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DoD Wants Your Ideas to Counter Terrorism

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 5, 2001 – DoD is looking high and low for good ideas to combat terrorism.

"We recognize that DoD is not the sole source of good ideas," said a DoD acquisition official. The Broad Agency Announcement has gone out to the world in an effort to identify concepts and technologies that can be developed and fielded within a year to 18 months.

To date, DoD has received more than 4,000 proposals.

The announcement, released by the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics and the Combating Terrorism Technology Support Office, seeks ideas in four general areas. These are combating terrorism, conducting protracted operations in remote areas, defeating difficult targets and developing countermeasures to weapons of mass destruction.

"We have smart people in the Department of Defense, but we know we don't have all of them," said Pentagon spokesman Air Force Maj. Mike Halbig. "There are good ideas in industry, in education, in other government agencies. We need to tap into those."

DoD is seeking advice in some specific areas that are technical. In one, "Locating Faces in Video Images," the announcement calls for "improved algorithms for identifying that a two-dimensional image or sequence of images contains one or more human faces, locating these faces precisely in the images and counting the number of different faces."

Another talks about an automated speaker recognition system that can identify the different languages of central Asia - - Pashtun, Farsi, Arabic dialects -- and automatically translate them.

Others are less technical but no less important. One calls for physical security ideas. This includes equipment and systems to safeguard personnel, prevent or delay unauthorized access and to protect against terrorist threats and sabotage.

The section on locating and defeating of hard or difficult targets would have direct application in Afghanistan. One calls for ideas on detecting and mapping underground facilities. Another asks for ideas on early warning devices. Still another calls for "through-wall" imaging.

The announcement calls for a three-phase process. In the first phase, those with ideas submit a one-page description of their idea. These are due to DoD by Dec. 23.

DoD officials said experts in the various fields will examine the ideas. DoD will contact those whose ideas appear workable for a further 12-page proposal.

DoD will evaluate these Phase 2 submissions and ask those who have offered the most promising ideas to submit full proposals in a third phase that may form the basis of a contract.

For more information, point your browser to http://www.bids.tswg.gov.

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