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A -- Requests for Information (RFI) for Terahertz (THz) Communications

Notice Date
Notice Type
Special Notice
541712 — Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (except Biotechnology)
Contracting Office
Department of the Air Force, Air Force Materiel Command, AFRL/RIK - Rome, 26 Electronic Parkway, Rome, New York, 13441-4514, United States
ZIP Code
Solicitation Number
Point of Contact
Gail E. Marsh, Phone: 315-330-7518
E-Mail Address
Small Business Set-Aside
Solicitation Number: RFI-RIK-16-02 Notice Type: Special Notice Synopsis: Requests for Information (RFI) For Terahertz (THz) Communications FEDERAL AGENCY NAME: Department of Air Force, Air Force Materiel Command, AFRL - Rome Research Site, AFRL/Information Directorate, 26 Electronic Parkway, Rome, NY, 13441-4514 1.0 INTRODUCTION This publication constitutes a Request for Information (RFI) as defined in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 15.201(e), "Exchanges with Industry before receipt of Proposals, Requests for Information." Respondents should note that no funding has been specifically reserved for this announcement. We are soliciting Requests for Information abstracts only. Do not submit a white paper or proposal at this time. 1.1 REQUEST FOR INFORMATION (RFI) The RFI seeks to obtain technical information on the current state-of-the-art and the future development potential for terahertz (THz) communications. Further, it seeks to obtain information about current and planned development initiatives, technology maturity, fabrication methods, availability, schedule and cost of such materials for use in anticipated Air Force applications. This announcement is not a request for proposals; therefore, responses to the RFI are not considered offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract. Refer to Section 3 of this announcement for instructions on submitting an RFI abstract. 1.2 SUBMISSIONS Submission of an abstract is not required to propose to subsequent Broad Agency Announcements (if any) on this topic. Respondents are advised that AFRL is under no obligation to provide feedback with respect to any information submitted under this RFI. RFI abstract due date is 1 April 2016. 2.0 TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS : The focus of this RFI is on the identification of existing technologies and the near to long-term development potential for terahertz (THz) communication (100 GHz to 10 THz) networks. THz communications may be realized due to the development of components such as (but not limited to) terahertz sources, antennas, or receivers and/or due to the incorporation of emerging materials such as carbon-based nanostructured materials or plasmonic metals. The argument for THz based communications (Tbps data links; increased bandwidth) has been made in the literature; however, we are interested in solutions which discuss the advantages and disadvantages of THz communications relative to applications which may be of interest to the Air Force. For instance, what are the transmission limitations for THz communications over short or long distances? What is the maximum range over which THz communications can be received? How do the potential technologies which may enable THz communications compare in regards to technical maturity, signal strength at the receiver, or power requirements? If novel solutions are proposed, discuss the mechanisms which allow the THz signal to be transferred from one component to another. For various applications, an electronically steered antenna may be needed. If so, how is this accomplished and what are the projections for antenna efficiencies and the ultimate gains that can be achieved? Discussions incorporating quantifiable justifications are desired. What are the projected timelines to achieve THz communications with the identified technologies? 3.0 RFI ABSTRACTS SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS : 3.1 CONTENT All abstracts shall state that they are submitted in response to this announcement. RFI responses shall include the company name, address and the title, telephone number, mail and e-mail addresses of the point of contact having the authority and knowledge to discuss the RFI submission. The abstracts should state the specific problem area, the technology proposed, the approach, and the potential advantage to the Air Force. A rough order of magnitude for the cost and a proposed duration of the effort required to provide the requested capability should also be part of the RFI. NO PROPRIETARY OR CLASSIFIED INFORMATION SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE RFI RESPONSE. 3.2 SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS Multiple abstracts within the purview of this RFI announcement may be submitted by each responder. 3.3 SUBMISSION All responses to this announcement must be addressed to the Technical Point of Contact (TPOC), as listed in Section 4.0 of this announcement. Respondents are required to submit at least one electronic copy to the Government TPOC in Microsoft Office Word or PDF. You are strongly encouraged to confirm receipt of any electronically transmitted documents. The Government is not responsible for lost submissions. RFI abstract due date is 1 April 2016. 3.4 FORMAT Cover Page (1 page only) Respondents are requested to provide their company name, address, phone number, Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) number, their Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, and an e-mail address. Respondents are also requested to reference this RFI with their submission. Also include the Respondent's technical and administrative points of contact (names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses). Abstract (1 page only) Summarize technical concepts, associated technical challenges as well as approaches to address the enumerated technical challenges. Respondents are encouraged to be as succinct as possible while providing sufficient detail to adequately convey the technical concepts, challenges and approaches. Technology/Concept Description (2 pages only) Provide an enhanced view of the technical concepts you are proposing, focusing on the advantages of the technology application and its applicability to the future Air Force needs, indicating if the idea is near-, mid-, or far-term. The description of each solution should include the current state of development and the predicted performance levels the technology should reasonably achieve. The description should indicate whether this is a revolutionary or evolutionary idea, and also provide evidence as to its technical realism/feasibility. This should include a technology readiness level, manufacturing readiness level (if appropriate), and cost. Applicability to Future Air Force Needs (optional) (1 page only) Identify and expound upon the most desirable application through the Air Force, concentrating on the added capability this solution provides that currently does not exist. Make it clear how this revolutionary S&T addresses AF specific needs, distinct from those of other government organizations (e.g., DoE, DARPA, Army, Navy, Marines) although relating and leveraging these organizations as appropriate. The description should state if this is an area where the Air Force is expected to be a technology leader (lead AF mission and lead investor), follower (adopt, adapt, or augment an effort external to the AF), or watcher. 4.0 AGENCY CONTACTS Verification of government receipt or questions of a technical nature can also be directed to the Technical POC (TPOC). Primary TPOC Dr. Rebecca Cortez Telephone: (315) 330-4959 Email: rebecca.cortez@us.af.mil Questions of a contractual/business nature shall be directed to the contracting officer, as specified below: Gail Marsh Telephone: (315) 330-7518 Email: gail.marsh@us.af.mil
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