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Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.84K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT:IP-based tactical networks which are being deployed increasingly must possess the capability to gracefully shed mission functions in accordance with the intent of the commander when network congestion occurs. Such congestion events are expected to be prevalent in tactical wireless networks because of two major factors: (1) the increasing use of bandwidth-hungry applications, such as full-motion video (FMV); and (2) dynamic changes in the capacity of wireless links, caused by node movement and environmental factors, which could dramatically shrink the available capacity of a link to a small fraction of its advertised maximum. Prioritization of IP packet flows associated with mission applications (e.g., VoIP, FMV, fire control, chat, web), in accordance with the commanders current mission priorities, will enable the network to preempt or discard packet flows with lower priorities to preserve unimpeded operation of high-priority mission-critical applications under network congestion events. Since mission priorities may change over time, dynamic or on-the-fly reprioritization of IP packet flows is imperative for tactical IP networks. To address this technical challenge and to meet the need identified by the Air Force, Architecture Technology Corporation (ATCorp) proposes an innovative software-based network management solution called the Mission-Based Agile Network Traffic Reprioritization (MANTRA) system. BENEFIT:The results of this SBIR effort will produce a MANTRA software product that can be integrated within tactical IP networks to enable mission-oriented network command and control. DoD programs and initiatives that will benefit from the dynamic network traffic prioritization capability provided by MANTRA include the Joint Aerial Layer Network (JALN), Tactical Edge Networking C2, Joint Tactical Edge Networking (JTEN), WIN-T, and ADNS.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.84K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT:CEDAR is a software solution implementing a cloud computing capability within an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) such as the MQ-9 Reaper. It aggregates the available processing and storage capacity of onboard computers enabling them to be shared across a variety of mission applications ranging from sensor exploitation (SE) applications to on-board diagnostics and prognostics applications where the applications may belong to different security domains, e.g., Unclassified, and SECRET. By enabling mission-specific smarts to be easily programmed within a UAS, CEDAR provides the foundation for implementing the needed autonomy for mission operations. CEDAR allows a mix of computer platforms with varying capabilities to be dynamically provisioned among independently developed software applications in isolated security domains. It does this while providing fast, direct communication of sensor data, usually without the need for cross-domain guards, and without compromising security. The CEDAR design supports mission commanders in planning software deployment pre-mission to ensure available cloud hardware supports mission software needs. It enables autonomous in-mission cloud provisioning decisions by cloud-located applications, allowing the cloud to react to hardware failures and mission-generated tasks without requiring ground control intervention, making the CEDAR cloud appropriate for permissive and A2AD/contested environments. BENEFIT:CEDAR is a novel software product that efficiently and autonomously manages shared compute resources in an unmanned entity (UAV or robot) to run mission applications that analyze, combine, and filter data in real-time or near real-time. CEDAR provides an open platform for supporting the development of new UAS and Internet of Things applications. By supporting deployment of simultaneous applications in multiple security domains, it maximizes compute and storage resource utilization, allowing diverse independent, single-focus applications and providing the performance necessary for UAS on-board sensor exploitation with the possibility of increased UAS autonomy. Autonomous cloud control ensures mission-critical applications are provided critical resources, and allows testing new applications in an active platform without risk of interfering with existing mission-critical applications. The result of CEDAR research and development will be software adaptable to diverse hardware platforms, suitable for managing a cloud of low-cost COTS computer devices hosting commercial real-time operating systems and providing mixed capabilities in terms of processing power and coprocessor support that will benefit a wide variety of sensor data analysis algorithms. CEDAR will facilitate rapid innovation of surveillance, sensor exploitation, and diagnostics/prognostics applications by presenting a consistent virtualized environment from development to operational use. CEDARs cloud provisioning approach supports autonomous operation of UAV and robotic platforms, decreasing the oversight required Potential customers for the resulting commercial product include the military, law enforcement and homeland defense, and commercial enterprises.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.88K | Year: 2015

Rapid and accurate initialization and reconfiguration of network devices provide the foundation for a robust tactical network needed to enable agile mission operations. In Phase I of this SBIR, Architecture Technology Corporation (ATCorp), in collaboration with Future Skies the lead developer of the Armys Command and Control Registry (C2R), established the feasibility of an innovative technology called Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol for Tactical Networks (DHCP-T) through detailed design and a proof-of-concept demonstration (or rapid prototype). Addressing the need identified by the Army for automated network-parameter assignment to network devices in the tactical environments, DHCP-T will eliminate time-consuming manual configuration of network devices in mission command systems and dynamically assign network parameters based on mission needs. Developed on industry standards, DHCP-T includes an extensible architecture capable of handling a variety of network devices and networking scenarios, including those involving tactical radios and routers. The software-only technology will operate within the existing COTS network infrastructure, providing a cost-effective solution to network initialization and reconfiguration. Based on the confirmed feasibility, the team will implement a full TRL 6+ prototype of the technology during the proposed Phase II effort o transition the technology to the field to improve the agility of the tactical networks.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 499.54K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT: Current Air Force unit- and force-level mission planning systems require that users manually enter flight paths. For the emerging class of dedicated airborne communications platforms this is sub-optimal. The mission of these platforms is to extend communications ranges, enabling enhanced (particularly IP-based) connectivity for other mission elements. This calls for a new type of planning system. Rather than end-users entering courses, courses can be planned automatically based on where the other mission elements are positioned. This information, along with relative priorities and specifics about radios allows for more effective planning of courses and placement in airspace of dedicated airborne relays. Such a system can even go beyond mission pre-planning and react to changing conditions in the battlespace (movement, intervening terrain, etc.) to dynamically reposition airborne relays over time for optimal operation. Architecture Technology Corporation (ATCorp) proposes DYNAMICS, an innovative framework providing mission-aware pre-planning and in-mission control of airborne relays. DYNAMICS is a software system operating stand-alone or integrated with existing mission planning systems. DYNAMICS provides: 1) Inverse course planning based on positions and communication capabilities of mission elements; 2) Continuous re-planning during the mission; 3) Prioritization of mission communication/connectivity requirements; and 4) Fully automatic or human-assisted operating modes. ; BENEFIT: The system will provide enhanced mission-aware operation of IP and legacy communication systems. Optimization of in-mission communications based on position of airborne communication relays. Commercial application is as a module for integration into existing DoD mission planning systems, such as JMPS, or as a system for stand-alone use. Non-DoD applications include planning and managing first-responder networks, cellular and municipal wireless networks, and special-purpose networks for large-scale events such as the Olympics or the Super Bowl.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.42K | Year: 2015

Mission planning is an error prone and labor intensive process requiring similar data to be entered multiple times through various JMPS UPCs. The Navy is requesting a software solution to expedite and unify the operational mission planning process. Architecture Technology Corp (ATCorp) proposes MoMiP (Mobile Mission Planning) to incorporate mobile hardware platforms (Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, etc.) running multiple operating systems (IOS, Android, Windows) into the mission planning process to facilitate information sharing and expedite mission planning. MoMiP will enable mission planners to enter mission planning requirements and receive ongoing mission planning updates. Using MoMiP, mission planners will be able to request information (weather, weapons inventory, adversary deployments, etc.) directly from other mission planners. In addition, information entered into MoMiP is available to all JMPS UPC systems (F/A-18, E-2, etc.). MoMiP will result in faster mission planning process while eliminating errors causes through redundant manual data entry. ATCorp will design and build MoMiP with emphasis on data security and display accuracy.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.85K | Year: 2016

The Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) is a high-speed computer network serving United States Department of Energy (DOE) scientists and their HPC collaborators worldwide. The ESnet is a multi- domain network over virtual circuits guaranteeing end-to-end data transfer performance and security on the network. This network structure built using VPN connections and IPSEC tunnels is very similar to military crypto-partitioned networks and have the same problems taking advantage of network routing and security techniques to improve performance. This makes it harder to ensure resilient mission data exchange among user enclaves in the face of WAN impairments induced by cyber-attacks, network misconfiguration, equipment failures, and other causes. Architecture Technology Corporation (ATCorp) will develop a network appliance called WANshielder for enabling robust and resilient operation of high performance computing (HPC) applications over a wide-area Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) infrastructure experiencing accidental failures or cyber- attacks. Residing entirely within the plain text side of a HPC user enclave behind the inline network encryptor (INE), WANshielder operates as a transparent bridge or a “bump in the wire” device passively monitoring all IP traffic entering and leaving the enclave to infer the onset or occurrence of network events which could adversely impact mission applications. It then automatically takes actions to mitigate the impact of these network events. The ability of WANshielder to provide such automatic and agile recovery from network events, while meeting the throughput and latency requirements for networked HPC applications in an Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) environment, is well beyond the capabilities of the state of the art. During Phase I ATCorp will: (1) develop the detailed design of WANshielder; and (2) establish thefeasibility of the approach by building a proof-of-concept prototype of the appliance. WANshielder is a device installed within each enclave of a secure network that will ensure resilient mission data exchange between users in other enclaves in the face of WAN impairments induced by cyber-attacks, network misconfiguration, equipment failures, or other causes Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The successful completion of a Phase I and then a Phase II prototype of WANShielder will allow ATCorp to move forward along the Technology Readiness scale (TRL levels), to further develop and productize WANShielder. The WANShielder project has many foundational components from previous DoD SBIRs and a successful Phase II and Phase III will obviously benefit the nation’s research and science community, but the software and techniques will then be able to be transferred to military applications as well to implement WANShielder on military Crypto-partitioned networks using HAIPEs as well. These types of networks are also used widely within large enterprise networks that connect multiple distributed locations into a single secure network. The potential public benefits of the WANShielder project are numerous, and the potential customers and market size are large.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.94K | Year: 2016

Formerly relegated to research institutions and behind closed doors, modern large-scale computing systems are often used for critical infrastructure modeling and control. These high-performance computing systems are now often geographically distributed and exposed to the Internet, becoming attractive resources for potential misuse and cyberattack. As high-performance computing systems grow more widely distributed, simply firewalling and isolating the system is no longer feasible as a solution. SilverlineHPC is a software system for modeling, analyzing, and automatically evaluating the security configurations of large-scale distributed systems. SilverlineHPC uses attack trees to model risks to distributed computing systems, adding tools that facilitate the analysis of very large-scale systems. The software then performs automated evaluations and computations on the attack trees, testing on-line to see whether particular vulnerabilities are present or known-weak configurations or libraries are in use, then computing metrics and costs based on component metrics. The goal of the Phase I effort is to develop and test a proof- of-concept prototype that focuses on the key technical challenges of our approach. This prototype will build on the company’s existing Silverline software, developing and demonstrating high-performance computing-specific automated evaluation and analysis features. Specifically, the effort will add assessment methods targeted at common computing libraries and frameworks in use by commercial and critical infrastructure sectors. It will also enhance Silverline’s scale, providing effective tools for the modeling and evaluation of large-scale computing systems with hundreds of nodes, actors, and interconnection paths. SilverlineHPC, developed by ATC-NY for the Department of Energy under a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant, increases the safety and security of high-performance computing and large-scale computing systems that are used for power grid analysis, healthcare, and critical infrastructure applications. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: SilverlineHPC will increase the safety and security of the critical infrastructure controlled by distributed computing systems. At the same time, SilverlineHPC’s systematic, auditable approach to security risks will encourage new infrastructure processes to be automated—bringing increased efficiency and lower operating costs. SilverlineHPC’s approach provides similar benefits to healthcare, power grid modeling, and other compute-intensive sectors.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 122.99K | Year: 2016

Air Traffic Management's lack of support for aircraft with different capabilities is a long standing and persistent issue that can limit the ability of the National Airspace System (NAS) to take full advantage of advanced aircraft capabilities. To fully utilize the variety of Trajectory Based Operations (TBO) concepts planned for the NAS, some of which utilize advanced aircraft capabilities for implementing trajectories, an air traffic controller (ATC) must be able to simultaneously support a variety of TBO concepts using different aircraft automation systems to fly the desired trajectory. To accomplish this, the ATC needs automation support to simplify the inherent complexities of using a variety of different TBO concepts and trajectory implementation strategies and provide the controller with the tools needed to execute the desired trajectories, maintain situational awareness at all times, and support off-nominal situations. As depicted in Figure 1, IMMA (Integrated Multi-Mode Automation) provides the automation to simplify the inherent complexities of using multiple TBO concepts by focusing the controller interactions on common core functions (e.g., the initial clearance, compliance monitoring) that all TBO concepts must support. For example, monitoring compliance for an aircraft using speed/path to control delivery time at a metering point is different than monitoring compliance for an aircraft executing Flight Interval Management (FIM) which maintains a time-based spacing interval with another aircraft. Using IMMA, the controller doesn't need to track compliance differently for the two different implementations because the automation accounts for the difference and simply informs him if an aircraft is out of compliance.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 123.14K | Year: 2016

The Automated Real-Time Clearance Analyzer (ARCA) addresses the future safety need for Real-Time System-Wide Safety Assurance (RSSA) in aviation and progressively more trusted autonomy as will be explored in NASA's SMART-NAS and SASO within the Airspace Operations and Safety Program (AOSP). ARCA builds on recent advances in probabilistic (Bayesian) network modeling and the rapid expansion of big data capabilities. The application of ARCA that we propose to develop, ARCA-A, performs safety analyses of approach clearances based on multiple sources of relevant real-time data, such as real-time aircraft data, weather data, past and current operations data, and crew data. ARCA-A provides intelligent risk assessment of clearances over the lifetime of the operation, from planning to clearance delivery. As it matures, ARCA can play a range of roles at increasing levels of autonomy and authority. Initially, once it has trained to the level of generating insight, it can be used to identify hot spots in the NAS or in a region (specific areas, procedures, aircraft types, or times of day when risks increase) on a daily or weekly review basis. Next, it could be deployed to air traffic managers, dispatchers, or other users with real-time operational oversight. With further integration, it could optionally display real-time informational warnings on ATC displays, flight displays, or dispatcher screens. Eventually, ARCA could play a foundational role in automated clearance selection and delivery. For research purposes, in this project we propose to design and begin development of a specific ARCA-A application. The primary focus of the research will be core algorithms, information integration, performance, and feasibility. ARCA is a promising new concept that represents a major step forward in aviation safety from static, forensic, manual methods toward real-time, prognostic, automated capabilities, the end result of which will be safer and more efficient operations.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.91K | Year: 2016

System vulnerabilities are being actively exploited in DoD networks and pose a high risk to Army Information Systems (IS). The Army is seeking a patch management system capable of providing automated and continuous Information Assurance (IA) patches for fielded, tactical systems, while providing a remote capability for auditing and assessing system vulnerability. Architecture Technology Corp (ATCorp) is proposing the Patch-Man (Patch Creator, Distribution & Management System) software product which will simplify and automate the process of creating and distributing IAVA patch packages. Patch-Man will track and verify patch installation as well as provide tools to diagnose problems if they arise. Patch-Man will reduce the costs of applying IAVA patches by reducing the time required to create, distribute and verify them. Patch-Man will consist of a network of distributed servers which will share patch packages and manage groups of systems. Patch-Man Client App software will provide enhanced security as it patches systems and enforces advanced security policies based on patches .

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