Awarded to SRC UK Limited

Start date: Monday 28 June 2021
Value: £108,495.09
Company size: SME
Ministry of Defence Joint Electronic Warfare Operations Support Centre (JEWOSC)

Automated Processing and Triage of RADAR Signals

11 Incomplete applications

7 SME, 4 large

7 Completed applications

4 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Published
Thursday 15 April 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 22 April 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 29 April 2021 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Summary of the work
Produce a MVP for increased efficiency for bulk data sifting, that can identify, match and create new intercept records.
Latest start date
Thursday 20 May 2021
Expected contract length
Initially 8 - 10 weeks, then to be reviewed.
Location
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Ministry of Defence Joint Electronic Warfare Operations Support Centre (JEWOSC)
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
The aim of Project Combine is to improve the efficiency of bulk data sift capability to reduce the time taken from signal intercept to actionable intelligence.
The advancements in technology has increased the number of signals being emitted, this is the key to driving the efficiency of the data sift to be able to process the intercepted signals as efficiently as possible.
Problem to be solved
Project Combine seeks to improve the SIGINT triage and processing capability of Defence using automation, without sacrificing accuracy. By using automated systems to process simple tasks, more of the SIGINT analysts' time can be spent on complicated problems.

Increase the efficiency of the bulk data sift. Three main steps;
identify then automate processing of patterns and behaviour we are already aware of (known known).

Identify information we are actively seeking (known unknown) for further scrutiny.

Identify information we are unaware of (unknown unknown) to generate further activity.

Be able to match intercepted signals from a stored data base, create new records for new intercepted signals and be able to identify the type of signal intercept.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Ministry of Defence Joint Electronic Warfare Operations Support Centre, this team comprises of civil servants and military personnel, supported by a number of industry partners.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
Ministry of Defence Joint Electronic Warfare Operational Support Centre (JEWOSC)
Current phase
Discovery

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Joint Electronic Warfare Operational Support Centre, RAF Waddington, LINCOLN.
Working arrangements
Phase 1 (Requirements) - 2 days with contractor. Phase 2 (Development) - x3 two week sprints, weekly collaboration to check progress. Phase 3 (Factory Acceptance Test) - at contractor 2 days max. Phase 4 (Delivery) - Installation at Waddington, 2 days max. T&S x2 contractors, travel, HOTAC and subs x4 days, not to exceed £2000.
Security clearance
All must have Minimum Baseline Personal Security Standard (MBPSS) as a minimum. Preference is for contractors to already hold SC clearance.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
DEFCON 76 Edn(12/06) Contractor's Personnel at Government Establishments

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Highly proficient at processing data in the MIDAS 6000 format
  • Highly proficient in Database skills (data ingest, optimisation of queries etc)
  • Good understanding of Electronic Warfare Integrated Reprogramming (EWIR) data model, including Elint (Electronic Intelligence) Intercept Model (EIM), Observed Elint Model (OEM) and Radar Threat Model (RTM) for complex emitters
  • Development of advanced User Interfaces and Reports
  • Data Science (Development/Application of Algorithms to Classify/Identify regression and use clustering techniques)
  • Generate intercept records to a government provided format
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Proficient at processing data in the MIDAS 2000 format
  • Configure Windows Server 2019 for optimal performance of final solution
  • Experience of working in Defence Electronic Warfare environment

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
5
Proposal criteria
  • Propose Approach - Provide a high level description of your approach and methodology to deliver the contract, Describe how you will meet the SOR and deliverables
  • Design Methodology - Describe your proposed design methodology and design process, which will include associated tools and methods
  • Previous experience and evidence of successful delivery from a similar project
  • Team structure including skills, experiences and relevance of individuals
  • Approach for end to end testing and assurance, provide evidence of quality assurance
  • Value for money - Describe how your proposal will optimise costs
  • Plan and timeline including milestones
  • Demonstrate how you will identify risks, assumptions and dependencies and how you will manage these
Cultural fit criteria
  • Ability to adapt to the demands of a fast-moving and complex environment
  • Demonstrate role model behaviour for knowledge sharing and transfer
  • Demonstrate effective prioritisation skills
  • Demonstrate how you can work with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Provide evidence of how you share knowledge and experience with other team members
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

70%

Cultural fit

10%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Can the Authority advise what budget has been set for this opportunity?
The maximum budget is £150,000 including VAT.
2. Has any previous work been carried out with a supplier in support of this requirement and if so who is it?
No previous work has been carried out.
3. The timescales of the proposed project plan are quite short to design and develop a new solution from scratch, eg to “match intercepted signals from a stored data base, create new records for new intercepted signals and be able to identify the type of signal intercept’. This type of functionality is already a feature in COTS products. Can the Authority confirm that the use of a licenced COTS product implementing some of the requirements is acceptable?
Yes. The use of COTS components is permitted so long as the licence allows full use to the UK MOD. In addition, If the time scale is considered too aggressive then the vendor is invited to propose a new project plan.
4. Is this project already in process and if so is there an incumbent supplier?
No, this project is not in progress.
5. Can US nationals who hold the equivalent of security clearance (or above) in the US be used to support delivery of this requirement and if so, would these individuals need to be located within the UK.
The reciprocal agreement for security clearances between the UK MOD and the US DOD is acceptable, and we are happy for US vendors and/or nationals to be used to support the delivery of this requirement as long as any collaborative activity happens within mutually agreeable timings. It is acceptable for the individuals to be based in the US, as long as the activity does not attract an export limitation.
6. Could the nice to have criteria of competency with MIDAS 2000 be confirmed please?
Whilst COMBINE is currently focused on MIDAS 6000 The Authority is seeking assurance from the vendors that the design is extensible to MIDAS 2000 if future challenges where considered.
7. In addition to question 5, can the Authority confirm that foreign nationals from other NATO nations can be used on this project, assuming they hold equivalent national security clearances?
Foreign nationals from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States may be used as long as they hold equivalent security clearances. Unfortunately we are unable to accept other nations.
8. Can the authority please confirm the intention of ‘Delivery’ at RAF Waddington? Is the intention to install, utilize local data to measure efficacy of the MVP using live data, or is the intention for the installation to be retained in Waddington for use beyond the 8-10 weeks?
To clarify the delivery phase will be a repeat of the FAT completed at supplier premises.

The intention is that the delivered solution will remain at RAF Waddington and needs to be licenced for 12 months accordingly following the completion of acceptance testing.

The solution will be exposed to classified data once the acceptance testing is complete. If the vendor has suitably cleared staff (SC minimum) and wishes to support this activity, it should be identified in the project plan.
9. What is meant by “intercept records”?

Does it mean:

Database records. External files that simulate an Intercept. External files that embody an Intercept Report. All of the above. Or something else entirely?
An intercept record is the output of the COMBINE process. For example, a raw data file will be processed. Data science in project COMBINE solution will identify radar waveforms which will be summarised in intercept reports and passed to the JEWOSC database.

Without directing the final design, the vendor may wish to use existing data in the matching process. If this approach is being considered by the vendor, the initial requirement decomposition phase should identify potential processing options and any interface requirements.
10. For Configure Windows Server 2019 for optimal performance, who is responsible for providing the infrastructure for development? Are we expected to provide Windows 2019 server? What development environment are we going to use?
The Authority will provide the IT infrastructure for this project. The hardware will be similar to PowerEdge R740XD Server with dual Intel® Xeon® Platinum 8160 2.1G,24C/48T with 192 GB RAM, SSD hard drives for the OS and 10 TB RAID array. Windows 2019 will be installed on delivery but can be installed/reconfigured or changed to a LINUX platform by the vendor as required. Any additional libraries or application must be identified during the requirements decomposition. Application that incur further costs should be avoided.
11. For q2 Is this a specific database or a general discipline? If specific, please advise which kind.
The COMBINE project should avoid reliance on any particular database or technology, using COTS and published Interfaces wherever possible.

The question in unclear but assuming this references the initial Marketplace advert, the format of the existing intercept database records can be made available to the successful vendor.

Without directing the design solution, it is believed that matching to existing records could be done within the COMBINE solution or by referencing Intercept records from an external stored database, although external dependencies should be minimised.
12. Will radar datasets be provided or will the contractor be expected to conduct this capture/generation?
Radar datasets will be provided.
13. Can it be confirmed if the listed essential skills and experience will be weighted in terms of importance for the response evaluation?
Weightings between essential skills will be equal at the shortlisting stage. Additional information will be provided at the next assessment stage.
14. Please could you provide examples of the MIDAS 6000 and MIDAS 2000 series formats?
At the next assessment stage we can supply vendors with example data.
15. Please could you give an indication of the volume of the data for the MVP and how that is envisioned to change as you move to a production ready live system?
For design purposes the vendor should assume that 10 signals can be found in a raw pulse data file of 4 gigabytes. Operationally the volume and number of signals remain classified.