Inside GNSS Media & Research

MAR-APR 2018

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Page 12 of 67 M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 8 Inside GNSS 13 rev up its work on assured positioning, navigation and timing (A-PNT). e goal of the new PNT effort, the Army said in a Feb. 27 special announce- ment, is to "provide position, velocity, and time data with the aid of non-GPS augmentation to the dismounted and mounted Soldier in GPS degraded or denied environments." The announcement on the Fed Biz Opps website was issued "for planning purposes" under solicitation number: Army_Program_Manager_Position- ing_Navigation_and_Timing To accomplish its goal the service's PNT office said it is considering using the Consortium for Command, Control, and Communications in Cyberspace (C5) to pursue prototype A-PNT sys- tems. C5 has an agreement that enables the Army to fund research using Other Transaction Authority (OTA), a mech- anism created as a work-around for cumbersome procurement rules so that program managers can identify and fund a project in months instead of years. Department of Defense (DoD) manag- ers can make OTA agreements valued at up to $50 million without additional approvals. Program managers can enter contracts for up to $250 million with a supporting determination from the department's senior procurement execu- tive according to a May 2017 article in the legal journal e Government Con- tractor. "OTA is basically an alternative to the Federal Acquisition Regulation and it's designed to make it easier for so-called non-traditional defense contractors - think Silicon Valley - to make it easier for startup companies, cutting-edge, small technology companies that historically have had no interest in working with the government, Defense Department or otherwise," said Charlie McBride, president of the Consortium Manage- ment Group, which is the management organization that owns and operates C5. The way it works, he said, is that a program manager determines a need and comes to C5 with their require- ments and a rough budget. C5 puts that information into the form of a request for white papers, which is then sent to all its members; they typically have several weeks to reply. ose organiza- tions that are interested and can meet, or nearly meet, the requirements submit a white paper describing their approach. e government manager evaluates the papers, choosing the organization(s) he or she wants to work with. "There's a process that takes over then that leads to an actual agreement between the government and C5 on behalf of our member," said McBride. at last step, he said, takes 90 days. e project can also be expanded and even enter into production under OTA rules. Organizations apply for membership online, McBride said. e C5 staff talks with applicants and check the applicant's website, but approval is generally granted quickly "unless there's something egre- giously wrong." Membership informa- tion is available at www.c5technologies. org/ though the organization was having website issues as SIGNALS went to press. is full article can be read online at

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