Air Force reaches out to industry for enabling technologies in trusted computing hardware and software

June 1, 2020
Researchers are focusing on technologies that support hardware and software for high-assurance, trusted, and secure computer architectures.

ROME, N.Y. – U.S. Air Force researchers are asking industry for trusted-computing technologies that enable secure, resilient, affordable command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, and cyber information processing.

Officials of the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate in Rome, N.Y., issued a broad agency announcement on Thursday (FA8750-20-S-7012) for the Foundations of Trusted Systems project for military command and control applications..

Researchers are focusing on technologies that support hardware and software for high-assurance, trusted, and secure computer architectures.

This project has two technical areas: trusted, secure, and resilient computational systems; and trusted and assured software.

Related: Trusted computing: an overview

Trusted, secure, and resilient computational systems seeks to develop elements, tools, and methodologies for trusted, secure and resilient computing, which includes hardware, software, power, cost, performance, and reliability.

Topics of interest include:

-- processor trustworthiness;

-- computer architecture trustworthiness;

-- tools for ensuring trustworthiness of integrated circuits (ICs), as well as defenses against malicious inclusions, side-channel attacks, and probing attacks;

-- data integrity, code protection, and verification;

-- software operating systems to help enable trustworthy computer hardware;

-- tools for ensuring the security of software development, including compilers, assemblers, linkers, binary checks, and source code analysis;

-- software-based assurance designs for implementation in hardware, rather than in software; and

-- Integrated circuit inspection, characterization, and testing for automated post fabrication verification, counterfeit identification, device identification, tampering evidence identification, wearout characterization, and adaptive system degradation.

Related: Trusted computing hardware features for maintaining cyber security during operation

Trusted and assured software, meanwhile, seeks to lay a foundation of trust across all layers of software development; maintain that trust as the system adapts during its deployment; improve the scalability of interoperable software tools; and to craft a holistic design approach to scale-up the application for formal verification.

Topics of interest include:

-- software assurance to addresses all layers of the supply chain and enterprise including governance, partnerships, process, standards, and education;

-- trusted and resilient software-intensive systems engineering to create self-healing and repair techniques that can fight through cyber attacks, including zero-day attacks;

-- cyber physical systems to develop the tools that help provide scalability and interoperability necessary to integrate and analyze computational and physical components and the networks connecting them; and

-- artificial intelligence in trusted systems using human-machine teaming to improve automation, raise human understanding, and mitigate the potential risks of bad information or bad decisions from designers.

Related: Five organizations working with DARPA to develop design tools for cyber security and trusted computing

This project is closed to foreign participation, including foreign ownership and foreign nationals as employees or subcontractors.

Companies interested should email two-to-five-page white papers no later than 4 Dec 2020 for 2021 projects; by 3 Dec 2021 for 2022 projects; by 2 Dec 2022 for 2023 projects; and by 1 Dec. 2023 for 2024 projects to the Air Force's Jillian Stubley at [email protected]. Those submitting promising white papers will be invited to submit full proposals.

Email technical questions to Jillian Stubley at [email protected]. Email contracting questions to Amber Buckley at [email protected].

More information is online at

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