High Frequency Geolocation and Characterization (HFGeo) Phase 2 and 3 Q&As

#QuestionAnswerDate Posted
001 Table 2 indicates a weight limit for the antenna system of 150 kg, including any support structures. Section 1.A.2.a refers to the same 150 kg limit. Can you please confirm that the 150 kg weight limit applies only to the antenna system? The weight limit of 150 kg applies to the antenna system, including any support structures. 12/19/14
002 May we assume that cables connecting the antennas to receivers are not included in the antenna system weight budget? Cables are considered part of the antenna system. The weight limit of 150 kg applies to the antenna system. 12/19/14
003 While there is a clear desire to minimize total system SWAP to ease transportability, is it correct to conclude that there is no overall system SWAP limit? As noted in 1.A.2.a. on page 10 "Innovation for rapid deployment and setup will be viewed favorably. In all cases, the prototype should be capable of set-up in the test configuration without use of heavy equipment or significant site preparation and be compliant with the size restrictions as well as 10 m height and the total weight will not exceed 150 kg, including any support structures or wires as explained in Table 3." Additional size, weight, and power constraints are provided for Phase 3 in Table 3. 12/19/14
004 Is there a preference for the operator to be local with the system, or is remote operation desired? There is no preference. As noted in 1.A.2.a. on page 10 "Innovation for rapid deployment and setup will be viewed favorably." 12/19/14
005 If operators are local, is there a desire for the performer to provide environmental protection such as a tent? As noted in 1.A.2.a. on page 10 "Innovation for rapid deployment and setup will be viewed favorably." Environmental protection for the performer staff operating equipment during Phase 2 and 3 field test events is the responsibility of the offerors. 12/19/14
006 Must the entire system (exclusive perhaps of one calibration antenna) be located within the 50 meter diameter circle or only the antenna system? The 50 m restriction applies to the antenna system only. 12/19/14
007 Does IARPA have a preferred test location? Test planning considerations are cited in 1.A.2.d. on page 14: "The performer will be expected to participate during some phases of the test planning and to offer suggestions and recommendations for a successful test." For purposes of cost estimation, offerors can assume it will be White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), in New Mexico. The solutions developed must be applicable to all “middle geomagnetic latitudes.” 12/19/14
008 The BAA indicates that the program will begin in May of 2015 and run for 33 months (Phases 2 and 3), which would take it through January of 2018. However the BAA (page 6) indicates that the program is complete in December of 2017. Can you please clarify? The total period of performance is 33 months. The 2nd paragraph on Page 6 of the BAA will be corrected to read: “IARPA is seeking innovative solutions for Phases 2 and 3 of the High Frequency Geolocation (HFGeo) Program. These phases of the HFGeo Program are envisioned to begin in May 2015 and end by January 2018.” 12/19/14
009 With regard to Section 6.B.13 of the BAA (Lawful Use and Privacy Protection Measures), what does IARPA envision as being required to prove that data collected by the offerors were acquired in accordance with U.S. laws and regulations? The offeror shall provide a description of (1) existing data identified in its proposal and (2) all data obtained after contract award (including data obtained but not used). For both categories of data, the offeror shall include in its description of the data: how the data were obtained, the source(s) from which the data were obtained, and an assertion that the data were obtained in accordance with U.S. laws and regulations. 12/19/14
010 Page 36, Section 5.C, says “IARPA will only review proposals against the criteria described under Paragraph 5.A above.” Should this include Section 5.B, too? Yes, the second paragraph under 5.C., on page 36 of the BAA will be revised to read as follows: "IARPA will only review proposals against the criteria described under Paragraphs 5.A and 5.B above, and will not evaluate them against other proposals, since they are not submitted in accordance with a common work statement. For evaluation purposes, a proposal is the document described in Section 4. Other supporting or background materials submitted with the proposal will not be considered." In addition, the second paragraph of 5.B on page 34, will be revised to read as follows: "Note to offerors regarding the evaluation criteria: Award(s) will be made to offerors on the basis of the evaluation criteria listed in Sections 5.A and 5.B, program balance and availability of funds. Award recommendations will not be made to offerors(s) whose proposal(s) are determined to be not selectable. 12/19/14
011 What type of cost contract will be awarded? Will it be CPFF?

Per section 2 of the BAA, “Proposals selected for negotiation may result in a procurement contract. However, the Government reserves the right to negotiate the type of award instrument it determines appropriate under the circumstances.”

The offeror may request a specific cost reimbursement type, but the Government reserves the right to negotiate the type of award instrument and cost reimbursement.

01/07/15
012 Are Phase 2 and 3 to be submitted as two separate 45 page technical/management proposals or combined in a single 45 page proposal document? Is phase 2 a base and phase 3 an option?

Per section 2 of the BAA, "Phases 2 and 3 of the HFGeo Program are envisioned as a thirty-three month effort. This BAA will result in awards for a Base Period for HFGeo Phase 2 (18 months), with an option for Phase 3 (15 months, to include an additional optional task for long-range ionospheric modeling). Funding for the Option Period and optional long-range ionospheric model task will depend upon performance during the Base Period, as well as program priorities, the availability of funding, and IARPA priorities."

Per Section 4.A.1., "Interested offerors are required to submit full proposals in order to receive consideration for funding."

Therefore, a single proposal should be submitted for the base period, option period, and any optional tasks.

01/07/15
013 Is the optional Phase 3 long range model proposal to be submitted as a separate 45 page technical/management proposal? See the answer to question 12. 01/07/15
014 In the BAA Section 5.C, paragraph 2 it states: “IARPA will only review proposals against the criteria described under Paragraph 5.A above, and will not evaluate them against other proposals, since they are not submitted in accordance with a common work statement.” Paragraph 5.A describes the Security Evaluation Criteria. Please clarify which sections will be included in the evaluation. See the answer to question 10 in Amendment 1. 01/07/15
015 In section 1.A.2.a (Electrically Small Antenna System) the BAA states that antenna systems are limited to an installation diameter of 50 meters or less. Does this constraint apply to any ionospheric observing sensors that might be proposed to satisfy requirements specified in section 1.A.2.c (Propagation Modeling) or does it apply to the antenna system only? The 50 m restriction applies to any antenna system, except for one optional transmit calibration source. 01/07/15
016 Section 1.A.2.c of the BAA states that: “the offeror may propose an optional task during the Phase 3 option period to develop a long range propagation model.” Does IARPA intend such a proposal to be included in the BAA response or will such a proposal be made by the offeror after award for Phase 2? See the answer to question 12. 01/07/15
017 If a proposal for long range propagation model is to be submitted as an option to this BAA, will the proposer be allowed any additional page count to the technical volume, beyond the 45 pages specified in the BAA, in order to explain such a long range propagation model proposal? See the answer to question 12. 01/07/15
018 The 2nd sentence on page 10 states: “Antennas and receivers must be capable of simultaneously tuning 4 channels of 100 kHz instantaneously…” Does this mean that the array receiver must provide sample streams for 4 independent spectral channels chosen independently in 3-20 MHz? Or, is the sentence simply stating that the number of antenna channels that can be simultaneously digitized shall be at least four? What does “channel” mean in this context? " . . . simultaneous tuning 4 channels of 100 kHz instantaneously . . . " refers to the maximum bandwidth of each of the 4 simultaneous independent frequency channels from which signals of interest may be found for which the system must be capable of providing a geolocation solution. 01/07/15
019 Is 100 kHz the maximum instantaneous bandwidth that the system must be able to capture or record? Is there any requirement to capture instantaneous bandwidths greater than 100 kHz? See the answer to question 18. 01/07/15
020 Tables 2 and 3 on pages 16 and 17 set physical requirements on various system components. We interpret the “Antenna” row to refer only to antenna array subsystem components (antennas, cables, preamplifiers), while the “System” row refers only to the processing subsystem components (receivers and computing system for signal processing/geo). Accordingly, we interpret the 150-kg weight limit to apply to the former, and the 15-kVA power limit to apply to the latter. Is this reading correct? Yes. 01/07/15
021 Given that a receiving array and receiver lie in a 50-m circle, must the human operator be inside the circle too, or can the operator be outside the circle and control the system remotely? See the answer to Question 4 in Amendment 1. 01/07/15
022 Besides power cables, are data communication cables allowed to cross the circle boundary? See the answer to Question 6 in Amendment 1. 01/07/15
023 The unclassified portion of the BAA states that “The performer will identify and document interfaces to remote ionospheric data sources.” It also states that, with regard to HF Signals of Opportunity (SoOp), “The offeror may be able to leverage skywave sources of opportunity, but these must be assumed to be available with no ground truth.” If the method that we select for access to remote ionospheric data sources also provides access to web-based data sources, and if HF SoOp ground truth data is available over the web, is it permissible to utilize that ground truth? Yes. 01/07/15
024 Can you please tell us, if possible, how to go about including SPAWAR on our team, or otherwise obtaining SPAWAR antennas, for the HFGeo Phase 2,3 program?

SPAWAR is not able to participate as part of your team. As stated in Section 3.A of the BAA, "Other Government Agencies, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs), University Affiliated Research Centers (UARCs), Government-Owned, Contractor-Operated (GOCO) facilities, Government Military Academies, and any other similar type of organization that has a special relationship with the Government, that gives them access to privileged and/or proprietary information or access to Government equipment or real property, are not eligible to submit proposals under this BAA or participate as team members under proposals submitted by eligible entities."

Section 4.B.2 also states that the Cost Proposal should include: "(8) Identification of pricing assumptions which may require incorporation into the resulting award instrument (e.g., use of Government Furnished Property/ Facilities/Information, access to Government Subject Matter Experts, etc.)."

01/07/15
025 The BAA document states that “…The typical proposal should express a consolidated effort in support of one or more related technical concepts or ideas”. If we have technology that relates to only one of the Technical Elements of the Integrated Application can we still submit a proposal? And, in that case assuming we meet all of the requirements for submission, will our proposal be deemed compliant even though it only relates to one Technical Element?

From page 6, section 1, fourth paragraph:

"This announcement is for Phases 2 and 3 of the program. Phase 2 includes system integration [emphasis added] of these innovations followed by a non-real-time field test. Phase 3 will be real-time implementation and demonstration with field testing."

As stated in Section 1.A.1, "The primary focus of this BAA is to seek solutions that effectively detect, isolate and geolocate the source of incoming HF signals. There are several components that must be integrated, but an example functional decomposition is shown in Figure 1." The technical elements from this solution are outlined in Section 1.A.2, and all of the technical elements must be included in each proposal.

01/29/15
026 Are new vector sensor solution sought? If so, are we allowed to propose only a vector sensor solution and not the other Technical Elements?

Reference: Paragraph 1.A.2.a, page 9, fourth full paragraph:

"Offerors are welcome to propose their own sensing capability that may be accomplished with either an integrated vector sensor, an array of such vector sensors, or through an array consisting of diversely polarized elements."

See also answer to Q25.

01/29/15
027 Assuming we are allowed to submit a proposal for only one Technical Element, how should we complete summary table 4.B.1.2.B as that table requires input that comes from expected performance in Technical Elements we are not proposing. As explained in the answer to Q25, "The technical elements from this solution are outlined in Section 1.A.2, and all of the technical elements must be included in each proposal." 01/29/15
028 Section 4.B.1.2 states that the three slide summary “does not count against the page limit." It is clear that the three pages do not count against the 10 page sublimit of Section 2. However, it is not clear whether the 3 pages count against the total Technical Volume limit of 45 pages. Can you please clarify? The three summary slide pages do not count against either the Section 2 or Technical Volume page limit. 01/29/15
029 On Page 10, the BAA states that "All RF transmissions shall be 1 mW or lower total instantaneous power.” This is stated in the context of RF calibration approaches. Does this transmit power constraint also apply to any long-range RF communication system that might be used to obtain publically-available data and Government-provided ionospheric sensor data? If yes, does IARPA anticipate providing an alternative means of communication? Per page 10 of the BAA "All RF transmissions shall be 1 mW or lower total instantaneous power.” As noted in the answer to Q23, web-based data sources may be used. Offerors may assume the Government will provide internet access at the test locations for this purpose. 02/05/15
030 If a long-range communication system is proposed, we interpret that it need not be placed within the 50 meter diameter circle and that it does not count against the 150 kg weight limit of the antenna system. Please confirm. All hardware is subject to the physical constraints identified in the BAA. 02/05/15
031 Will the Government provide a long-range ionosphere channel model for Phase 2/3? If the answer is yes, when will it be provided?

BAA Section, 1.A.2.c. "Propagation Modeling" is modified from:

"During the course of the program, the Government may provide an alternate long-range propagation model that conforms to the same API. The offeror would then be able to choose the model(s) that provide(s) the best overall solution."

to:

"The Government intends to provide an alternate long-range propagation model that conforms to the same API by month 1 of Phase 3 that conforms to the same API. This Government-provided model may not be sufficient to meet all system-level performance goals without modification. The offeror would then be able to choose the model(s) that provide(s) the best overall solution. The offeror would be responsible for integrating the model(s) with its other components, and identifying and implementing improvements needed to satisfy system-level performance goals.”

02/05/15
032 Is it possible to request the NRL electromagnetic vector sensors or the SPAWAR vector sensors as GFE for this program? The offeror may request these sensors as Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) as part of its solution to satisfy the system-level performance goals. 02/05/15
033 Page 42 of the BAA states “Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 3 of the NISPOM, the Government intends to secure services from companies which are not under foreign ownership, control, or influence (FOCI) or where any FOCI may not, in the opinion of the Government, have an adverse impact on security requirements.” Will this prohibit a FOCI company, which has agreements in place with the DoD to ensure there is no impact on security requirements, from being considered for an award if the company submits a qualifying proposal? No it will not prohibit award. As noted in Section 3, "ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION," on Page 21: "Foreign participants and/or individuals may participate to the extent that such participants comply with any necessary Non-Disclosure Agreements, Security Regulations, Export Control Laws and other governing statutes applicable under the circumstances. The prime contractor must be a U.S. organization or institution, or an organization based in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom that meets the security qualifications as outlined in Section 8." 02/05/15