Closed ATM View - HUB-20-AIAD-001
Artificial Intelligence Applications in Defence
Show close time for other time zones
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 five years, with implications over the following six to ten 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 Request For Proposal (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 communications protocol reference source for the IMD priorities. Please see https://www.etsi.org/standards/get-standards#Pre-defined%20Collections for further information.
B. Virtual Reality (VR) and Graphics Applications
Defence is seeking VR and Graphics Applications that enhance realism and that are focussed on accurately modelling real-world objects, terrain and dynamics. In Defence applications, VR and related Graphics Applications are employed for scenario/planning modelling, simulation, complex data visualisation, and training applications. AI techniques within synthetic environments can provide realistic uncertainty and evolve behaviours and dynamics in support of modelling, simulation and training.
When AI and the inclusion of realistic behaviour is combined with an ability to produce dynamic and immersive environments (including real-world objects and terrain), the value to Defence is further increased in a training context. In limited situations, the photorealistic imagery from these environments can also be used to augment or produce synthetic data sets to assist with image recognition tasks. These model approaches can have dual-use implications for Defence and may be used in limited cases to provide synthetic and augmented data sets for image recognition tasks.
The VR and Graphics Application areas of interest are (in no order of preference):
I.applications, models and/or frameworks for AI augmented VR or Graphics Applications to improve immersion, realism and value to Defence visualisation, modelling, simulation and training applications (e.g. combat training, scenario and campaign modelling). Defence is seeking AI applications, models and/or frameworks to improve the value of scenario-based activities; and
II.AI environmental and photorealistic object and terrain modelling of Defence and civilian areas and objects of interest. These will enable the creation of dynamic immersive synthetic environments and the creation and augmentation of data sets for image recognition applications. Areas and objects of interest include real-world cities, towns, buildings, vehicles, aircrafts, ships, and other civilian or military objects in common 3D mesh model file formats or point cloud representations.
Technologically Mature Products
To support the 2020 Strategic Update and Force Structure Plan, the Department of Defence (Defence), via the Defence Innovation Hub, is conducting an open tender process to receive innovative AI proposals for demonstration ready proof of concepts, equivalent to Technological Readiness Level 4-6 (TRL 4-6). AI has been identified as an area of growth by Defence in collaboration with Australian Defence industry.
Defence will consider proposals based on solutions that are of higher technological maturity, only where such proposals articulate a clear innovative development pathway to ensure the product integrates with the requirements of this Challenge Statement. Proposals submitted for TRL 9 or Commercial-Off-The-Shelf solutions without consideration of a development pathway to meet ADF contexts will not be assessed in accordance with Clause 6.2.1(s) of the RFP Terms.
The Defence Innovation Hub has prepared a number of resources to help you as you consider when submitting a proposal. These can be accessed upon creating a new proposal for the Challenge Statement: HUB-20-AIAD-001 (https://www.innovationhub.defence.gov.au/call-for-submissions/). These resources include general information about how the Defence Innovation Hub operates and evaluates proposals. The additional resource information contains further information about this Special Notice and a factsheet is included that provides further context on Defence’s IMD and VR needs.
You may wish to talk to the Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) and see how they might be able to assist you. The CDIC website is located at www.business.gov.au/cdic.
Submissions to this RFP can be made by selecting ‘Create New Proposal’ for the Challenge Statement. This form can be accessed from the Innovation Portal. A submission can be made any time before the ATM Close Date and Time.
Please refer to the Special Notice at https://www.innovationhub.defence.gov.au/call-for-submissions/
Respondents must have a valid ABN or NZBN in order to participate in this procurement process
Proposed schedule is to conduct a demonstration of the technology for user trial and evaluation within 12 months after contract commencement