Australia’s Department of Defence DSRG is seeking innovative AI application providers with which it can enter into contract partnerships.

The Head of Information Warfare (HIW) is the endorsed lead responsible for the coordination of Artificial Intelligence (AI) across Defence and the newly established Defence AI Centre (‘Defence AI’). AI is a pervasive and disruptive technology that has the potential to augment human tasks and cognition across a large range of applications. AI continues to be rapidly adopted across society, industry, government and the military. AI enables Defence to enhance effective automation of repetitive tasks, assist with discovery and insight across large volumes of data, augment decision advantage and human intelligence through increased understanding, and allow responses to dynamic and challenging environments.

The 2020 Defence Strategic Update outlined that Defence will develop and support focussed investments in AI over the next 5 years, with implications over the following 6-10 years. These have been captured in the 2020 Force Structure Plan, where funding has been set aside for emerging technologies such as AI, with the potential for increased Australian industry participation. This RFP comprises of this challenge statement, the RFP terms and the assessment criteria and process. This procurement is only open to Respondents registered in Australia or New Zealand.

Defence’s objective is to conduct a single stage RFP procurement process to select a number of Respondents to enter into an innovation contract with Defence. The Respondent is to deliver a demonstrator of the technology for user trial and evaluations with Defence within 12 months from contract commencement. If your technology will not be ready in this timeframe, you should not respond to this RFP and may instead prefer to submit a proposal to Priority Innovation Notice at https://www.innovationhub.defence.gov.au/call-for-submissions/solicitation/?id=aa4305b6-e259-e611-80e4-c4346bc532a0.

Our challenge focuses on AI technologies, approaches and systems to accelerate enrich or automate components of Intelligence Mission Data (IMD) production, management, training and/or simulation, as well as AI augmented Virtual Reality (VR) and Graphics Applications that improve the value and realism of Defence modelling, simulation and training.

The Challenge: Defence is seeking innovative proposals that advance or enhance Defence IMD production or VR and Graphics Applications within the capability theme of AI.

Australian industry with no prior experience with Defence is encouraged to participate, particularly those developing or providing Radio Frequency (RF) solutions for telecommunications, mining or space industries, as well as VR, graphics and gaming industry representatives with experience developing AI agents and approaches to mimic real-world environmental dynamics and those with experience in real-world object or terrain modelling and generation of photorealistic imagery.

Further breakdown of the categories and priorities within these categories are provided to shape proposals.

A. Intelligence Mission Data

IMD is structured, multi-source data of an entity or object that is used to create programmable mission data files that are used in different military platforms such as ships, vehicles and aircraft to provide situational awareness, survivability and countermeasures, and testing and simulation. IMD is composed of five functional categories of entity/object related information with RF information being common in several of those categories. Further information on IMD is provided in the attachment.

In the context of the Special Notice, Defence is seeking proposals focussed on civilian, non-military or commercial sources of information (white space) that contribute to accelerating or enriching IMD production, and also systems, applications, frameworks or methodologies that can be broadly applied to all IMD RF source categories.

Artificial RF signals represented through IMD can be complex, geographically restricted or limited, and/or subject to environmental or engineered interference making recognition difficult particularly in military environments. Modern AI approaches are very effective at recognising RF signals in the presence of noise or interference, estimating signal parameters and classifying signals to assist with situational awareness and signal detection within military environments. The application of AI to IMD and RF signals is important for Defence to scale and automatically detect common civilian and commercial signals and to accelerate IMD production.

The IMD areas of interest are (in no order of preference):

I. RF signal family configuration management focussing on ambiguous signals. Defence is seeking systems, applications, frameworks and/or methodologies that assist with this task;

II. terrestrial and space-based RF signal classification and profiling to enable environmental situational awareness. Defence is seeking systems, applications, frameworks and/or technologies to assist with this task;

III. Electronic Support Measure (ESM) kits: single user and/or multi-user (up to four users). Kits can comprise one or more ESM receivers and/or an IT platform to provide an RF-derived survey and/or direction finding Common Operating Picture (COP) application;

IV. automated or augmented RF signal characterisation to assist in rapidly identifying the parameters of unknown or ambiguous signals. Defence is seeking applications, tools, frameworks and software/hardware systems to perform these tasks; and

V. virtualised RF simulation environments to support development and testing of one or more aspects of IMD production and operations. Defence is seeking proposals from industry on RF simulation environments.

Note: The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) communications collection standards can be used as a signal or c

This is a future tender with an estimated release date of February 18 – keep an eye out here.

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