The Problem

Water (or "wet gap") crossing operations are incredibly resource- and labor-intensive, requiring many personnel to maneuver and connect Improved Ribbon Bridges (IRBs) — temporary, mobile bridges.

Soldiers build IRBs to transport troops, vehicles, and equipment across bodies of water when permanent bridges aren’t available. Multiple sections, called "bays", connect to form the IRB. One by one, bays are dropped into the water, pushed together by crewed boats, manually attached by Soldiers standing atop the bays, fully loaded with cargo, and then maneuvered by the boats across the wet gap. As Soldiers and equipment remain in fixed locations to conduct these time-consuming operations, they become increasingly vulnerable to enemy detection and attack.

View Infosheet Apply to Topic

Please note the recent changes to the SBIR Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) document to ensure your proposal doesn't get disqualified.

The Opportunity

The total funding for awards in this Direct to Phase II (DP2) effort is $1,900,000. Awardee(s) will develop a prototype of a kit/system that autonomously assembles IRBs and includes waterway navigation.

DP2 proposals should build on the design formulated according to Phase I requirements described in the "PHASE I" section of the solicitation. Required Phase II deliverables include a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 prototype for further Army evaluation, a demonstration of the prototype, and monthly and final reports detailing design and performance analysis of the prototype. The period of performance for this DP2 effort is 12 months.

About the SPARTN Program

What Makes SPARTN Different?

Special Program Awards for Required Technology Needs (SPARTN) blends government and industry best practices to introduce a new whole-of-Army, collaborative approach to solution innovation. The result is a way to solve Army problems faster and to accelerate the process by which successful technology is purchased by the Army.

You can apply to help solve a specific SPARTN problem via the Defense SBIR/STTR innovation portal (DSIP). Simply search for the problem you want to help solve using the associated topic name or number.

Watch previous SPARTN webinars to learn more

Never worked with the Army?

Getting Started

To apply you'll need a unique Entity ID and to register with SAM.gov.
Small Business? Consider registering with the SBA.
Get prepared with some of these helpful links: