Past Solicitations
BAA 13-05
Advanced X-ray Material Discrimination

This BAA will advance aviation security and improvised explosive threat detection by providing enabling technology for subsequent incorporation into EDS and AT screening equipment by future development acquisitions. The primary technical focus is significantly enhancing capabilities for improvised explosive threat detection by reducing false alarm rates on multiple improvised explosive threat classes with improved probability of detection, while increasing screening throughput, supporting TSA's risk-based screening, and reducing equipment life-cycle costs. This BAA seeks new system solutions employing revolutionary technologies capable of offering significant enhancement to the overall detection capability metrics. Minor or incremental improvements are not of interest for this BAA. Transition periods of 4-5 years are anticipated; however S&T has interest in technologies that may offer nearer term retrofit capability into the deployed EDS and AT platforms. Achieving revolutionary enhancements in improvised explosive threat detection requires new techniques for distinguishing the stream-of-commerce bag clutter from improvised explosive threats. Towards these goals, this BAA solicits responses to the following five task areas: 1) Task Area 1: X-ray Test Bed Prototypes 2) Task Area 2: Supporting Analytical Tasks 3) Task Area 3: Test and Evaluation Support 4) Task Area 4: Architectural Components 5) Task Area 5: X-Ray System Architectural Design Concepts


T1.1 - X-Ray Test Bed Prototype Design, Build and Test

1.1.1 A Test Bed Prototype incorporating new signature measurement techniques will be designed by the Performer. At the Government's option the Performer will build, test and integrate the test bed prototype in the Performer's facility and with a subsequent option, the Performer will support testing at a Government selected test site. 1.1.2 The Performer will build, test and demonstrate the Test Bed prototype at the Performer's lab. Testing will include both non-clutter and clutter measurements. Tests will be performed based on a written and approved test plan provided by the Performer. A test plan will be prepared and submitted to DHS S&T Explosives Division prior to conducting final experimental measurements. The test plan will outline the materials, objects, test patterns and scenarios to be evaluated (estimated to be about 125 types), along with measurement equipment, processes and procedures. The testing will progress from simple signature tests to complex signature testing with stream-of-commerce clutter and explosive analogs or simulants. The Performer will prepare test articles per the approved Test Plan. Additionally DHS S&T will provide test articles in test bags per Table 12 (page 53), and a list of compounds for testing. The list of compounds will be less than 125 items. 1.1.3 Task 1.1.3 efforts include the fabrication, testing, and delivery of a second test bed prototype (copy) upon passing the Go/No Go metrics review at the Performer's facility. The test bed prototype will be placed under configuration management at the beginning of the option period; no later than 30 days after the beginning of the option period. A system documentation review will be held with DHS S&T within 30 days of option exercise.

T2.1 - Information Theoretic Analysis

The Performer will provide an information theoretic analysis of the EDS and AT system data acquisition and classification approaches to determine the optimum or near optimally minimum required number and/or types of signatures to achieve specified detection performance in terms of ROC curves and based on improvised explosive threat classes and clutter. DHS S&T will provide analogues lists with similar characteristics to improvised explosive threat classes and at the Government option may provide actual improvised explosive threat chemical compounds and characteristics. The Government will provide representative data sets from airport stream-of-commerce equipment, EDS/AT equipment, test bed prototypes and other sources. The data sets will include raw data including meta-data. The data sets may be on the order of 100 terabytes. Interface and format specifications will be provided at the post-award kick-off meeting.

T2.2 - Classification on Vendor Data Sets

EDS and AT equipment along with other advanced sensors employing compressive, adaptive, scatter imaging measurements may benefit from application of advanced inference and classification techniques to improve detection capability in terms of a false alarm reduction, improved probability of detection and decision analytics for Transportation Security Officers (TSOs). In Phase 1, the Performer will develop advanced inference and classifications concepts and algorithms applicable to current X-ray EDS and AT equipment to improve detection capability in terms of false alarm reduction and improved probability of detection for multiple improvised explosive threat classes and object types. The Performer will utilize lessons learned from cooperative classification projects with vendors and apply them to enhance future EDS and AT architectures in Phase 2.

T2.3 - Automated Decision Aids

Automatic threat detection and operator decision aids to support TSO human factors and cognition aspects will be developed, and demonstrated. The Performer will survey and develop advanced, automated machine learning algorithms to separate potential threat objects from clutter in stream-of-commerce articles in checkpoint carry-on items and checked baggage and alert the TSO.

T2.4 - Priors Library

The Performer will investigate compressive measurement techniques applicable to EDS and AT systems in the context of KECoM priors . Compressive measurement focuses on making relatively few information-rich measurements, rather than many information-poor measurements; exploiting the prior knowledge that natural signals (e.g., images, chemical spectra, etc.) are nearly always sparse/compressible in some domain (e.g., wavelets, principal components, etc.).

T2.5 - Monte Carlo Model for X-ray Systems

The Performer will develop a software model(s) to support architecture development for next generation EDS/AT systems. The model may also assist equipment developers in modification of current baseline systems for near-term capability enhancement.

T3.1 - Current EDS/AT platform detection assessment

3.1.1 This task will begin with an assessment of EDS and AT system performance against a range of TSA explosive threat classes at a Government selected test site. The assessment will be performed and supported by the EDS/AT equipment manufacturer as the Performer. 3.1.2 After testing during test window one, the Performer will analyze the test results and generate architectural designs for algorithms and/or hardware subsystems with limited prototyping as appropriate that address the key technical areas for improvement. The Performer will provide the system platform for a second window of testing and prototyping as practical.

T3.2 - Test Articles

The Performer will design, build and deliver various test materials and test articles as described below in support (and in support of other tasks in this BAA). An ultimate goal is providing test articles to the DHS enterprise and supply chain that can reduce the time and cost of deployment for delivering new detection capability to TSA. The test articles should enable EDS and AT equipment developers (and third party algorithm developers) to perform extensive onsite DT&E, exercising trade-offs in acquisition hardware and algorithm development to reach certification readiness testing (or near-CRT and certification levels) prior to formal Government IT&E.

T4.1 - Component Development

The Performer will analyze requirements from a user perspective and advanced architecture perspective, specify components, validate requirements, design, build and test innovative components to enhance the detection capability of EDS and/or AT systems.

T5.1 - X-Ray System Architectural Design Concepts

5.1.1 This task will develop Architectural Concept(s) for a next generation system supported by analysis, simulation, modeling and some level of prototyping to verify key concepts. Actual system development with full-scale DT&E is not performed on this Architectural Concept task. 5.1.2 The Performer will develop a plan for a set of experiments making use of a GFE test bed18. The objective of the experiments is enhanced improvised explosive threat signature discrimination and architectural innovation for life-cycle cost reduction.

Key Dates
Solicitation Open Date:
White Paper Registration Deadline:
04/16/2013 06:00 PM ET
White Paper Submission Deadline:
04/16/2013 06:00 PM ET
Submission Deadline:
06/14/2013 12:00 PM ET

Amendments and Q&As
amendment icon Amendment # 12
Posted Date 6/6/13
Question and Answer

amendment icon Amendment # 11
Posted Date 6/4/13
Question and Answer

amendment icon Amendment # 9
Posted Date 5/23/13
Question and Answer

amendment icon Amendment # 8
Posted Date 5/15/13
Question and Answer

amendment icon Amendment # 7
Posted Date 4/16/13

amendment icon Amendment # 6
Posted Date 4/15/13

amendment icon Amendment # 5
Posted Date 4/11/13
Question and Answer

amendment icon Amendment # 4
Posted Date 4/11/13

amendment icon Amendment # 3
Posted Date 4/10/13
Question and Answer

amendment icon Amendment # 2
Posted Date 4/8/13

amendment icon Amendment # 1
Posted Date 4/2/13
Question and Answer

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