Sunday, February 6, 2011

DOD Releases STTR 11.A Solicitation

The Department of Defense is currently seeking STTR (N11.A) proposal submissions. The STTR program is funded at over $100 million dollars annually with six components, including the Army, Navy, Air Force Missile Defense Agency, DARPA, and Defense Research & Engineering. The response to the STTR (N11.A) solicitation is due March 30, 2011.

The STTR program is similar to the SBIR program but the STTR funds cooperative R&D projects that can place a small business and a research institution together to work on research more effectively in order to move ideas from research institutions to the marketplace.

To participate in the STTR program, a firm must be a U.S. for-profit small business of 500 or fewer employees, the research institution must be a U.S. college or university, the small business must perform a minimum of 40 percent of the work, and the small business must manage and control the STTR funding agreement.

The Navy issued the specific solicitation (N11A-T033) to find a way to have naval personnel use a wearable recording device to capture, synchronize, and download environmental, physiological, physical, and capable of looking at subjective measures that can contribute to physical and cognitive fatigue.

Currently, the Navy has increased their operational capability but the Navy is forced to do this with a reduced number of warfighters. Since there is less personnel, it is essential to accurately predict the Navy’s warfighter’s performance and then know how their performance ranks with others. This can be accomplished more effectively by using hardware and software, as opposed to just using just human capabilities with resulting limitations.

Presently, the Navy does use human performance models such as Total Crew Model and IMPRINT but even though today’s performance models are good, they still lack the fidelity to support tradeoff analyses. Also, most models are not validated and have little capability to account for the impact of environmental stressors such as fatigue, motion, vibration, and extreme temperatures.

A significant challenge in validating human performance models is the ability to collect environmental and performance data from warfighters and other naval personnel in an operational setting. Current methods are primarily paper-based and the process of coding self-reported responses is time consuming and increases the likelihood of errors in data entry.

Therefore, to overcome the data collection challenges associated with validating human performance and to ensure an accurate account for the effects of environmental stressors on performance, a novel, integrated, non-obtrusive data collection and analysis system is greatly needed.

The Navy anticipates that sensors will be used for data collection and it has been shown that recent advances in individualization algorithms are making possible a whole new generation of systems capable of tailoring mathematical and model-based assessments with capabilities to determine the fatigue level of differences among Naval personnel and operators of equipment.

The Navy realizes that academia and industry are increasingly developing portable and wearable data collection technologies. For example, services such as the iPod touch have the capability to obtain subjective responses. However, none of the devices or technologies developed so far are able to collect information non-obtrusively and then have the capability to incorporate this data with environmental, physiological, physical information and subjectively be able to measure fatigue existing in on the job.

Go to then go to (N11A-T033) to view the solicitation.

The responsibility for the Navy’s STTR program is with the Office of Naval Research. The Navy STTR Program Manager is Mr. Steve Sullivan and he can be emailed at

For general questions regarding (N11A-T033) with the title “Multi-Sensor Data Collection Suite for Unobtrusive Human Performance Measurement”, contact June Chan at

For technical questions about the topic before February 28th, contact Amy Bolton at or phone (703) 588-2547 or contact Igor Vodyanoy at or phone (703) 696-4109. After February 28th, go to the DOD web site at