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PAVE PAWS, BMEWS, and PARCS Radar Systems

Solicitation Number: 01262012
Agency: Department of the Air Force
Office: Air Force Materiel Command
Location: AFLCMC - Hanscom
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Added: Jan 23, 2012 2:27 pm
Request for Information: PAVE PAWS, BMEWS, and PARCS Radar Systems
Agency: Department of the Air Force
Office: Air Force Materiel Command
Location: ESC - Electronic Systems Center

TITLE: Request for Information (RFI) in support of planning/acquisition strategy development for a modernization or replacement of the [PAVE PAWS, BMEWS, and PARCS] radar systems.

This RFI is for planning purposes only. In accordance with Part 10 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation the Government is conducting Market Research. This Market Research is for information and planning purposes only. Before submitting any information to the Government, be advised that the Government does not intend to pay for the information you provide. Your responses will be treated as information only.

BACKGROUND: The PAVE Phased Array Warning System (PAWS) radar is a ground-based system that provides United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) with credible Integrated Tactical Warning/Attack Assessment (ITW/AA) data on all Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM). The Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) is a ground-based system that provides USSTRATCOM and NATO Command and Control System (NCCS) with credible ITW/AA data on all Submarine/Sea-launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs). The PAVE PAWS and BMEWS Beam Steering Unit (BSU), Receiver Exciter (REX), Receiver Beam Former (RBF), Array Group Driver (AGD), Radio Frequency Monitor (RFM), Frequency Time Standard (FTS), and the Corporate Feed (CFD) were built for these five radars in the late 1970's and were upgraded in the 1980's. REX and FTS have already been redesigned and upgraded at Beale, Fylingdales, and Thule, as part of the Upgraded Early Warning Radar (UEWR) programs. They will be upgraded at Clear and Cape Cod sites as part of the UEWR programs when they are awarded, with expected completion in 2016-17. UEWR programs have not upgraded the rest of the equipment associated with the array front end. This equipment has been in service without being replaced for over twenty years and is rapidly nearing obsolescence requiring technology refresh.
Perimeter Acquisition Radar Attack Characterization System (PARCS) is a fully-automated, computer controlled, multi-function, phased-array radar system, procured in early 1970's. The PARCS Signal Processing Group (SPG) has received only "band-aid" fixes since the site's Initial Operating Capability (IOC) in 1975. The 1960's-era technology used at PARCS is not widely used, and few sources are available for Depot-level repair on failed components. The PARCS Signal Processing Group (SPG) consists of ten cabinets of equipment with hundreds of unique parts. The Signal Processing Group (SPG) is used to generate frequency-modulated pulses for transmission, spectrum inversion, and pulse compression; perform side lobe reduction; and processing of track signals/comparison, multiplexing, and signal conversion. Extensive alignment and maintenance are required to maintain proper signal reception and analog digital conversion.

APPROACH: Currently the government is conducting an analysis of several modernization alternatives and comparative estimates of technical feasibility, performance, risk, and cost associated with the alternatives.
In support of this activity, the government is requesting information from interested sources on approaches and possibilities that may be considered for upgrading the system. The information developed will be used by the study team to aid the government in defining its funding needs, technical approaches, and acquisition strategy to modernize or replace the system.
• The BMEWS and PAVE PAWS radars will have received significant upgrades to their data processing (DP) & signal processing (SP) subsystems by FY16, this upgrade analysis will focus upon front end modernization and remoting.
• PARCS has a different architecture than PAVE PAWS and BMEWS and has not received as extensive backend upgrades, so this system may require more upgrades to its backend processing capabilities to support front end modernization.
The fundamental requirements are:
- Maintain the overall mission support capabilities of the existing system
- Minimization of system downtime during system replacement or modernization
- Detecting and tracking objects per the BMEWS and PAVE PAWS Prime Item Development Specification (PIDS) Rev H
This information will not be used in any future determinations of contractor capability or compliance with future solicitations. Industry responses can be based on analogy to similar radar programs or developed through work estimates for technology development, system design and development, and production costs.
1. Request information on technology related to the upgrade of the Radio Frequency (RF) Front end of the Early Warning Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Radars to include hardware, software, and producibility/manufacturability. Desired information includes design maturity Technology Readiness Level (TRL), development funding, and schedule to meet TRL 6, cost estimates (recurring and non-recurring), and similar experience with phased array radar technology. Specific areas of interest include; but are not limited to the following:
a. UHF Transmit/Receive solid state module technology. Assume quantities of over 20,000 elements. Include information on packaging and production methods to lower cost, module calibration, and performance (power output, isolation, switching times, noise figure, etc.). Provide the cost drivers associated with the T/R module technology and methods to drive down the cost.
b. High Power Amplifiers capable of driving groups of elements (2+). Identify linear output power level, efficiency, and packaging information at UHF band. If development is needed provide information on development funding and schedule.
c. Digital receiver technology performance and design maturity. The radars will combine inputs into subarrays which are then fed into a digital receiver. Assume quantities of 150.
d. Cost Comparisons between a solid state transmit or receive only module versus a full T/R module. (assume a module includes either transmit or receive capability and compare the cost/maturity of this module with full T/R module)
e. Describe your concept for high-level modernizing (in place) of the existing PAVE PAWS/BMEWS/PARCS systems with minimal system downtime.
f. Experience on the benefits and risks of open system architecture at the subarray level. Identify specific systems.
g. Digital Beam forming processor technology for large array. Identify state of the art signal processing capabilities a new subarray level digital receiver will enable. Assume 80 baseband (I&Q) sub array inputs for processing. Include both hardware and software upgrades.
h. Identify maintenance and associated cost benefits that can be realized with new front end hardware based upon current fielded system experience.
i. Production learning curve theory and slope as applied to analogous programs.
j. Identify risks foreseen in performing radar front end modernization and the steps can be taken to mitigate them. Quantify in terms of cost and schedule.
k. Describe any emerging technologies currently under development that may be directly applicable to a modernization effort.
l. Necessary modifications to backend processing components required as a result of the proposed front end modification.
m. Information (performance, cost, and schedule) on the state of the art in multiband and wideband T/R module technology and relevant experience. Technical challenges/risks and performance merits should be provided.
n. Identify the magnitude of software development associated with a new system, how much can be an extension of existing software and the percentage of new algorithm development that is recommended.
o. Other technologies not specifically identified above.

2. Information on concepts for remote operations of PARCS, PAVE PAWS and BMEWS radars, except Fylingdales, is also requested. Provide information on approaches to remote operations to at least two command and control centers located in the Continental United States (CONUS). Normal remoting via secure global information grid (GIG). When in high threat levels, remoting of at least missile warning (MW) operations via survivable Military Communication (MILCOM).
a. Analyze applicable architectures and recommend the optimum architecture for the remote operations.
b. Analyze implementation risks and determine Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) schedule and losses for the government budget process.
c. Develop a strategy for the demonstration of the proposed remote operating concept.
d. Address exploitation of all sensor data to its fullest potential to support multiple mission needs and users. This would include potential data sharing (read net-centric architecture) with other sensor systems to improve event characterization, report timeliness, tipping and cueing and international cooperation.

RESPONSES: Submission of Proprietary Information Caution: The government appreciates that interested firms may not be able to respond to this RFI without disclosing information deemed "proprietary". Data submitted in response to this RFI will be widely distributed and discussed within the government. It is the responsibility of Respondents to clearly mark submitted information with appropriate restrictive markings. Respondents are further advised that the government's analyses of your responses may require disclosure of your responses to Advisory and Assistance Services support contractor personnel. All members of the government/contractor team will be reminded of their obligation to protect such information to the maximum extent permitted or required by the Economic Espionage Act, 18 U.S.C. 1831 et seq., and other applicable statutes or regulations. In addition, Government members will be reminded of their obligation to afford protection under the Trade Secrets Act, 18 U.S.C. 1905. All support contractor members are required to protect the information by the terms of their contracts. The Government has also determined that the support contractor personnel have no organizational conflicts of interest that could adversely affect protection of the information.
Responses should be no more than 15 single-spaced pages, 12 point Times New Roman font, minimum one-inch margins, in Microsoft Word compatible format. Submit 2 hard copies and 1 softcopy. Responses to RFI must be received No Later Than 1500 (EST) 23 February 2012. All responses are to be unclassified. Proprietary information will be accepted and handled appropriately. Responders should indicate which portions of their response are proprietary and should mark them accordingly. All correspondence and technical questions related to this matter should be e-mailed (preferred) or mailed to the Program Lead at:
Curtis DeVries, Sys Eng, DAF
15 Eglin Street, BLDG 1607
Hanscom AFB MA 01731

9 Eglin Street
Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts 01731
15 Eglin Street, BLDG 1607
Hanscom AFB , Massachusetts 01731
United States
Curtis DeVries
Phone: 225-3192