must have the name of your organization, full first and last name of a Point of Contact (POC), title of the POC, and a phone number (optional and not required: link to your organization’s website). On the subject line of the email, please type the following: “ORGANIZATIONNAME_REGISTRATION”. Registration and submissions on the Challenge.gov website open October 13th, 2020 (07:00AM ET). Please note that the registration deadline is December 8th, 2020 (5PM ET) and is not the same date as the submission’s deadline. It is recommended that you register first and wait to receive a registration confirmation email, then you may submit your documents. If you Register and submit documents at the same time it may be possible that your submissions might not get to the EC members. Please first ensure that you are registered, and you have received a confirmation email. This will ensure that you have communication with EC members. A replied email from ANY one of the listed Submission Emails. If you do not see a registration confirmation email after two-business days from submitting your email registration; please register again. Ensure that you are not registering too close to the registration deadline, so that the two-business day re-registering option does not apply. The registration deadline is set and not flexible.

Stage #2: Full Proposal/Quad-Chart & Optional Video Presentation

For all registered submitters of the Challenge, two required documents are needed to fulfill this stage. The two required documents are the full proposal and quad-chart. In addition to the required submitted documents, submitters will have the option to submit a video presentation that is no longer than 10-minutes. Please refer to each section pertaining to submission details. Submissions will open October 13th, 2020 (07:00AM ET) on the Challenge.gov website. The deadline for submission is December 11th, 2020 (11:59 PM ET). All submitted documents must be sent via email to all the SAME EMAIL RECIPIENTS USED FOR THE REGISTRATION. For each required or optional document, a separate email must be submitted. For example, to submit the full proposal you must attach your PDF document with the following file name “ORGANIZATIONNAME_FULLPROPOSAL.PDF”. Please use the same file name for the subject line of the email. Please repeat for required and or option submissions. Please be advised failure to submit appropriately could result in your documentation being lost. A receipt of document email from ANY one of the listed Submission Emails constitute a submission of documents. If you do not see a receipt of submission email after three-business days from your submission date; please re-submit again. Ensure that you are not submitting too close to the deadline, so that the three-business day re-submission option does not apply. The submission deadline is set and not flexible.

Full proposal

The full proposal must be submitted in Adobe Acrobat’s version 2.0 or greater. The file extension must be in Portable Document Format (PDF). The font must be in New Times Roman, size 12, and single spaced. Bold, underlines, and italics are acceptable for delineation purposes. The length of the full proposal is limited to a 6-page write-up and 4-pages for specifications. The full proposal should provide responses to the outline below.

  1. Fleet VI Hardware Solution Concerns

    • Technical Description: describe the technology with enough detail, so that it may paint a picture on how it answers the needs of capturing Fleet VI. Below indicate suggestions of talking points that are important to Fleet VI.

      • Resolution
      • Embedded software
      • Pan/tilt degree of Freedom
      • Auto focus/iris/tracking/record
      • Storage size internal/external
      • Frame stabilization
      • Glare reduction
      • Frames per second
      • Corrosiveness retardant
      • Embedded software
      • Ruggedization (e.g. IP rating)
      • RF shielding
      • Local/remote control
      • Sensor movement/tracking
      • Sensor storage
      • Sensor infrared capable
      • Data Compression type
      • Sensor wide angle view
      • Sensor movement/tracking
      • Power and data requirements
    • Operational Impact: In as much detail as possible provide the operational impacts such as learning curves, scalability, modularity, interoperability, and usability.

      • Installation requirements
      • Firmware updates
      • Warranty length (estimate)
      • Technical support
      • Reliability
      • Scalability
      • Ease of operation
      • Maintenance/repair
      • Learning curve
      • Mean time to failure
      • Mean time to repair
      • Redundancy
      • Rough % annual cost
    • Benefits to the Warfighter: In as much detail as possible provide the expected benefits from this technology. What sets this technology apart from the rest and what benefits will the warfighter gain by using this technology?

      • High level “technology secret sauce”
      • Distinctive benefits not found in other competitors
      • Past performance in similar environments
    • Graphics: Provide graphics of the technology and/or any Functional Flow Block Diagram (FFBD) that provides a high-level pictorial representation of the technology.

      • Data flow transmission and/or storage
      • Snippets of high-definition footage/photos
      • Interface options for interoperability

Quad-Chart

The single slide quad-chart must be submitted in Microsoft PowerPoint version 16.0 or greater, which is Microsoft Office 2016, Microsoft Office 2019, and Microsoft Office 365. The file extension can be in either in .PPT or .PPTX. Submissions will open October 13th, 2020 (07:00AM ET) on the Challenge.gov website. The deadline for submission is December 11th, 2020 (11:59 PM ET). The submitted file should have the name format “ORGANIZATIONNAME_QUADCHART(.PPT or .PPTX)”. The quad-chart should be a concise summary of the full proposal that can be displayed in a single slide. It must also contain the information below.

  1. Point of Contact (POC): Provide a point of contact. It must contain their name, email, title at company, and phone number.

Optional Video Presentation

The video presentation is optional; however, if you are confident that the full proposal and quad-chart are enough and represents your technology then the optional video presentation is not needed. The lack of providing an optional video presentation will not count against or for any submitter in the review process. The optional video presentation submission is limited to ten minutes. In these ten minutes the submitter has the freedom to elaborate on information in the quad-chart or full proposal; however, the quad-chart must be used. Please provide a hyperlink to your optional video presentations in an email with the subject line “COMPANYNAME_PRESENTATION_VIDEO” to Submission Emails.

Stage #3: Review/Competitor Selection

During this stage, the EC will convene for a complete evaluation of each registered submitter. There is no needed information from the registered submitters during this stage. The MAXIMUM number of registered submitters that will be proceeding to stages #4, #5, #6 will be six. The competition may have less than six submitters but not less than two. If less than two than further review of the submitter’s information will be conducted to get to the minimum number of competitors. All submitters will be graded on their submitted information and how it correlates to the list below.

  • Resolution
  • Frame stabilization
  • Glare reduction
  • Corrosiveness retardant
  • Embedded software
  • Pan/tilt degree of freedom
  • Sensor Auto focus
  • Storage size internal
  • Storage size external
  • Ruggedization (IP rating)
  • RF shielding
  • Sensor Auto Iris
  • Sensor Auto recording
  • Sensor infrared capable
  • Data compression type
  • Sensor wide angle view
  • Power requirements
  • Mean time to failure
  • Mean time to repair
  • Low light capture
  • Operating temperature
  • Installation requirements
  • Firmware updates
  • Warranty length
  • Technical support
  • Scalability
  • Ease of operation
  • Maintenance/repair
  • Learning curve
  • Reliability
  • Redundancy
  • Rough % annual cost
  • Local/remote control
  • Sensor movement
  • Sensor storage
  • Sensor Auto tracking

Please note that the Challenge is a tiered approach, so not all registered submitters will make it to the Competition stages. The Fleet VI CC encompasses six total stages. Stages #1 to #3 are for all registered submitters. Stages #4 to #6 are for the down-selected six or less but more than two submitters who will make it to the Competition. The six selected submitters will now be referred to as competitors. They will be notified on December 22nd, 2020.

Stage #4: Virtual Question & Answer Session

The virtual question and answer (Q&A) session is designed to provide information about the logistics of the presentation and demonstration phases of the Competition. The date of the Q&A session will be tentative for JANUARY 12, 2021. An EC member will notify the competitors about the final date and time ONE WEEK prior to this tentative date. Although, the Q&A session is outlined in the evaluation section, by no means will the Q&A session be an evaluation stage. The competitors will not be evaluated during this stage, so no additional information is needed. The purpose of the Q&A session is to provide any needed clarification for competitors about the logistics of the Competition stage. The EC will provide a meeting link, date, and time for the Q&A session. The session meeting will be for two hours and will be conducted virtually on the Microsoft Teams platform. All competitors moving onto stages #5 and #6 will have one representative logged-in during this stage; however, competitors may have other representatives with them sharing the one login link. During this stage, the competitors will be congratulated. Covered topics will be the location, date, time, lodging, and arrival instructions. Competitors will have an opportunity to ask questions associated with the presentation and demonstration phases.

Stage #5: Competition

This stage will take place at Naval Base Point Loma at the NIWC Pacific Bayside location. The Competition days are currently scheduled for March 8th and 9th, 2021. EC members will send a data request to all competitors in January 2021 for base access. During this stage, the competitors will present and demonstrate their Hardware Solution. Competitor will be given specific arrival, base access, transition, presentation, demonstration, and departure times.

Competitors will be grouped in a competition track. For example, Day one will be titled Track #1 and day two will be titled Track #2. During the first day of the Competition, EC members will be able to evaluate three competitors (competitors #1, #2, #3). On the second day EC will process the last three competitors (competitor #4, #5, #6). The image below represents a single day example of the throughput of the Competition. Please read each bolded section for details of each transitional phase. If for some reason any competitor fails to show within 30-minutes of their designated date and or time, that competitor will be disqualified from the Competition stage and the Challenge.

Competition Track

Competition Track

Arrival/Base Access Phase For both Track #1 (day one March 8, 2021) and Track #2 (day two March 9, 2021) there are only three arrival times (0730, 0930, 1130). Each competitor will be informed and reminded prior to the Competition start date of their arrival times. It is highly imperative that competitors arrive at their designated date and time. EC members will wait up to 30 minutes on the assigned date and time for a late competitor. The late time will be taken from the competitor’s presentation phase if the competitor is late. Competitors who fail to arrive within 30 minutes of their designated date and time will be disqualified from the Competition stage and the Challenge.

NIWC Pacific Bayside Pass Office

NIWC Pacific Bayside Pass Office

Base Access Phase

The base access phase has a 30-minute window. The location of the Competition will be NIWC Pacific, Point Loma/Bayside. This location requires two forms of identification (Common Access Card and NIWC Pacific badge). Each competitor will receive a base access data request in January 2021. An EC member will submit temporary badge requests for each responding attendee. The SA will manage the base access for competitors. An EC member will meet each competitor at their designated arrival times by the front door of the NIWC Pacific Bayside Pass Office (Strothe Rd, San Diego CA 92106). This location is identified by the YELLOW star and Black rectangle in the image above. It is at that time and location where the competitor will receive their badges and will have access to drive onto to NIWC Pacific Bayside. An EC member will guide the competitor to their assigned parking location near the Competition area.

Presentation Phase

The start of the presentation phase is marked at 30-minutes post arrival time for the competitors. This timed phase is limited to 2-hours. Competitors will be required to set up their two-Sensor Hardware Solution at the presentation site. This is for the ECE to get a close look at the equipment and ask appropriate questions. Competitors will have a designated EC member as support at the presentation phase location. The member will be responsible for equipment support and set up of PowerPoint presentation slides. In addition, the member will ensure that the competitor is ready to present at their designated time. The presentation phase is the competitor’s opportunity to provide a detailed description of how their Hardware Solution functions. There is no strict instruction on how competitors must present; however, competitors are encouraged to have a presentation plan (Sales Pitch). ECE are looking for technology descriptions (e.g. PPT slides, video, or handouts), hands-on evaluation of hardware, and how the system will address OPTASK VI challenges for the Navy. The list below are topics of interest. A minimum of 45-minutes must be designated for ECE to get their hands on the equipment and ask detailed question about the technology.

During the presentation phase, responses from competitors will be graded by the ECE using scorecards. An EC member will input the data into the baseline performance metric matrix under the presentation evaluation. This will be part of the competitor’s overall performance grade. A designated support EC member will maintain time and advise the competitor when their time is up. When the presentation phase is completed competitors will start to disassemble their set-up equipment. The competitors will be directed to the next phase of the Competition.

  • Resolution
  • Frame stabilization
  • Glare reduction
  • Corrosiveness retardant
  • Embedded software
  • Pan/tilt degree of freedom
  • Sensor Auto focus
  • Storage size internal
  • Storage size external
  • Ruggedization (IP rating)
  • RF shielding
  • Sensor Auto Iris
  • Sensor Auto recording
  • Sensor infrared capable
  • Data compression type
  • Sensor wide angle view
  • Power requirements
  • Mean time to failure
  • Mean time to repair
  • Low light capture
  • Operating temperature
  • Installation requirements
  • Firmware updates
  • Warranty length
  • Technical support
  • Scalability
  • Ease of operation
  • Maintenance/repair
  • Learning curve
  • Reliability
  • Redundancy
  • Rough % annual cost
  • Local/remote control
  • Sensor movement
  • Sensor storage
  • Sensor Auto tracking

Equipment Storage Location: Highlighted in black and orange are designed to give the competitors a location to store any excess material that will not be used during the presentation and demonstration phase. These locations will be equipped with tables and chairs. The orange highlighted storage location will only be for competitors’ numbers one, three, four, and six. The black highlighted will only be for competitors’ numbers two and five. Both locations will be marked.

Seating Area: Highlighted in blue is the seating area that is designed to give EC members, evaluators, and onlookers a location to sit. These locations will be equipped with a canopy, tables, and chairs.

Presentation Area: Highlighted in yellow is the presentation area and is designed to be the location that the competitors use to present their Hardware Solution. This area will be equipped with a canopy, tables, chairs, TV with stand, and 120V power strips (labeled G1 and G2), RJ45 CAT 6 cables, power cords, and a presentation remote. In addition, this area will have a competitor booth area with appropriate tables, chairs, and stands.

Staging Area: Highlighted in purple is the staging area and is designed to be the location that competitors use to conduct their mock-up installation of their Hardware Solution. This area will be equipped with three tripod stands, TV with stand, Cat-6 Ethernet cables, power strips, power cord, and a Network-Attached Storage (NAS) device that will be designated to each competitor. A NAS will be used to store any feed from a competitors Hardware Solution.

Presentation Area Floor Plan

Presentation Area Floor Plan

Transition Phase In the transition phase competitors will be guided to the demonstration phase site location. All equipment needed to set up two-Sensor Hardware Solution system will need to be carried to the demonstration location. This transition phase is limited to 30-minutes.

Demonstration Phase The demonstration phase is the competitor’s opportunity to showcase how their Hardware Solution functions. At the demonstration location, competitors will be asked to set up their Hardware Solution. There Hardware Solution must have a two-Sensors integrated system for the demonstration. A designated EC member will help with their setup. A networked attached storage device will be provided at the presentation phase and must be able to integrate as an external storage device to the competitors Hardware Solution to collect the demonstration data. The EC member will be responsible for clearly identifying the competitors dedicated NAS and ensuring the proper connection between the competitors Hardware Solution. The competitors will be asked to sign the NAS with a marker. The NAS device will be used later for scoring of the captured footage/photos.

A floating platform will be located at the demonstration site. Here the competitor will install their two-Sensor Hardware Solution. On the floating platform there will be a center mark that indicates where the center of the Sensor lens must be placed. Once the Sensors are mounted, they must not be moved or touched. In addition, there will be a distinctive marker in front of the platform. This marker indicates a point-of-view reference and will be identified as “platform marker”. Competitors will need to maintain continuous recording regardless of what is required at each phase and all markers both on the vessel and on the platform need to be on all video clips and photos. The EC member will script all phases. They will direct the vessel when to depart and when the competitor will need to start recording. The vessel used in the Competition will be modified to have three distinctive markers. The markers will be used to grade the image clarity and stability at varying speeds, maneuvers, and distances.

During setup it is encouraged that competitors engage with the evaluators. This gives the evaluators an installation perspective and an overall understanding of how the system works. The demonstration phase will be broken into three different routes that make up a triangular path and one post file recover phase.

Phase #1 Crossing Bow VI Event: This phase will simulate a VI event where an adversary vessel will cross the bow of a U.S. vessel. Once the vessel departs, the marked vessel will travel from the floating marker to waypoint D1 at a steady speed. Once the vessel reaches the D1 waypoint, the EC member will inform the competitor to take a still image and a 60-second clip must be recorded. The video clip and photo must be saved and identified as WAYPOINT_D1_VIDEO and WAYPOINT_D1_PHOTO. The markers will be used to grade the image clarity and stability at a constant vessel speed at a 1000-yard distance. Again, all still images and video clips must contain the floating platform marker and the vessel markers. These are the two requirements in this phase. The continuous recording will also be reviewed during the judging phase and is always a requirement regardless of phase. If still images and 60-second clips are not possible while the competitors Hardware Solution is continuously recording; the competitors may quickly review their footage and create these files prior to the next phase. See image below for route.

Phase #1 Ship Route

Phase 1 Ship Route

Phase #2 Erratic Behavior VI Event: This phase will simulate a VI event where an adversary vessel is acting erratically and making unsafe and unpredictable maneuvers. The marked vessel will now maneuver from waypoint D1 to D2 at an increased speed. This location will be approximately 850-yards from the platform marker in an orthogonal manner. Once the vessel reaches the D2 waypoint, the EC member will inform the competitor to take a still image and a 60-second clip must be recorded. The video clip and photo must be saved and identified as WAYPOINT_D2_VIDEO and WAYPOINT_D2_PHOTO. The marked vessel will now maneuver from waypoint D2 to D3 in a distinctive pattern and at various speeds. The EC member will inform the competitor to take a still image and a 60-second clip when the vessel reaches the D3 waypoint. The video clip and photo must be saved and identified as WAYPOINT_D3_VIDEO and WAYPOINT_D3_PHOTO. This location will be 2000-yards from the platform marker. Again, all still images and video clips must contain the floating platform marker and the vessel markers. The markers are needed to grade the image clarity at various distances, speeds, and maneuvers. There are the four requirements in this phase. The continuous recording will also be reviewed during the judging phase. If still images and 60-second clips are not possible while the competitors Hardware Solution is continuously recording; the competitors may quickly review their footage and create these files prior to the next phase. See image below for route.

Phase #2 Ship Route

Phase 2 Ship Route

Phase #3 Aggressive Maneuver VI Event: This phase will simulate a VI event where an adversary vessel is conducting an aggressive maneuver. The marked vessel now maneuvers from waypoint D3 to D4 at an increased speed. The EC member will inform the competitor to take a still image and a 60-second clip when the vessel reaches the D4 waypoint. The video clip and photo must be saved and identified as WAYPOINT_D4_VIDEO and WAYPOINT_D4_PHOTO. This location will be 1000-yards from the platform marker. The marked vessel will now maneuver from waypoint D4 to D5 in a steady speed. The TC member will inform the competitor to take a still image and a 60-second clip when the vessel reaches the D5 waypoint. The video clip and photo must be saved and identified as WAYPOINT_D_VIDEO and WAYPOINT_D5_PHOTO.This location will be 500-yards from the platform marker. The markers are needed to grade the image clarity at various distances, speeds, and maneuvers. Again, all still images and video clips must contain the floating platform marker and the vessel markers. These are the four requirements in this phase. The continuous recording will also be reviewed during the judging phase. If still images and 60-second clips are not possible while the competitors Hardware Solution is continuously recording; the competitors may quickly review their footage and create these files prior to the next phase. See image below for route.

Phase #3 Ship Route

Phase 3 Ship Route

Phase #4 Post File Recovery and Showcase: Prior to the start of this phase all files must be transferred from the competitor’s internal storage device to the EC designated NAS. The competitors must transfer the files in the smallest file size possible. This will test the competitor’s systems ability to compress high resolution data files.

This phase will test the reliability of the competitor’s solution. Once the competitors have transferred all files of the previous phases, power to their system will be completely removed and they will be forced to reboot the system. During the startup judges will see how the systems recovers and from there can ask appropriate function questions. During the recover the demonstration EC member will be monitoring the following:

  • System reboot tests time for both sensors and video management
  • How long the system will take to recover from a sudden power loss
  • Recovery of stored video files

Once the system recovers the competitors will be required pan both their sensor all the way left and right. At each side, a still image needs to be captured and identified as PANLEFT_POTO and PANRIGHT_PHOTO. In addition, the competitors will be required tilt both their sensor all the way up and down. At each side, a still image needs to be captured and identified as UP_POTO and DOWN_PHOTO. These files must be transferred from the competitor’s internal storage device to the EC designated NAS.

Demonstration Area Floor Plan

Demonstration Area Floor Plan

Data Collection Point: Highlighted in orange is the data collection area. This area will be the dedicated location were all data is collected from the Sensors. This area will be fully equipped with tables, chairs, monitors, dedicated competitor NAS, RJ45 connectors with cables, power strips, power cords, and a laptop machine. The competitor will set their system up and allow for their system to accept an external storage NAS system provide by EC. In addition, this is the location where ECE will be monitoring the Sensors footage and asking various questions about the Hardware Solution. It will also be the central point where the EC member will manage the ship route script and advise the competitor when the demonstration is transitioning between phases.

Demonstration Area: Highlighted in purple is the demonstration area. This area will be equipped with a multi-tripod set up that will allow competitors to install their Sensors. This mounting system will be mounted on a floating platform. This location is located approximately 350-feet from the presentation location. The purpose of mounting the competitor’s equipment on a floating platform is to mimic the motion of a ship. The floating platform will be equipped with POE category 6 cable, 120V power cord, 120V power strips, and tripods.

Base Departure Phase In the departure phase competitors will be asked to leave the Competition site once they have completed their phases. If the competitors were given a visitor’s base access badge, they will surrender the badges to a designated SA. The SA will escort the competitors off the base. If some competitors were escorted onto the base with a RED BADGE, they will be escorted off the base by a SA member.

Submission Email:

  • ammar.d.ameen@spawar.navy.mil
  • mark.a.thomsen@spawar.navy.mil

Point of Contact

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