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RQ-20A PUMA AECV Unmanned Aerial System Electro-Optical / Infra-Red Camera

Solicitation Number: PEOFW-RFI-10FEB2014
Agency: Other Defense Agencies
Office: U.S. Special Operations Command
Location: Headquarters Procurement Division
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Special Notice
Added: Feb 10, 2014 2:17 pm
1. This Request for Information (RFI) is NOT a solicitation for proposals, proposal abstracts, or quotations. This RFI is for market research and is issued in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 10.001. Issuance of this notice does not constitute any obligation or commitment on the part of the U.S. Government (USG) to issue a solicitation or to award a contract now or in the future. The Government does not intend to award a contract on the basis of this special notice. Submitting information for this RFI is voluntary. Participants will not receive payment any submittals. Although "proposal" and "offeror" are used in this Request for Information, responses will be treated as information only.

2. Any information that the vendor considers proprietary should be clearly marked as such. Responses to this RFI that indicate that the information therein is proprietary or represents confidential business information will be received and held in confidence for U.S. Government use only.

3. U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is conducting market research which will be used to plan and implement an acquisition strategy to procure an Electro-Optical / Infra-Red (EO/IR) gimbaled camera with a Laser Pointer. User objectives for an Electro-Optical / Infra-Red (EO/IR) gimbaled camera with a Laser Pointer described in Paragraph 5 of this RFI. Your package should include schedule, a technical description of how you intend to meet the objectives and a rough order of magnitude (ROM) of cost estimate broken down by components in quantities showing economies of scale. Also include what camera would be available for a flight evaluation in mid-2014. Information of the details of the flight evaluation will be provided at a later date.

4. USSOCOM has an interest in production ready systems (i.e., minimum Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7 as defined by the Department of Defense (DoD) Acquisition Guidebook (August 5, 2010) and a minimum Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) of 7 as defined by the DoD Manufacturing Readiness Assessment Deskbook (May 2, 2009).

5. Information received in response to this RFI for conduct market research will be used to plan and implement an acquisition strategy to procure a drop-in modular camera for the RQ-20A PUMA All Environment Capable Variant (AECV) UAS. The camera needs to meet and/or exceed the following objectives:
a. Stabilized gimbal for focus upon a target at 300m - 1500m slant range while at max zoom does not stutter or blur the target
b. Infrared camera has adjustable white and black contrasting
c. Target position tracking and movement estimation
d. Laser pointing accuracy of 65 microns (T)
e. Waterproof
f. Operate from current RQ-20A PUMA AECV power, command & control, and data link standards
g. Gimbaled Payload with EO/IR (Threshold); Gimbaled Payload with EO/IR and10mm coded 1064mm laser pointer (Objective).
h. EO camera (Threshold). 10mp (threshold); 20mp (objective); 1.67 micron pixel size, 720p (T) and 1080p (O)
i. Platform Digital Data Link needs to download streaming digital video at 30 frames per second (T), via a secondary Internet Protocol (IP) data link @ 8 megabyte aggregate IP bandwidth (Trellisware/TW400 or Persistent Systems Wave Relay) T=O, and with electronic Pan Tilt Zoom stabilization of video image. Camera must be capable of:
(i) Detecting the number of personnel and type/color of vehicle at 3.0 km slant range
(ii) Recognizing /Characterizing personnel (by uniform/clothing or weapons/tools) and vehicles with/without mounted/crew served weapons/rocket launchers at 1.5 kilometer (km)
(iii) Identifying personnel (features; missing or injured limbs; facial ID) and vehicles (make, model, tag/plate info (at 750 meters (m).
j. 640x480 LWIR IR camera (Threshold) / 640x512 NIR/SWIR/MWIR camera (Objective). Largest millimeter (mm) Focal Length lens that you can get into a gimbal package with EO and SWIR/Illuminator and laser software image enhancement to correct motion blur that is inherent with IR imaging on SUAS (T=O).
k. SWIR to see coded laser marker/designator energy at 1.5 km day and 3 km night (assuming 100% illumination) 640 x 512; 15 micro pixel size, approximately 23mm focal length lens.
l. Software Image Enhancement to correct motion blur that is inherent with IR imaging on SUAS (T=O)
m. Able to recognize personnel through window/in shaded areas (SWIR illuminator to 1 KM) in day/night.
n. Functional during thermal crossover when LWIR is less useful day into night and night into day.
o. Electronic pan tilt zoom stabilization of video image (T=O)
p. Daylight detection - number of personnel and shape/shade of vehicle at 3.0 KM (1.5 Km night)
q. Daylight Recognizing / Characterizing - personnel (by uniform/clothing/ or weapons/tools) and vehicles with/without mounted crew served weapons/rocket launchers at 1.5 km (750m night)
r. Daylight Identification - personnel (features; missing or injured limbs; facial ID) and vehicles (make, model, tag/plate info) at 750m (275m night)
s. Above ranges assume 50% ambient illumination (T) and 25% ambient illumination (O) w/o SWIR illuminator
t. Continuous Zoom (Threshold). 4 zoom levels (Threshold); 5+ (objective).
u. Video format - HD (Threshold).
v. Stabilization - High performance gimbal servo and control feedback system to maintain precision acquisition of target, despite inherent instability of light SUAS in turbulent air. Solution should be more stable than current i25 capability of .2m @ 1 km focus.
(i) Miniature stabilized gimbaled payload capable of 100 micro radians of pointing accuracy
(ii) Able to stabilize the center field of view/laser beam jitter to 1/10 of a meter at a range of 1km
(iv) 2 milli radian beam at laser aperture and 900 micro radian beam divergence at 1km equals .9 m spot 1/10 m jitter and .9m will keep the spot with 1m area on the target at a range of 1km
w. Electronic beam tilt zoom stabilization of video image (T=O)
(i) Pan: 360degree pan feature (T=O), not degrade current capability of PUMA camera
(ii) Zoom: Stepped Zoom (T) and Continuous Zoom (O)
Tilt: -10 to -90 (T); +10 to -90 (O), with ability to see above the weather, terrain/flying in valleys
(iii) NADIR lock at 90 degree down, NADIR position for precise imagery/coordinate collection (T=O)
x. Weight - <685g (Threshold), <550g (Objective) (current weight is 685 grams with a center of gravity located between 2 and 5 inches from the front of the payload).
y. Tracking - moving and stationary targets (Threshold). Moving Target
Indicator/Track (Objective).
z. Size- Fit within current PUMA AECV payload bay parameters
(i) Power -. Must use same (Threshold) or less (Objective) than Infini-spin where power is 12 Volts DC with 10 Watts continuous
(ii) Reliability/Ruggedization. Must be more rugged than current payload,
suggest a minimum number of landings before possible failure. 50 landings (Threshold) and 100 landings (Objective)?
(iii) NIIRs Rating. At 500' AGL, Visible NIIRs 8 (Threshold), Visible NIIRs
9 (Objective). At 1500' AGL, Visible NIIRs 7 (Threshold) and Visible NIIRs 8 (Objective).
(iv) The camera solution needs to be in a transport case to enable easy movement, inventory, and prevent damage to the camera.
(v) Target Tracking: Onboard chip-scale target tracker with a closed loop correction of multiple sensor and laser center points to minimize (T) or eliminate (O) field bore sight requirements.
(vi) Laser Designator: code 1064 nanometer (nm) laser w/10-20PPS with >20 mJ (O) at laser aperture 2 milli radian bean at laser aperture and 900 micro radians beam divergence a 1km equals to.9mspt 15-20 seconds lasing reactivation (T) and immediate repeated (non-continuous) use with no rest period (O)


1Mission Altitude - Determined by the payload/sensor and aircraft combination to achieve the required visual and acoustic signatures with required NIIRS value.
2Operational Environment - Any environmental conditions in which the aircraft/system may be employed throughout the full spectrum of military operations (dust, rain, snow, winds, etc.) with limited hangar/shelter capacity.

6. In particular, the Government is interested in the following information to be provided in your response:

a. Describe the capability your system can provide in relation to the objectives in paragraph 5. Provide a technical description of the UAS camera to include details of the camera modularity, subsystems, open systems architecture, and future growth capability. Also describe your training concept and training equipment required to operate and maintain the camera. Include a discussion of any USG requirement that you believe are incompatible, unachievable or significant cost drivers (possibly unaffordable) and the rationale.

b. Responses should also address vendor requirements/concerns for its participation in a potential future demonstration to include any safety concerns/considerations, facility requirements, frequency requirements, electrical power requirements, fuel requirements, etc.

c. How modifications would/could be accomplished--production line incorporation or as post-production modifications.

7. Responses to this RFI shall be limited to no more 15 pages in length not including the cover page or exhibits (including pictures within the text). Including a chart that provides an overview of the system does not count towards the total page count.

Classified information, if required, will be provided in a separate annex and shall be handled, labeled, and stored in accordance with the National Industrial Security Program (NISP) Operating Manual.

Responses should be e-mailed to all Points of Contract (POCs) listed below. Paper copies of the submittal will also be accepted.

If the response contains proprietary sensitive material, paper copies must be clearly labeled "Proprietary Sensitive Material". Proprietary sensitive material will be protected from disclosure.

When appropriate, non-Government advisors may be used to objectively review a particular functional area and provide comments and recommendations to the Government. All advisors shall comply with Procurement Integrity Laws and shall sign non-disclosure and rules of conduct/conflict of interest statements. The Government shall take into consideration requirements for avoiding conflicts of interest and ensure advisors comply with safeguarding proprietary data. Submissions in response to this RFI constitute approval to release the submittal to Government support contractors.
8. Responses must be received no later than 30 calendar days after RFI release. Responses should be emailed to Christine Johnson at, and Jennifer Metty at Classified information can be sent via Registered Mail or FEDEX to HQ USSOCOM, Attn: Christine Johnson (813-826-6038), 7701 Tampa Point Blvd MacDill AFB, FL 33621-5323. Technical questions should be directed to Jeffrey Turner or e-mail:


7701 Tampa Point Blvd
MacDill AFB, Florida 33621-5323
Jennifer A. Metty,
Contract Specialist
Phone: 8138267975
Christine E Johnson,
Contracting Officer
Phone: 813-826-6038
Fax: 813-826-7504