Common Synthetic Environment Competition

Request for Solutions: Common Synthetic Environment

March 14, 2019


1.0 Purpose 

The Army desires a Common Synthetic Environment to serve as the platform enabler of the Synthetic Training Environment that will allow units and soldiers to conduct realistic, multi echelon, collective training anywhere in the world. The Government will evaluate the solutions submitted to this announcement with the intent of negotiating an Other Transaction Agreement under the Training and Readiness Accelerator (TReX).

2.0 Summary and Background

2.1 The Army’s future training capability is the Synthetic Training Environment (STE). The STE enables tough, iterative, dynamic, and realistic multi-echelon / combined arms maneuver, mission rehearsal, and mission command collective training in support of multi-domain operations. The STE will provide units the repetitions necessary to accelerate individual through Unit skill and collective task proficiency resulting in achieving and sustaining training readiness. The STE provides complex operational environment representations anytime and anywhere in the world. The STE will deliver collective training, accessible at the Point of Need in the operational, self-development and institutional training domains. The STE will achieve Initial Operational Capability (IOC) by September 2021 and Full Operational Capability by September 2023.

The Common Synthetic Environment (CSE) will deliver this comprehensive, collective training and mission rehearsal capability and is comprised of three foundational capabilities: One World Terrain, Training Management Tool, and Training Simulation Software. The CSE enables the convergence of the live, virtual, constructive, and gaming environments into the Synthetic Training Environment. The STE CSE delivers software, application(s) and services that will enable the Reconfigurable Virtual Collective Trainer (RVCT), Soldier Squad Virtual Trainer (S/SVT), Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) and will support interoperability with the future Next Generation Constructive, Live Training Environment, and other STE capabilities.

2.2 The illustrative diagram below depicts the architectural scope separation between the CSE and RVCT. The RVCT hosts the physical platform elements (e.g., cyclic, collective pedals, steering wheels, switches). The RVCT physical controls will interface with the CSE API through the hardware abstraction layer. The hardware abstraction layer provides the interface between the RVCT physical controls and the platform’s virtual representation in the CSE. The CSE will contain a functional virtual representation of the RVCT platforms. For example, the CSE will contain the inside of an Apache helicopter visually displaying the interior of the cockpit with all the switches needed for collective training being functional (think game console or PC game). The RVCT vendor will supplement the CSE virtualized hardware components and functionality with physical hardware to create the appropriate fidelity for the RVCT end user. Note: RVCT is shown in the diagram, but a similar approach is expected for S/SVT and IVAS.

2.3 The STE CFT technical integration objectives include a focus on using a requirements technology convergence cycle. The STE CFT will use an IT Box requirements development approach to quickly mitigate Warfighter gaps by providing capability drops to the field. The capability drops will influence incremental architecture development and designs prior to implementation and testing. The STE CFT will implement a Development Operations (DevOps) / Agile environment. The DevOps process extends the Agile concept by not only promoting a close and frequent working relationship among users and developers, but also applying this same approach with developers and the operations staff to quickly deliver an updated product. DevOps enables transparency, avoids proprietary solutions / environments, and must frequently place early prototypes into the hands of Warfighters to receive feedback that informs the requirement.

Vendors will provide information (e.g., prototype design, architecture, interfaces) at periodic design reviews that enables assessment of the design of baseline configuration items. The information will be documented at a level that would be equivalent to a traditional Critical Design Review at the time of Prototype/First Article testing.

2.4 There will be separate acquisitions for the CSE, RVCT, S/SVT, IVAS, Next Generation Constructive, Live Training Environment, and other STE components. The Government will coordinate across efforts performing the managerial and technical systems engineering processes. The separation in contract vehicles drives the need for the Government to have maximum rights in the architecture and establish hardware abstraction layers and interface agreements between vendors. The Government will establish a process to manage and adjudicate friction areas.

The separation also drives the need for a continuous integration environment, vendor integration labs, and an independent STE CFT Technical Innovation Facility (TIF). The integration environments will approximate the infrastructure (e.g., network, cloud, security) conditions of the anticipated fielding locations to support operational testing needed for IOC. Vendors will pass automated unit tests and automated interface tests as entry criteria for a verification and integration test event at the STE CFT TIF. Vendors will perform frequent builds at their location and push the software over the internet to the cloud to enable other vendors to download and test the latest software.

2.5 This prototyping effort will be conducted as an agile development activity to evaluate the technical feasibility and military utility of vendor-developed CSE solutions as the foundation for the STE. The end-state of the CSE is the creation and successful implementation of a modular open system approach platform that delivers the foundational capabilities in support of the holistic STE vision.

3.0 General Information 

3.1 The CSE Statement of Need, Attachment 1, contains a robust description of the technical objectives and desired prototype solution for the CSE. Vendors are encouraged to challenge any assumptions or restrictive requirements in their individual solutions and should articulate any major discrepancies between the Statement of Need and their technical solution. A full list of attachments and appendices is located at the end of this document.

3.2 Vendors interested in responding to this Request for Solutions must be members of the Training and Readiness Accelerator (TReX).

3.3 The cost of preparing and submitting a response is not considered an allowable direct charge to any Government contract or agreement.

3.4 An individual vendor may not submit more than one response to this RFS as a Prime. A vendor may participate as sub to multiple responses.

3.5 At award, the selected vendor will be encouraged to enter into Associate Vendor Agreements for any portion of the agreement requiring joint participation in the accomplishment of the Government’s requirement – likely to include the appropriate hardware interface and integration with RVCT, S/SVT, and IVAS. Integration will require technical data exchange, dialogue, and software/hardware integration of proposed solutions. It is expected that vendors may have to work directly with other vendors under Government integration oversight to help establish and extend the CSE platform to meet identified gaps.

3.6 Non-compliance with the submission instructions provided herein may preclude the vendor from being considered for award.

4.0 Government Desired Rights in Technical Data

4.1 The CSE is built on a modular open system approach with an Intellectual Property (IP) model that allows it to evolve with future technologies and This means that the Architecture and IP must support future competition and a collaborative explorative environment which facilitates participation of commercial innovators and Government entities partnering with the STE.

4.2. The following definitions apply to this section.

4.2.1 Government purpose rights means the right to use, modify, reproduce, release, perform, display, or disclose technical data within the Government without restriction; and release or disclose technical data outside the Government and authorize persons to whom release or disclosure has been made to use, modify, reproduce, release, perform, display, or disclose technical data for United States government purposes. The five-year period, or such other period as may be negotiated, would commence upon execution of the Other Transaction Agreement that required development of the items, components, or processes or creation of the data. The Vendor will have the exclusive right, including the right to license others, to use technical data in which the Government has obtained government purpose rights under this agreement for any commercial purpose during this five-year period. Upon expiration of the five- year or other negotiated period, the Government would receive unlimited rights in the technical data and computer software.

4.2.2 Unlimited rights means rights to use, modify, reproduce, perform, display, release, or disclose technical data in whole or in part, in any manner, and for any purpose whatsoever, and to have or authorize others to do so.

4.2.3 Limited rights means the rights to use, modify, reproduce, release, perform, display, or disclose technical data, in whole or in part, within the Government. The Government may not, without the written permission of the party asserting limited rights, release or disclose the technical data outside the Government, use the technical data for manufacture, or authorize the technical data to be used by another party, except that the Government may reproduce, release, or disclose such data or authorize the use or reproduction of the data by persons outside the Government if—

(i) The reproduction, release, disclosure, or use is—
(A) Necessary for emergency repair and overhaul; or
(B) A release or disclosure to—
(1) A covered Government support contractor in performance of its covered Government support contract for use, modification, reproduction, performance, display, or release or disclosure to a person authorized to receive limited rights technical data; or
(2) A foreign government, of technical data other than detailed manufacturing or process data, when use of such data by the foreign government is in the interest of the Government and is required for evaluational or informational purposes;
(ii) The recipient of the technical data is subject to a prohibition on the further reproduction, release, disclosure, or use of the technical data; and
(iii) The contractor or subcontractor asserting the restriction is notified of such reproduction, release, disclosure, or use.

4.2.4. Restricted rights applies only to noncommercial computer software and has the meaning included in Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement 252.227-7014(a)(15).

4.3 The dynamic approach to the CSE is based upon the ability to incorporate the latest commercial capability to drive future STE solutions and needs. Vendor proposed rights in technical data should consider the following Government desired rights:

4.3.1 Unlimited rights for all CSE architecture and architecture components (e.g. Application Programming Interface (API), data models, data, source code).

4.3.2 Government purpose rights to all other development and deliverables of technical data, computer software, and computer software documentation funded under the transaction agreement, for at least a five-year period.

4.3.3 Unlimited or government purpose rights to One World Terrain source data.

a. Expiring licenses/data rights shall not limit government derivative terrain product use.
b. Expiring licenses/data rights shall not limit government terrain use through expiring licensing / intellectual property data rights.
c. Use of terrain product shall not be provided via subscription service.

4.3.4 Prime or subcontractor proprietary software coding or hardware development (to include vendor licensing requirements) shall not be included without prior Government approval.

4.4 Vendor responses should clearly describe the offered rights in technical data and computer software that will be delivered with your solutions.

4.4.1 The offered rights should be displayed in a manner that allows for ease of discussion in determining trade-offs and potential options for long-term sustainability of the deliverables of this effort.

4.4.2 If limited or restricted rights are being asserted within your response, detail the specific rationale for this assertion within the technical volume (and within the price volume include a table that prices both Government Purpose Rights and Unlimited Rights for any such limited or restricted item).

4.4.3 Any items previously developed with federal funding should clearly identify all components and the Government entity the items were delivered to.

4.4.4 If commercial software is proposed as part of the prototype solution, all applicable software licenses must be included with the response. Note that any software license term or condition inconsistent with federal law will be negotiated out of the license.

4.4.5 The United States Army has release authority on any publications related to this prototype project.

4.4.6 Vendors shall populate the “Data Rights Provided” column of Attachment 4 and provide as part of the technical submission.

5.0 RFS Response Instructions:

5.1 The Government intends to award an Other Transaction Agreement(s) as a result of this Request for Solution. More than one award may be made if determined to be in the Government’s best interest.

5.2 All questions related to this RFS shall be submitted utilizing the Vendor Questions Form provided in Attachment 5. Questions must be submitted via email to, with “STE-CSE” used in the subject line and must be submitted no later than 12:00 PM EDT on March 22, 2019. Questions received after the deadline may not be answered. Questions shall not include proprietary data as the Government reserves the right to post submitted questions and answers, as necessary (and appropriate) to facilitate vendor solution responses.

5.3 Solution Responses shall be submitted no later than 12:00 PM EDT on April 10, 2019. Response shall be submitted electronically to, with “STE- CSE” used in the subject line. Any submissions received after this time on this date may be rejected as late and not considered.

5.4 Solution Responses shall contain separate technical and price volumes. No pricing details may be included in the technical volume. Each volume shall include the following:

5.4.1 Volume 1 – Technical
• Cover Page
• Vendor’s Technical Approach and Schedule
• Data Rights Proposal and Assertions
• Foreign Owned, Controlled or Influenced Mitigation (FOCI) Documentation (if applicable)
• Summary of subcontractor(s) (if applicable)

5.4.2 Volume 2 – Price
• Cover Page
• Breakdown of Pricing

5.5 Solution Responses shall be submitted as a PDF document, with your company name listed as the first part of the file submission, in the following format, “Company X – STE-CSE – Technical or Pricing”.

5.6 Volume 1 – Technical. The technical volume shall not exceed 50 pages in length, utilizing standard 12-point font. Charts and figures are not bound by the 12-point font requirement; however, vendors shall not use this exception to “fit” a large amount of technical data in a small table or figure to stay under the page count limit. The cover page, data rights proposal/assertions do not count towards page count. There is no page limit for the price volume.

5.6.1 The cover page shall include the vendor’s name, Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code (if available), address, primary point of contact, and status of U.S. ownership.

5.6.2 Within the cover page, please check the applicable box below:

  • There is at least one nontraditional defense contractor or nonprofit research institution participating to a significant extent in the project.
  • All significant participants in the transaction other than the Federal Government are small businesses or nontraditional defense contractors.
  • At least one third of the total cost of the project is to be provided by sources other than the Federal Government.

5.6.3 Nontraditional Defense Contractor is defined as an entity that is not currently performing and has not performed, for at least the one-year period preceding the solicitation of sources by the Department of Defense (DoD) for the procurement or transaction, any contract or subcontract for the DoD that is subject to full coverage under the cost accounting standards prescribed pursuant to 41 U.S. Code § 1502 and the regulations implementing such section.

5.6.4 Vendors shall clearly outline how the eligibility requirements of 10 U.S. C. § 2371b are met within their response. The onus for proof of participation to a significant extent or any cost sharing involvement lies with the submitting vendor.

5.6.5 Foreign Owned, Controlled or Influenced. In accordance with RFS Attachment 2, Security Process for Vetting Contractors, the cover page must include certification that the vendor (and subcontractor(s)) are not Foreign Owned or under USA Foreign Owned, Controlled or Influenced (FOCI) status (and are not in merger or purchasing discussions for a Foreign company or USA FOCI Company). Should a prospective vendor be unable to so certify, they will be ineligible for award unless the mitigating circumstances in Attachment 2 are met. In such a case, these mitigating circumstances shall be detailed in an appendix to the technical proposal (and will not count towards the page count).

5.7 Subcontractors. Provide a list of all subcontractors involved and their role within the performance of your submission as an appendix to your technical submission. The list shall include the same information as requested for 5.6.5, excluding nontraditional business status (which will not count towards the page count).

5.8 The Vendor’s focus in the Technical Volume is to describe its approach to delivering a unique prototype solution for the CSE, as outlined in this RFS and the Statement of Need. The response should provide specific emphasis on following focus areas:

5.8.1 Architecture:
• Discuss how your architecture supports modular components with the ability to easily replace and adapt existing components for future technology insertions.
• Describe the scalability and flexibility of your architecture to support IOC requirements and future growth.
• Discuss how your architecture delivers simulation services to the point of need, taking into consideration denied, degraded, intermittent and low bandwidth (DDIL) environments.

5.8.2 One World Terrain:
• Discuss your approach for providing a well-formed, attributed whole-earth 3D base globe representation that reflects complexities of the operational environment by IOC.
• Discuss your approach for automating the terrain generation pipeline.
• Discuss your targeted intermediate format utilizing common industry standards and modeling tools in relation to IOC and future growth.
• Discuss your data model and optimized approach for storing, managing and delivering processed/conflated/fused raw terrain data at a global level (i.e. Petabytes of data) to the point of need while minimizing processing time.
• Discuss your approach for establishing a cloud-based, configuration management and administration capability to incorporate and deliver updates over time.

5.8.3 Training Management Tool:
• Discuss your approach for providing a single, intuitive, holistic tool that integrates all TMT capabilities.
• Discuss your approach for acquiring and manipulating operational variables for data, models, behaviors and terrain.
• Describe how your solution will operate at the enterprise level down to the point of need to include DDIL environments.

5.8.4 Training Simulation Software:
• Discuss how your solution will provide an immersive and semi-immersive operational environment to enable collective training.
• Describe your design tradeoff between visual realism, simulation fidelity, infrastructure scalability, network accessibility, system performance, and cybersecurity compliance.
• Describe how your approach will serve as the single simulation engine for STE capabilities (e.g., RVCT, S/SVT, IVAS, Live Training Environment, and Next Generation Constructive).

5.8.5 DevOps and Integration:
• Discuss your approach to incorporate routine Government and external stakeholder input to enable rapid and frequent delivery of capabilities.
• Discuss how your integration approach allows for maintaining concurrency with platforms, to include Operational Flight Programs (OFP).
• Discuss your approach for delivering continuous integration packages with external systems developed by third-parties (e.g. RVCT, S/SVT, and IVAS) and describe how your approach reduces the integration and life cycle sustainment risks for all parties.

While these focus areas are of significant importance, responses will be considered as a whole.

5.9 Vendor shall include its anticipated delivery schedule to reflect its individual solution. The Government estimates that the delivery time-frame will be 29 months with the total period of performance spanning up to 53 months from award. This delivery time frame is estimated to be divided into the following three phases:

Phase 1- Produce a prototype solution through a Critical Design Review.

Phase 2 - Consists of an Operational Test, estimated to occur in the 2QFY21 that is followed by and includes continued development, refinement, and support through the delivery and acceptance of the complete prototype solution at IOC by September 2021.

Phase 3 - Provide Interim Contractor Support to the fielded IOC prototype locations for a period of up to two years. This will allow for the collection of adequate data supporting the identification of the necessary core logistics capabilities to support the full production delivery of the CSE and STE.

5.10 Volume 2 – Price. Vendors shall submit a fixed price for its prototype solution, further divided into severable increments with milestone payments identified within each increment, as appropriate. Vendors are encouraged to propose a Contract Line Item Number structure adequately reflecting the durations of tasks and time-phasing of efforts. All vendors shall separately break out their pricing associated with One World Terrain.

5.10.1 Vendors shall price all efforts which support the proposed delivery schedule, broken out by the Phases listed in paragraph 5.9, and which satisfy all Statement of Need and RFS requirements. The price response should provide the appropriate build- up to allow the Government the ability to track between the proposed pricing structure and the Technical Volume. The price response shall be submitted as a separate document from the technical response. No pricing details shall be included in the technical response.

5.11 Vendors must clearly state assumptions made within their response. Vendors are encouraged to challenge any Government assumptions or restrictive requirements in its individual solution and should articulate any major discrepancies between the Statement of Need and its technical solution. Should a vendor’s solution require a change in policy and/or statute, the vendor shall outline within their technical volume, and describe why the change is needed to realize the benefit of the vendor’s prototype (and potential production).

5.12 In its technical response, vendors must clearly identify if its proposed solution depends on Government Furnished Information (GFI) / Government Furnished Equipment (GFE). If so, the response must specify the GFI / GFE. If the solution is dependent on GFI / GFE, the Government will determine whether the GFI/GFE will be provided and will confirm with the vendor prior to any final solution revisions, if applicable.

5.13 Prospective vendors are advised that the following Non-Government Support Contractors may participate as advisors in the evaluation process: The MITRE Corporation, Optimal Solutions and Technology, Incorporated, and WiiKno, Incorporated. All Non-Government advisors will have signed Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) with the Government. These companies have been restricted from submitting responses to any current or future STE opportunities.

All support contractors performing this role are expressly prohibited from performing DoD-sponsored technical research and are bound by appropriate NDAs. All Government participants and advisors in the evaluation process will also file NDAs.

6.0 Selection Process

6.1 Stage 1: Individual responses will be evaluated with consideration given to the demonstrated expertise and overall technical merit of the response, feasibility of implementation, and total project risk with consideration aimed at the RFS focus areas outlined above. The proposed project price, schedule, and intellectual property rights proposal/assertions will be considered as aspects of the entire response when weighing risk and reward. The Government will evaluate the degree to which the submission provides a thorough, flexible, and sound approach in response to the Focus Areas well as the ability to fulfill the requirements in RFS Attachment 1, CSE Statement of Need.

6.2 Stage 2: In the event that the Government finds two or more highly qualified solutions, a down-select will occur for the most qualified vendors to provide Solutions Presentations. A Solutions Presentation will allow the vendor to further articulate its proposed solution, respond to discussion items provided prior to their Solutions Presentation, and answer further questions from the evaluation team. The Government reserves the right to request further substantiating documentation about existing capabilities in the proposed solution. Vendors will present the capabilities and concepts outlined in their Solution Responses to the Government during a three-hour period to be held at a Government location in Orlando, FL.

6.2.1 If required, Solutions Presentations are anticipated to be held the week of 29 April 2019. Vendors selected to present will be notified during the week prior and provided initial feedback to incorporate into their Solutions Presentations.

6.3 The Government will award this project, via TReX, to the respondent(s) whose solution is assessed to be the most advantageous to the Government, price, schedule, technical risks and other factors considered. The Government reserves the right to award to a respondent that does not meet all the requirements of the RFS.

6.4 Assessment of risks is subjective. If the risk is obvious or the schedule seems overly aggressive, the Government will consider that in the total risk assessment. Vendors are responsible for identifying risks within their submissions, as well as providing specific mitigating solutions. If sufficient validation of the proposed information is not provided, the Government may reject the submission.

7.0 Additional Information

7.1 Export controls: research findings and technology developments arising from the resulting proposed solution may constitute a significant enhancement to the national defense and to the economic vitality of the United States. As such, in the conduct of all work related to this effort, the recipient will comply strictly with the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (22 C.F.R. §§ 120-130), the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (DoD 5220.22-M) and the Department of Commerce Export Regulation (15 C.F.R. §§ 730-774).

7.2 Interaction and/or Disclosure with Foreign Country/Foreign National Personnel. The Vendor should comply with foreign disclosure processes described in US Army Regulation (AR) 380‐10, Foreign Disclosure and Contacts with Foreign Representatives; Department of Defense Directive (DoDD) 5230.11, Disclosure of Classified Military Information to Foreign Governments and International Organizations; and DoDD 5230.20, Visits and Assignments of Foreign Nationals.

7.3 All submissions will be unclassified. Submissions containing data that is not to be disclosed to the public for any purpose or used by the Government except for evaluation purposes will include the following sentences on the cover page:

“This submission includes data that will not be disclosed outside the Government, except to non-Government personnel for evaluation purposes, and will not be duplicated, used, or disclosed -- in whole or in part -- for any purpose other than to evaluate this submission. If, however, an agreement is awarded to this Company as a result of -- or in connection with – the submission of this data, the Government will have the right to duplicate, use, or disclose the data to the extent agreed upon by both parties in the resulting agreement. This restriction does not limit the Government's right to use information contained in this data if it is obtained from another source without restriction. The data subject to this restriction are contained in sheets [insert numbers or other identification of sheets]”

7.4 Each restricted data sheet should be marked as follows:
“Use or disclosure of data contained on this sheet is subject to the restriction on the title page of this submission.”

8.0 Follow-On Production

Upon successful completion of this prototype effort, the Government anticipates that a follow-on production effort may be awarded via either contract or transaction, without the use of competitive procedures if the participants in this transaction successfully complete the prototype project as awarded from this document. The prototype effort will be considered successfully complete upon performance of a successful Phase 2 Operational Test.

Successful completion for a specific capability may occur prior to the conclusion of the Phase 2 Operational Test to allow the Government to transition that aspect of the prototype project into production while other aspects of the prototype project have yet to be completed. This includes requirements for sustainment purposes.

A follow-on effort could involve, though is not limited to, the potential requirement for continued development and baseline management, further scaling of the solution, integration of future STE capabilities, or integration of the capability to fit within the Department of Defense’s future state of operation and training requirements. The CSE itself is estimated to be fielded to over 400 locations during the achievement of Full Operational Capability. The One World Terrain capability may grow to include operational requirements if technology demonstrates itself as adept to meeting growing demands across the military.

9.0 Attachments

Attachment 1 – Statement of Need – Dated 14 March 2019

Annex A: Glossary – Dated 28 February 2019

Annex B: Documents/References – Dated 28 February 2019

Annex C: OWT Use Case – Dated 13 March 2019

Annex D: TMT Use Case – Dated 28 February 2019

Annex E: Test Strategy – Dated 28 February 2019

Annex F: Platform List – Dated 14 March 2019

Annex G: Product Support – Dated 28 February 2019

Attachment 2 – Security Process for Vetting Contractors

Attachment 3 – DoD Contract Security Classification Specification (DD-254)

Attachment 4 – Agreement Deliverables – Dated 14 March 2019

Attachment 5 – Questions Form

Attachment 6 – Responses to 28Feb19 Draft Statement of Need

To view and download this request for solutions (RFS) or the documents referenced in the RFS, click the hyperlinked text below.


CSE RFS_Attachment 1 - SoN_14Mar

CSE RFS_Attachment 2 - Security Process for Vetting Vendors

CSE RFS_Attachment 3 - DD254_Draft

CSE RFS_Attachment 4 - Agreement Deliverables_14Mar

CSE RFS_Attachment 5 - Questions Form

CSE RFS_Attachment 6 – Responses to 28Feb Draft SoN

CSE SoN_Annex A_Glossary_28Feb

CSE SoN_Annex B_Documents References_28Feb

CSE SoN_Annex C_OWT Use Case_13Mar

CSE SoN_Annex D_TMT Use Case_28Feb

CSE SoN_Annex E_Test Strategy_13Mar

CSE SoN_Annex F_Platform List_14Mar

CSE SoN_Annex G_Product Support_28Feb

TReX Membership is required to submit a solution(s) to this RFS. Any questions regarding membership should be directed to

Any questions regarding this TReX opportunity should be directed to