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COMSATCOM Pathfinder RFI: Feasibility of procuring on-orbit transponders to support Ku-band communications for U.S. AFRICOM

Solicitation Number: SMC-13-MCX-01
Agency: Department of the Air Force
Office: Air Force Space Command
Location: SMC - Space and Missile Systems Center
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Sources Sought
Added: Sep 16, 2013 8:19 pm
The Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), Military Satellite Communications Systems (MILSATCOM) Directorate, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California is contemplating the feasibility of procuring on-orbit transponders to support Ku-band communications for U.S. AFRICOM. The intent is to identify sources to support a small military communications pathfinder while demonstrating risk mitigation steps toward future innovative, affordable procurement of long term Commercial Satellite Communications (COMSATCOM) capabilities. Risk mitigation objectives include:

(1) Demonstration of a DoD investment in transponders operated in commercial Ku-band,
(2) Demonstration of seamless commercially-operated satellite and transponders for DoD that meet national and international spectrum requirements,
(3) Leverage Defense Information Systems Agency's (DISA) Future COMSATCOM Services Acquisition (FCSA) and Regional Satellite Support Center (RSSC) interfaces to minimize COMSATCOM operations change to DoD customers,
(4) Demonstration of contracting methods that expedite competitive award,
(5) Demonstrate collaborative development of user-supplier Concept of Operations (CONOPS) to address COMSATCOM risk mitigation in terms of (a) spectrum/filing risk, (b) spectrum filing-terminal use risk such as the ability to support Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) operations that ensures no interference to other authorized operators, (c) alignment with DISA ground/mission functions and (d) alignment with enterprise COMSATCOM operations management and
(6) Improved life cycle affordability.

This specific demonstration seeks to provide sufficient ITU, FCC, and/or foreign regulations compliant Ku-band coverage and capacity over western Africa. SMC intends to procure multiple transponders for the remainder of satellite life on a geostationary-orbit commercial communication satellite while the vendor maintains the required spectrum use authorizations. User terminals will be capable of tracking satellites, so SMC is interested in low-cost transponders available on aging or residual Geostationary-orbit satellites in inclined orbits that meet the specifications in Tables 1 and 2. SMC also intends to include an Operations and Support task to provide multi-year, commercially-controlled, satellite operations and situational awareness services for the procured transponders.

SMC is issuing this RFI as part of its market research to determine industry's ability to satisfy this requirement, to perform above risk mitigation assessments and to identify if offerings can be obtained within a constrained budget. SMC is requesting that interested companies provide information detailing their capabilities and corporate qualifications pertaining to this scope of work.

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Other (Draft RFPs/RFIs, Responses to Questions, etc..)
Posted Date:
September 16, 2013
Description: COMSATCOM Pathfinder RFI
483 North Aviation Blvd
El Segundo, California 90245-2808
William Chang
Phone: 3106539228