The Defense Systems Information Analysis Center: Transforming Information Into Knowledge
By Thomas Moore
To comply with a number of federal government initiatives to reduce duplication, the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) completed the most transformative change in the 65-year history of the Department of Defense (DoD) Information Analysis Center (IAC) program, streamlining 10 distinct IAC contracts into 3 consolidated basic centers of operation. The establishment of the Defense Systems Information Analysis Center (DSIAC) in January 2014 consolidated six of these legacy IACs, including the Survivability/ Vulnerability Information Analysis Center (SURVIAC), which had served the community for nearly three decades. The SURVICE Engineering Company, which supported SURVIAC in a subcontractor role, became the operator of the new DSIAC as the result of an Air Force small business competitive acquisition. Although DSIAC’s main offices are located in Belcamp, MD, satellite operations are maintained in the former SURVIAC space at Wright- Patterson Air Force Base, OH, to conduct classified operations and distribute survivability and vulnerability (S&V) models for the DoD. In addition to supporting S&V, DSIAC now also supports eight other communities of practice, as shown in Figure 1.
DSIAC’s primary objective is to facilitate access to scientific and technical information (STI) and provide cost-effective technical analysis and research and development support for the U.S. defense systems community. To help researchers, engineers, scientists, and program managers use and exploit STI to support problem solutions and maximize return on DoD investments, DSIAC maintains an extensive knowledge base, which includes subject-matter experts (SMEs) as well as a supporting repository of historical, technical, and scientific data and information. The primary source of STI is the controlled access DTIC Research and Engineering (R&E) Gateway, which contains more than 4 million defense-related technical reports and full-text documents. Approximately one-third of the DTIC collection is full-text search- able and available for electronic download. The remaining reports are discoverable by metadata search and can typically be acquired by specific request from DSIAC or DTIC. As a value-added resource for DoD researchers, DSIAC also has access to other DoD and non-DoD STI repositories for maximum penetration of subject areas.
In addition to identifying and disseminating STI to qualified recipients, DSIAC also researches and answers technical questions—referred to as “technical inquiries” or “TIs”—from the community. TIs are a signature service of the IAC program, often representing DSIAC’s first contact with a customer. These inquiries can range from a simple document request to a structured literature search to a detailed question on a system or technology. DSIAC researches and answers most TIs using its core staff, supplemented as needed by a larger network of SMEs to provide additional technical bench strength. DSIAC’s basic TI service is free; however, it is limited to 4 hours of staff research per customer inquiry. In addition, customers must meet eligibility and need-to-know requirements for access to DoD limited distribution, export-controlled, and/or classified information.
For more extensive technical support, Government customers can use DSIAC’s pre-competed Core Analysis Task (CAT) indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract vehicle. For example, the Joint Aircraft Survivability Program (JASP) leveraged a CAT delivery order for SURVICE and DSIAC to expand their support of the JASP and S&V community. This support now includes the administration of the JASP Model Users Meeting (JMUM), publication and distribution of the Aircraft Survivability journal, maintenance of the JASP website, and the publication of the next edition of the JASP Specialist Directory, which is scheduled to come out this summer. Each DSIAC CAT delivery order is limited to a 12-month period of performance and may not exceed $1 million in value. The lead time from completion of a Performance Work Statement (PWS) to delivery order award can be as little as 2 months.
If a customer requirement is expected to exceed the CAT time/funding threshold, a more expansive IAC contracting vehicle called a Technical Area Task (TAT) may be used. A TAT is a separate multi-award contract vehicle that is competed among a pool of large prime contractors and that may have a period of performance greater than 12 months. More information on IAC contracting vehicles can be found on the DTIC IAC website at http://iac.dtic.mil/.
As part of its core mission, DSIAC also collects, electronically catalogs, and preserves government-owned STI for future discovery and dissemination in the DTIC R&E Gateway. DSIAC can collect, transport, and digitize surplus or orphan collections of technical reports at no charge to your organization. Please contact DSIAC if you are aware of any technical reports that merit preservation.
Finally, customers can conveniently request all DSIAC products and services via the DSIAC website at www.dsiac.org. After users register for a free account and establish a community of interest profile, they can access the free TI submission page, register for technical meetings and training, and use DSIAC’s ever-expanding portfolio of technical products and controlled-access databases. TIs submitted via the web portal are placed into an automated workflow for immediate assignment and attention. DSIAC encourages all members of the DoD, U.S. government agencies, and contractor community to explore how DTIC and the IAC program can assist you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 443-360-4600.
(Note: If you received this issue of the Aircraft Survivability, then you are already registered with DSIAC).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mr. Tom Moore is an employee of the SURVICE Engineering Company and was named the first Director of DSIAC in January 2014. As a 30-year veteran of the aerospace/defense industry, he has held senior program management and engineering positions at Alliant Techsystems (ATK), Hercules Aerospace, and the Chemical Propulsion Information Analysis Center (CPIAC), where he last served as Deputy Director. Mr. Moore received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University and an M.S. in technical management from The Johns Hopkins University. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.