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Wearable computer & Tactical Vest with Cable

Solicitation Number: FA8629-12-R-2417
Agency: Department of the Air Force
Office: Air Force Material Command
Location: AFLCMC/PK - WPAFB (includes PZ, WL, WW, WI, WN, WK, LP, WF, WK)
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Added: Jan 09, 2012 3:27 pm

1. The Aeronautical Systems Center (ASC) Battlefield Airmen Branch (WISN), Wright-Patterson AFB OH, is submitting a Request for Information (RFI). The Air Force requests information on production-ready or near production-ready products that address the need for small wearable computer system that includes a tactical vest with a cable management solution. This Request for Information is issued for informational purposes only and does not constitute a solicitation or commit the government to award a contract now or in the future. Submitting information for this RFI is voluntary, and participants will not be compensated.

2. The system should be within the following notional specifications. If outside the requested parameters, please provide narrative on how the proposed system adapts to the situation.

a. Overall Characteristics for Computer system and Cable Management

i. The system shall be ruggedized (Refer to MIL STD 810G and IP 54)

ii. The computer should have a sunlight readable touch screen measuring at least 5.6” with a minimum resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels

iii. The system should have a tactile keyboard even if it is touch screen enabled

iv. The system must use a SSD type removable hard drive with a minimum capacity of 64 GB and a minimum CPU speed of 1.6 GHz

v. The computing device should be capable of running Windows 7 or later based operating systems

vi. The system should have an integrated GPS receiver and be compatible with Digital Magnetic Compass (DMC)

vii. The system should be compatible with Night Vision Goggles (NVG)

viii. The computing device should not require special accessories, support items and tools not normally carried into field conditions

ix. The system must be capable of interfacing with COTS compliant hardware and software interfaces

x. The computing device shall be capable of operating/hosting a local area personal network

xi. The computing device should keep electronic emissions below the standard described in MIL-STD 461F RE102 for Army Ground Systems to minimize potential interference to other hand-carried items, such as radios, targeting devices (laser range finders and designators, etc)

xii. The system must be compatible with the use of AN/PRC 117G and AN/PRC 152 radios through a tactical headset.

xiii. The system must prevent any snag hazards for operators by integrating the placement of equipment and routing of power and data cables into the vest structure. (see attachment 1)

xiv. The system will incorporate load carriage technology to transfer weight load from the shoulders of the operator to the lower body

xv. The system must be capable of taking one or two large power sources (5590, fuel cell, zinc air battery etc…) and distributing power to the computer, radios, and other ancillary devices such as a (GPS device, laser range finder, or head mounted display). The kit currently includes a power manager capable of this, and it is viewed as an acceptable solution to use it in your design. It is made by SFC and has 6 power outlets able to receive and distribute power between 10 and 30 volts.(see attachment 1).

xvi. The system will also provide for data connectivity between the computer and the radios through USB cables.

xvii. The system must be capable of carrying ballistic plates in the front, rear, and both sides.

b. Reliability

i. The system must not be susceptible to nearby electromagnetic interference nor cause interference to devices like the head mounted display or radio head set. Vendors should note that the device will be used in close proximity of military radios. These radios are capable of transmitting frequencies from 30 MHz to 2 GHz at up to 20 Watts of effective isotropically radiated power.

3. Please address the following questions related to the Computer System

a. I/O

i. What form of input devices does your system support? (Ex. Mouse, keyboard, joystick, touchpad etc.)

i. What is the size and resolution of your display? Is it touch screen enabled?

ii. What your unit’s display brightness range (in nits)? Is your display transflective?

iii. Does your platform support secondary video displays? How is it connected? (Ex. Connector type)

iv. What form of audio output does your system have? (Ex. Jack size, output levels etc.)

v. How many USB ports does the computer have? Where and what type? What is its power capacity? Can a single USB port power a portable external hard drive?

vi. Does the system have a built-in Ethernet port? What is the speed? Where is the port located?

b. Power

i. Does your system support hot-swappable batteries? Do you need to turn the system off to switch power sources?

ii. What is the primary power source for your system currently? What is the system’s average run time on this source?

iii. What is the acceptable DC/AC input range for your computer?

c. Characteristics

i. Describe the computer’s physical form (shape, weight, dimensions).

ii. What are the connectors used to link equipment and are they water resistant?

iii. What is the type and speed of your processor?

iv. What is the base and max RAM? Type? Is the RAM user upgradeable or does it have to be serviced at the factory?

v. What are the low and high operating and storage temperatures your system can handle?

vi. Can the computer in your system be upgraded or replaced without replacing the entire system? Would all upgrades and replacements need to be done through your company?

vii. At what range does the computing device’s signature and external indicators inhibit operator or system from detection by unaided human, sight, sound, smell or signal?

d. Please address the following questions related to Vest and Cables

i. By what means does your vest transfer weight off the operator’s shoulders i.e. (what system of load carriage are you using)?

ii. What method of cable routing does your system use to keep cables hidden but still provide access for equipment to plug in? How many outlets are there and where are they located?

iii. How does your design enable modularity (amount of equipment to be scaled up or down depending on mission needs)?

iv. What methods are used to prevent the user from becoming tangled in all the cables and help organize his gear (this includes cables to the helmet for a tactical headset and helmet mounted display)?

v. How many and what types of devices can your system distribute power between? What connectors and cables are used to accomplish this? Does the computer monitor power distribution and alert user as to how much power is remaining and if so how is the data presented?

vi. What are the flotation characteristics of your total system?

vii. What is the weight of your computer? What is the total weight of the entire system?

viii. Is your system currently fielded? If so, by whom?

ix. How does your system account for thermal management and drainage?

x. At what range does the system’s signature and external indicators inhibit operator or system from detection by unaided human, sight, sound, smell or signal?

4. This notice is part of Government Market Research, a continuous process for obtaining the latest information on the “art of the possible” from industry with respect to their current and near-term abilities. The information collected may be used by the Government to explore future strategies and implementation for the BAO kit. Information received as a result of this request will be considered as sensitive and will be protected as such. Any company proprietary information contained in the response should be clearly marked as such, by paragraph, such that ‘publicly-releasable’ and ‘proprietary’ information are clearly distinguished. Any material that is not marked proprietary will be considered publicly-releasable. Any proprietary information received in response to this request will be properly protected from any unauthorized disclosure. The Government will not use proprietary information submitted from any one firm to establish the capability and requirements for any future systems acquisition, so as to not inadvertently restrict competition.

5. The submitted documentation becomes the property of the U.S. Government and will not be returned. No solicitation documents exist at this time. This is NOT an Invitation for Bid (IFB) or Request for Proposal (RFP). The Government does not intend to award a contract on the basis of this announcement. This is a request for information/market research announcement for planning purposes. The Government will not reimburse costs associated with the documentation submitted under this request except as an allowable cost under other contracts as provided in subpart 31.205-18, Independent Research and Development and Bid and Proposal Costs, of the Federal Acquisition Regulation. Although the word “proposed” may be used in this inquiry, your response will be treated as information only and will not be used as a proposal. Responders are solely responsible for all expenses associated with responding to this inquiry. This announcement is not to be construed as a formal solicitation. It does not commit the government to reply to information received, or to later publish a solicitation, or to award a contract based on this information.

6. Submissions should include:

a. Attributes of the system to include assumptions that the RFI submitter deems appropriate to determine best military use of the system.

b. A brief, but detailed description of the technical specifications of the system. Any additional information or recommendations helpful to understanding the capabilities of the submitted concept.

7. When determining your response to this RFI, please be aware of the government’s constraints:

a. It is the government's intention to acquire wearable computer system complete with sufficient design (interface), technical data, and other intellectual property rights sufficient to transition sustainment to the government at an appropriate point in the future (if desired).. Respondents are requested to describe what package(s) of data rights could be sufficient to accomplish this purpose.

b. The Air Force workforce is supplemented by contracted support personnel and any proprietary data submitted may be handled by contract support services personnel who have signed the same Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) as organic AF personnel.

8. Broad industry participation in this BAO Kit RFI is encouraged. Companies/teams planning to provide a capability response should identify, to the Air Force point of contact (POC) named below, the name of their company, address, telephone number, and name and position of the individual to contact for future dialogue. Responses should include: (1) a cover page containing identification of the company CAGE code, street address, and the names and telephone numbers of the technical point of contact (POC) and the overall company POC above (in the case of a partnership, please provide appropriate CAGE codes and POC information for the lead company), (2) a thorough system description, including technical and descriptive text to provide additional detail. Responses are limited to 15 pages (includes appendices, tables, graphs and any other supporting material).

9. Request that the narrative summaries discuss specific wearable computer information delineated above. Submissions are requested within 20 days of this announcement and may be made by e-mail or mailing your response on a compact disk to:

Ms. Nancy Leggett, (937) 255-1696,

Contracting Officer,,

ASC/WISK (Bldg 46, 1895 5th St)

Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433-7233

With a notice of delivery to:

Ms. Jumana Husain, (937) 255-2490,

Small Wearable Computers- Program Manager,,

ASC/WISN (Bldg 46, 1895 5th St)

Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433-7233.

1st LT Joe Grunwaldt , (937)255-3467,

Power Generation and Management- Program Manager,,

ASC/WISN (Bldg 46, 1895 5th St)

Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433-7233

Personnel hand-carrying responses should contact the Contracting Officer to arrange a mutually acceptable arrival time. Please note that email submissions should be less than 10 MB in size to ensure receipt. If necessary, larger submissions should be divided into multiple emails, though this approach is not encouraged.

10. U.S. and non-U.S. firms are permitted to respond to this wearable computer RFI. Responses to questions from interested parties will be promptly answered and posted on PIXS/FBO, unless some release of proprietary information is involved or the answer addresses a question peculiar to a Company or that Company’s response. Post submittal one-on-one information sessions with respondents are not contemplated. They may be offered to responders to clarify understanding of their submittal, the capability ramifications, or to discuss their business approach. Information feedback sessions may be offered to respondents after the RFI assessments are completed.

9. This notice may be updated as additional information becomes available. Please check the FBO site for updates to this announcement under wearable computer RFI and register to receive e-mail notices of any updates to the FBO announcement. For more information on wearable computer RFI, please contact the AF POCs below.

Contractual: Ms. Nancy Leggett, Contracting Officer, (937) 255-1696

Programmatic: Ms. Jumana Husain, Small Wearable Computers- Program Manager

(937) 255-2490,

1st LT Joe Grunwaldt, Power Generation and Management- Program Manager,


2275 D Street
Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio 45433-7218
Nancy G. Leggett,
Contracting Officer
Phone: (937) 255-1696
Fax: (937) 255-8351
George Walter,
Contract negotiator
Phone: 937-255-9351
Fax: 937-255-8351