Technologies to Improve Software Acquisition/Development Process
SBIR FY04.1 Topic MDA04-34
Department of Defense (DOD)/Missile Defense Agency (MDA)

The entire solicitation may be viewed at

MDA04-34 TITLE: Technologies to Improve Software Acquisition/Development Process

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Air Platform, Information Systems, Space Platforms, Weapons

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: BMDS - MDA/MP (Manufacturing and Producibility)

OBJECTIVE: MDA is seeking innovative approaches to software that improves product capabilities, improves product quality and reliability, and reduces the time and cost of transitioning prototypes into production. Of special interest is the application of commercial software approaches, methods, and tools to mitigate problems encountered with legacy software, architectures, and languages, (e.g., ADA), in particular the reuse of legacy software.

DESCRIPTION: MDA is seeking innovative approaches to address improvements in the acquisition and/or development process for new software products and adaptation of existing software to changing situations (e.g., if the upgrade to an existing missile seeker is 5+ years after the initial software development, then a breakeven analysis maybe required for reuse of the existing software). Many missile defense systems use proprietary software often developed in a laboratory environment, and are subject to expensive, time-consuming custom integration into systems. The need is for process technologies that address the cost versus benefits of developing software for reuse, and if not developed for reuse, an analytical tool to determine if newly developed software is more beneficial.

Specific technology areas include, but not limited to:

· Object-Oriented / Universal Modeling Language (e.g., Rational Rose): MDA is interested in conversion of legacy codes into software that facilitates reuse and improves life cycle costs.

· Software Libraries (Functional Primitives): Many design algorithms and/or software models could be used as code generators for radar, electro-optic imaging, etc. and could be standardized for use across multiple MDA systems.

PHASE I: Develop conceptual software, firmware and hardware designs or modifications to existing software that address problem areas addressed above. Conceptual designs would include, but not be limited to, flowcharts, simulations and emulations, timing analyses, GUI designs (where applicable) and narrative descriptions of software operation.

PHASE II: Validate the feasibility of the software by demonstrating its use in the testing and integration of prototype items for MDA element systems, subsystems, or components. Validation would include, but not be limited to, software based system simulations, operation in test-beds, or operation in a demonstration sub-system. A partnership with the current or potential supplier of MDA element systems, subsystems or components is highly desirable. Identify any commercial benefit or application opportunities of the innovation.

PHASE III: Successfully demonstrate new open/modular, non-proprietary, operating software. Demonstration would include, but not be limited to, demonstration in a real system or operation in a system level test-bed. This demonstration should show near term application to one or more MDA element systems, subsystems, or components.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL: Most innovations in operational software are taking place in the commercial sector. DoD & MDA need infusions of commercially strategic/design tools/middle-ware and software architectures. The projected benefits of the innovation to commercial applications should be clear, whether they reduce cost, improve producibility, or performance or products that utilize the innovation process technology.

REFERENCES:,, Boehm, B. and W. Hansen. " Understanding the spiral model as a tool for evolutionary acquisition." CROSSTALK, May 2001; Bjorkander, M and C. Kobryn. "UML evolves total system perspective." ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING TIMES, November 18, 2002. p. 57-78; Defense Authorization Act 2003 "Sec. 804. Improvement of software acquisition processes". WWW.WIFCON.COM/HASC804.HTM

KEYWORDS: universal modeling language, embedded software, new versus reuse tradeoffs, reliability, reduced costs, improved productivity

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December 1, 2003: DoD begins accepting proposals
January 15, 2004: Deadline for receipt of proposals by 6:00 a.m. EST