with respect to LPI/LPD are in line with Network Cross-Functional Team’s Capa- bility Set 27 goals.

PRIZE MONEY OPENS THE GATE While partnerships with traditional radio waveform vendors are accelerat- ing modernization, the Army also must consider how it can expedite the process for porting new waveform technologies into radios. One main deterrent to timely integration is the restriction created by industry using their proprietary wave- forms. To help identify a solution, PEO C3T turned to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology xTechSearch competition, which targets nontraditional, nonde- fense-related small businesses to create innovative solutions for the Army’s most critical modernization challenges. From within this program, Product Manager Waveforms established the xTech Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Waveform Challenge.

The competition required small busi- nesses to identify hardware, software or a combination of the two, to provide an open architecture to enable third-party, or non-original equipment, manufacturers, to easily develop and integrate new wave- forms onto software-defined radios. Out of the original 32 white paper submissions, 10 companies received prize money and an opportunity to pitch their technologies to the Army. Te resulting five winners received additional prize money and will receive direct Phase II SBIR contracts to mature their proposed solutions into proto- type capabilities that potentially could be integrated into program of record systems.

“XTech with SBIR competitions are invaluable to the Army discovering innovative and niche technologies,” Whindleton said. “My hope is identifying

Commercial waveforms may not start out with obvious applications for military operations, but they provide capabilities the Army needs, and fast.

these unique technological solutions will aid in the advancement in our waveform capabilities. Tese competitions also open opportunities for small businesses to collaborate and potentially partner with traditional defense industries to offer inno- vative products.”

CONCLUSION Future battles will rely on a multitude of sophisticated weapons, yet with the lives of U.S. forces at risk, none will be as critical as the waveforms transmitting mission-critical communications across the battlefield. Te race to ensure mili- tary waveforms respond to contested and congested waveform interference is on.

To keep a pulse on up-and-coming tech- nologies, the Waveforms team consistently monitors nondevelopmental items, which are products developed exclusively for governmental purposes, and commercial off-the-shelf products. From requests for information, to vendor demonstrations at government facilities, small busi- ness opportunities like xTech with SBIR competitions, and Soldier experimenta- tion and feedback, the Army’s industry partnerships will help drive innovation to meet emerging threats to the electromag- netic spectrum.

Industry partners must do their part by staying engaged and communicating

regularly with the Army Futures Command and PEO C3T to understand operational and technical requirements, so they can leverage their state-of-the- art technologies to advance tactical Army communications systems.

“We foster open communications to

provide the vendor with feedback to help them refine their capabilities and stay relevant in the Army’s push for modern- ization,” Whindleton said.

For more information contact pao- or refer to www.peoc3t.

DR. SAYEED HASAN is the chief

engineer for Product Manager Waveforms, within Project Manager Tactical Radios at PEO C3T. He holds a Ph.D. in applied mechanics and engineering from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Engineering from Manhattan College. He is a member of the Army Acquisition Corps and is Level III certified in engineering.

HERALD BELJOUR is the assistant product manager for the WREN and TSM wave- forms at Project Manager Tactical Radios, PEO C3T. He holds an M.S. and a B.S. in electrical engineering and applied math- ematics from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is a member of the Army Acquisition Corps and is Level III certified in engineering.

KATHRYN BAILEY is a public communi- cations specialist for Bowhead Business and Technologies Solutions, assigned to PEO C3T. She holds a B.A. in communications studies from the University of Maryland University College.

CONTRIBUTOR: Brian Crow, principal engineer for the MITRE Corp.


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