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Technology Demonstration and Experimentation

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Thunderstorm Overview

Thunderstorm accelerates the transition of emerging capabilities to the Warfighter through technology focused venues that address key DoD modernization challenges and gaps.  Beginning in 2009, Thunderstorm has provided an enduring venue for informing DoD communities through innovation discovery and conducting demonstrations and experiments of emerging technology in operationally relevant environments.  Since 2016, the Thunderstorm Program "has introduced 330 new and emerging technologies to over 1,132 DoD, [Intelligence Community], and other government representatives."

Sponsored by the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)) Rapid Reaction Technology Office, Thunderstorm technology demonstrations and field experimentation events:

  • [Provide a venue] for the Science & Technology, Acquisition, and User communities to identify and transition new Joint mission capabilities that address key modernization gaps;
  • Enable technology demonstration...experiments to explore new and emerging technologies, [Concepts of Operations] and red team capabilities;
  • Foster collaboration for addressing shared gaps and challenges across DoD and other communities;
  • Facilitate the exploration of lower maturity, higher risk/higher reward alternatives and technology collaborations in operationally relevant environments; and
  • Engage and leverage non-traditional, small business and allied technologies to accelerate the transition of innovative solutions.

Current Opportunity.  Thunderstorm 22-2: Battlespace Management in Contested Environments

Thunderstorm events are posted to the SLAMR Proposal Opportunities and Field Experimentation calendars!

Points of Contact.

Source. OUSD(R&E). (2020, September 14). Thunderstorm Program Overview [pdf].

OUSD(R&E) Field Experimentation Programs

Joint Interagency Field Experimentation (JIFX) demonstrates and evaluates new technologies related to Department of Defense research in an operational field environment.  JIFX also provides the operational community an opportunity to experiment with these technologies to better understand their capabilities and how to use them.  Together this creates a collaborative, boundary-pushing environment to explore the implications and applications of emerging technology. 

Thunderstorm is an enduring technology demonstration venue open to a wide range of participants, including small businesses, military, and the interagency.  New technologies can be integrated, evaluated, and assessed under real world conditions with scripted and unscripted scenarios. 

Stiletto is a maritime technology demonstration platform with an “electronic keel” that enables rapid integration, demonstration, and experimentation with new technologies.  The 88-foot experimental boat provides an authentic military maritime platform with easy access for small businesses and non-traditional performers. 

Simulation Experiments (SIMEX) provide a high-fidelity environment to develop operational concepts for emerging technologies. Sensors, weapon systems, kill chains, and command and control with operational users are accurately modeled and simulated by MITRE Corporation's National Security Experimentation Laboratory, providing data-driven results.

The Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) Program...