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A--Request For Information- Multi-Function Imagers for Rotary Wing (MFI4RW) Applications

Solicitation Number: W909MY-14-R-C006
Agency: Department of the Army
Office: Army Contracting Command
Location: ACC-APG - Washington
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Sources Sought
Added: Oct 31, 2013 10:02 am
REQUEST FOR INFORMATION: THIS IS NOT A SOLICITATION; no award will be made as a result of this request. This Request For Information (RFI) is for informational purposes only; this is not a Request for Proposal (RFP). All interested parties are encouraged to respond to this RFI. The Government will not pay for information and/or materials received in response to this RFI and is in no way obligated by the information received.

BACKGROUND/DESCRIPTION: The United States Army, Research Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD) is planning to design, develop, integrate, and demonstrate a Multi-Function Imager for Rotary Wing (MFI4RW) applications, distributed aperture system (DAS), with spherical coverage provided by a synergistic imager/imaging system in the degraded visual environment (DVE) pilotage, and threat warning to support Army Aviation Aircraft. The MFI4RW must be interoperable with state of the art army aviation display technology, helmet mounted display (HMD) and/or multi-function display (MFD). The MFI4RW will strive for the best possible balance between performance and SWaP-C.

The MFI4RW effort will follow the procedure described in the paragraph below. Design trade studies, field of regard sensor coverage simulations, selecting the design(s)/concept(s) that will or have potential to meet performance, and SWaP-C goals. Develop, design, and build prototype subassemblies and continue evolutionary development while integrating onto a Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) Army Aircraft. The MFI4RW integrated onto a GFE Army Aircraft will also be integrated with a Contractor Furnished Equipment (CFE) display. The integrated MFI4RW with CFE display(s) will be submitted for flight qualification and performance testing. Following successful qualification and testing, aircraft integration will start. Additional testing may include ground testing/simulation, flight testing/demonstrations. After successful flight testing a performance specification will be developed and transitioned to the Army Aviation Acquisition Community. Projected timeline for the program is FY14-19.

REQUIREMENTS: NVESD is looking for a MFI4RW system that can meet the needs of the Army Aviation community. The system will be an open architecture system enabling compatibility with Future Airborne Capability Environment consortium products intended ultimately for the Joint Multi Role, Future Vertical Lift aircraft of 2030. The system must demonstrate the following minimum capability metrics:

Pilotage Capability: Pilotage is defined as the process of flying the aircraft from point A to point B, heads up eyes out and visually coupled, and can encompass all phases of flight (enroute, initial approach, hover, landing, takeoff) in all flight conditions including the Degraded Visual Environment (rain, snow, fog, dust, smog/haze, zero illumination night). Specifications - Field of Regard: 180o Az, 90o El (front); Visual acuity: greater than 20/55; IR Resolution: greater than 0.4cyc/mrad @ 0.1o C; Image Intensification Resolution: greater than 0.2 cyc/mrad @ 3x10-6 fL and greater than 0.6 cyc/mrad @ 3x10-3 fL; Frame Rate: greater than 60Hz.

Situational Awareness (SA) Capability: Rear Hemispherical; Visual acuity: greater than 20/80; Dwell Time: less than 8msec.

Threat Warning Capability: Field of Regard: Spherical; Pd: All threats to Army Aviation @max range.

Display Field of View: Minimum: 30o El by 50o horizontal; Display Format: Digital HD 1920X1080p.

System Latency: less than 50msec.

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS: NVESD welcomes white papers recommending systems that will satisfy the minimum capability metrics in the specified time frame (FY14-19). Vendor teaming is encouraged if applicable.

For existing systems, vendors are asked to supply the following information:

A self assessment of the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the current system.

System specification and a self assessment (measured performance) of discrete capabilities (e.g., Pilotage, DVE, Threat Warning, etc...).

Any flight testing results if available for distribution, of particular interest is any user feedback of the system.

Size, Weight, Power, and Cost (SWaP-C) data

Aircraft integration information (e.g., what type aircraft, integrated with avionics or stand alone), mounting locations for each sensor.

Describe man-machine interface as much as possible

For developmental systems (this includes systems with some existing equipment, but plan to augment with some novel technology), vendors are asked to supply the following information:

Salient features of the proposed system and how they address the SWaP-C optimization concern

Current/proposed schedule

Current TRL and projected TRL at planned completion

Any available performance data

White papers should also address:

Describe each module (e.g., single aperture or multiple apertures) and the interdependencies on the other modules within the system. It is anticipated that a system would be modular in nature and modules may be combined to provide the system level performance.

How specific modules address each critical capability of the MFI4RW (e.g., Pilotage, SA, DVE, and Threat Warning) individually and as an ensemble/system. Also highlight any SWaP-C benefits achieved through this architecture if they exist.

Describe how the mass amounts of data from multiple high resolution, high frame rate senor modules and/or subsystems will be accessed to provide a system level capability. Describe the state of this development work.

Describe how this multi-function capability will be integrated (notionally) into an aircrafts avionics and how the man-machine interface with aircrew will be impacted or enhanced. This must include the approach to display the data (imagery, and information) to the aircrew (e.g., display requirements must be addressed).

Technology Roadmap detailing path to achieve this document's requirements

Specifications and performance metrics of relevant systems

Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) for development cost, if applicable, and unit cost for potential future Government procurements.

The white paper should also address any other features of your system that may enhance overall aircraft capabilities (current and proposed new technologies). White papers should not exceed 40 pages in length. The data received in response to this RFI is for information purposes only and does not mandate or impose requirements or commit the Government or vendor to any action. It is desirable that data be received with government purpose rights. However, it is recognized that proprietary data may be included with the information provided. Clearly mark all proprietary information. All responses to this market research shall be submitted no later than 4:00 PM EST (local time at Fort Belvoir, VA) on 16 December 2013.

All questions and white papers must be submitted via e-mail to Maurice G. CookIII No telephonic inquiries or requests will be entertained. Submissions larger than 5MB should be submitted through the AMRDEC Safe Access File Exchange at and on disc directed to the address below:

Night Vision and Electronics Sensors Directorate
Attn: Maurice Cook
10221 Burbeck Road
Fort Belvoir, Virginia 22060-5806
ACC-APG - Washington, ATTN: CCCE-CW, 10205 Burbeck Road, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-5863
ACC-APG - Washington ATTN: CCCE-CW, 10205 Burbeck Road Fort Belvoir VA
Victor Patrick Moss, 703-704-0828

ACC-APG - Washington