I will be posting questions and answers for those who missed the call with the PLUGS challenge sponsor.
Q&As from the TeamWERX Conference Call on 9/12 below
Questions captured from TeamWERX conference call with Participants and sponsor of PLUGS challenge on September 12th.
NOTE: Answer #26 addresses the question about SOFWERX providing phones for testing.
Question 1: Do the phones have to be autonomous? Are there security features on the phone that limit it from completing the functionality requested?
Answer: It is possible if leveraging capability resident on the phone, and will depend on how the app is developed. The key is to have phones work as single standalone phone, and interact with the other phones?
Question 2: Do you have a priority on the various sensors to include, examples seismic, acoustic etc.
Answer: We do not have a priority, all are important in their own way.
- Example use case scenario: line of communication where vehicle goes by, a phone can take a picture of vehicle based on seismic or IR break. Would be great to differentiate from person and animal based on weight / size / function, however, we are not looking for AI.
- If you look at myshake, it can differentiate between seismic app from earthquake and phone shaking when person walks by.
- If you can’t get sensitivity from phone to detect seismic then ground probe could be utilized, while trying to keep the phone
Question 3: Are there any issue with Foreign Nationals working on the app?
Answer: No problem at all, the challenge is open to everyone. Will note that if there was a path to continue on to a contract, they would have to comply with government regulations.
Question 4: Regarding seismic plugin, would you like us to add IR sensor to phone?
Answer: No not necessary, we would like to use functionality/sensors that are standard with phone and have us just load the app on it.
Question 5: Are we expecting phones to talk to one another or go through base station?
Answer: We should expect phones to communications to one another based on line of site.
Example scenario: vehicle enters intersection breaks passive IR, which then tips the next phone, next phone takes picture and XFIL via cell or WIFI and then goes back to base station which would display info derived from sensors on the base station.
Question 6: What criteria are you using to detect that phone was compromised?
Answer: Once phone moved and no longer in location we can decide to zero out or do C2 on the phone and/or turn on audio and XFIL the data which would allow us to give GPS on someone.
Question 7: Should they have an option if phone compromised to zero out or expect operator to do it.
Answer: Either one.
Question 8: Do we expect to bring phones in and/or buy in country?
Answer: We plan to buy phones locally and load the software in country and configure based on mission requirements.
Question 9: Are you expecting fully functional prototype by the October 24 deadline?
Answer: We would like as much capability as you can provide, please submit whatever you have as we would rather you submit even if it is not 100%. We do know the on-board capability of the phone has a lot of this functionality resident in the phone.
Question 10: How critical is ESRI?
Answer: We use ESRI, however, as long as it is “compatible” with ESRI, it should be OK. If you have map and an API we can export the data which should be fine.
Question 11: Are there distance requirement for tip and que?
Answer: Objective 100 meters, with 25 meters as a threshold.
Question 12: Do you use ESRI ARCGIS event processing engine?
Answer: Yes we have event processing engine. However, I’d focus on the display aspect for prototype.
Question 13: Should we assume the devices will have connectivity?
Answer: Yes for this we can assume they will have WIFI/Cell
Question 14: Should the base station control the sensors?
Answer: The base station does not control the sensors. We should have an alert set when tip and que for the operator to go look at the base station. Receive data, place it on a map. C2 sensor, turn on / turn off within the phone (GPS etc.),
Question 15: Do we need to persist the data?
Answer: You can store data to the base station in best form that works for you?
Question 16: How many phones should the base station be able to handle?
Answer: For the purpose of this initial challenge, 5 phones for one mission set used in conjunction with each other and C2 as needed.
Question 17: Is there a priority for the sensors we should work on?
Answer: All sensors are about equal. IR break tips to photo. Seismic event tips to video etc. All work in conjunction and are important.
Question 18: What is the significance of the grouping written within the overview of the challenge?
Answer: The goal is to be able to group phones per mission, phones can be grouped in any way you’d like – color/name etc.
Question 20: Configure phone on device – is assumption that tip and que would be on the device before they go on the field?
Answer: No, we may need to adjust to the geographic area located in which may be different than initial plan based on line of sight.
Question 21: Is a phone a tip or a que or could one phone be a tip for one and a que for another.
Answer: Yes the phones can be dual / multifunction if you wanted.
Question 22: Would you expect the base station be used to configure device?
Answer: Configuration may be better via the phone. However, configuration could also be done on the base station as well. These phones do not have pan/tilt etc.
Question 23: Are you expecting the ability to disable the flash?
Answer: This isn’t part of the phase, however, disabling the flash would be necessary in the field.
Question 24: Are you looking for ambient light or google pixel specific for passive IR?
Answer: We are just looking for motion which is capability of phone. Recommend implementing whatever capability specific phone has.
Question 25: How do you plan to evaluate the submissions?
Answer: Once the challenge closes we will give everyone time to ship the equipment (if any) to SOFWERX. Items will be evaluated by the customer in an outdoor range. We recommend submitting any demonstration videos and documentation to help the customer set up and evaluate your submission.
Question 26: Do you want us to ship 5 phones or will you have the phones at SOFWERX and just load the software?
Answer: SOFWERX will provide the judges with 5 Pixel 2 XL cell phones to test the submissions. The participants do not need to purchase or send us phones. We recommend submitting documentation to help judges evaluate along with the app.
Question 27: Would base station have ESRI on it?
Answer: Yes ESRI would be loaded on the base station eventually. When we look at software/base station – it could be tablet, phone, laptop etc. Intent would be to physically show where sensor is physically located in a geospatial environment similar to ESRI.