Quanterion Awarded Internet of Things Contract with AFRL

Quanterion Solutions Incorporated was recently awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) effort with the Air Force Research Lab Information Directorate in Rome, N.Y. to develop an Internet of Things (IoT) research and testing laboratory. The lab will explore the operational use of IoT devices, how they can be securely incorporated into DoD networks, and how the data they produce can improve decision making. The Phase I SBIR will concentrate on the establishment of the lab using government approved cloud technology.

Quanterion Solutions will establish an interoperable cloud ecosystem for integrating and testing IoT devices to produce technological solutions in support of Air Force mission use cases. During Phase I, Quanterion will design and implement a scalable cloud-hosted environment that will provide the necessary ecosystem and infrastructure to test and evaluate disparate edge devices, data streams, processing pipelines, and analytics, as well as decision support displays. The effort involves research into digital twin modeling, big data analytics, and edge processing capabilities. The results of this effort will ultimately support IoT/Internet of Battlefield Things (IoBT) solution development, increasing situational awareness, force readiness, and operational efficiency.

Alex MacDiarmid, Director of Advanced Programs at Quanterion Solutions, is leading the in-house team of technical experts working on the SBIR.

“The proliferation of IoT devices offers a wealth of new capabilities to the warfighter,” said MacDiarmid. “At the same time, it is absolutely critical that we properly secure these technologies so as not to introduce new attack vectors.”

Why is IoT a concern for the DoD?

There are approximately 14 billion IoT devices worldwide, connected to the Internet and currently online.  Each device has its own unique address, function, and security profile.  This configuration creates an enormous threat surface that can potentially be exploited. The Department of Defense (DoD) is already operating in the IoT domain with projects underway at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and at Tyndall Air Force Base, where devices are deployed throughout the bases and are reporting back to operations centers.  These are but two examples. DoD IoT devices are constantly producing streams of DoD data that must be managed. The DoD Data strategy addresses data management concerns for IoT, but a consistent operational strategy for managing the data IoT devices produce has not yet been agreed to execute. Another element of concern for the DoD is that the majority of the 14 billion devices deployed worldwide is manufactured by China, an adversary to the United States, whose IoT investments are scheduled to surpass U.S. investment by 2024.

Secure IoT Operational Planning Environment (SIoTOPE)

Quanterion Solutions will develop SIoTOPE within an AFRL/RI living laboratory in partnership with Innovare, Syracuse University, and CISCO to enable the design, validation, and securing of IOT implementations for Air Force use cases. This effort will result in a more robust and survivable networked environment for the Air Force and other DoD community partners. Once completed, SIoTOPE will foster an ecosystem to translate DoD demand signals into capabilities. Specifically, it will facilitate engineering, testing, and validation of devices and data streams and provide a scalable interoperable secure single cloud environment for true SmartBase implementations.

Benefits to the Air Force and DoD

While laboratories are typically focused inward, SIoTOPE and the living lab will be outwardly focused on the DoD warfighter. Quanterion Solutions will reach out to DoD partners and bring them into the lab to obtain firsthand accounts of technical challenges and help them to engineer solutions. The lab will be a hub for technical challenge events and industry head-to-head competitions to identify best practices and solutions. Quanterion Solutions has extensive experience working with the DoD and the many inherent challenges associated with technology projects such as, vendor lock-in, interoperability issues, duplication of resources, and siloed data lakes and streams.  Armed with this experience, the company will engineer a solution that overcomes these challenges resulting in a stronger knowledge base for Air Force and DoD IoT implementations.

Quanterion Solutions has long worked at the forefront of Department of Defense (DoD) IoT implementations, providing expert assessments and guidance to such organizations as U.S Central Command, AFRL Information Directorate, the U.S. Marine Corps, the National Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Energy. The technical solutions company has built an impeccable reputation over 20 years by continuously evaluating and improving processes and technologies that increase the efficiency and effectiveness of many defense-related organizations.

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