Accessibility Information

Users of assistive technologies such as screen readers should use the following link to activate Accessibility Mode before continuing: Learn more and Activate accessibility mode.

Biological Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (BIO-ISR)

Solicitation Number: J9CXS14001
Agency: Other Defense Agencies
Office: Defense Threat Reduction Agency
Location: Defense Threat Reduction Agency (Headquarters)
  • Print
Sources Sought
Added: Nov 26, 2013 4:00 pm

This is a SOURCES SOUGHT NOTICE; there is no solicitation available at this time. No response will be provided to requests for solicitation. THIS SOURCES SOUGHT NOTICE IS PUBLISHED FOR MARKET RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.

DTRA is seeking information on the capability of responders to offer innovative approaches to enhance the capability to detect and localize threats posed by terrorist production of biological agents. Specifically, DTRA seeks sources which can assist the Agency in providing solutions to users for the standoff detection and identification of chemicals used as precursors or in bio-production processes and/or the resulting biological agents. Standoff detection is defined for the purposes of this Request for Information (RFI) as the ability to have a remote operator or sensor system capable of detecting the threat that is not in direct contact with the target agent or chemical compound. Examples would include strictly optical techniques, such as Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), as well as local reaction/remote detection approaches, such as target-induced chemiluminescence combined with remote optics. The Program is not interested in mobile point detection approaches, such as robotic collection systems, or strictly theoretical concepts. DTRA anticipates the primary challenge to the development of effective technologies will be the capability to demonstrate the necessary area coverage, standoff range, agent/analyte selectivity and sensitivity in the presence of interferents. Sources with experience in developing materials and technologies which have characteristics related to this problem are highly encouraged to respond.


The Department of Defense (DoD) seeks to enhance its capability to respond to threats against Armed Forces and U.S. interests posed by biological weapons. The DTRA Bio-ISR program is dedicated to developing tactics and technologies to counter the growing threat of non-state biological laboratories with the potential for initiating bio-terrorism events. Infectious diseases especially can have a range of negative effects on both military operations and global health. Military personnel and civilian support personnel exposed to infectious agents can suffer illness and or death, resulting in degraded mission capability. Such scenarios can impede combat effectiveness, U.S. and Allied forces' morale, and can also increase the logistical burden for diagnosis, treatment, and evacuation.

DTRA J9CXSD is issuing this RFI to survey sources that have the capability to assist Agency staff in defining, developing, demonstrating, and transitioning a capability to counter the bio terrorism threat by leveraging innovative concepts and technologies. This RFI is specifically seeking information on sources that can provide the capabilities detailed below to support DTRA. Information gathered in response to this RFI will be used to support the development of a plan for future DTRA investments in counter-WMD technologies.

The respondents to this RFI should address the following criteria. Each respondent is highly encouraged to both describe the technical background and their process or approach for each applicable criterion and, if able, cite past or current examples of meeting the criterion.

1.) Ability to detect chemicals related to the production/storage of biological agents or the actual biological agents, such as pathogens, using a detection technique amenable to areal applications, i.e. not a point collection/detection system.
2.) Ability to provide detection at standoff ranges in excess of 100m.
3.) Covert or low-visibility operation of the detection system.
4.) Ability to determine concentration of agent/analyte.
5.) Near real-time operation.
6.) High probability of detection of specific targets with low false alarm rate.
7.) Ability to operate in non-ideal environmental and weather conditions.
8.) Ability to perform testing and evaluation (T&E) of proposed solutions.

Initial solutions may not meet all of the desired criteria, but must be able to demonstrate a realistic development path that would provide an operationally viable system. Approaches using chemically reactive materials, nanoparticles or other innovative technologies must be instantiated by sufficient research to be able to support early proof-of-concept system demonstrations and be transitioned to users within 3 years.


Sources having the capability to meet these criteria are invited to respond to this RFI. Responses should be limited to 10 pages, single spaced, 12 point font, with 1 inch margins, describing the source's ability to meet the objectives described in this document. Sources ability to meet the criteria should be supported by a description of the process or approach for each criterion and, if able, past examples of meeting the criterion. Supporting documentation for each area can be "appended" to the 10 page primary response; however, volumes of materials are not encouraged or welcome. Sources interested in this RFI are also asked to use a quad chart as a summary template for initial responses back to the Government. The quad chart should be a single presentation slide divided into four quadrants. A summary of capabilities; a summary of competitive advantages; a figure of merit; and relevant contact information, cost estimates, and estimated period of performance should populate the quad chart. Any proprietary concepts or information should be clearly identified as such. For all RFI responses, an additional, nonproprietary cover page is also requested identifying your company name, technical point of contact, and contact information. Input on technical aspects of the responses may be solicited by DTRA from non-government consultants/experts who are bound by appropriate non-disclosure requirements.

 Only electronic submissions will be reviewed. Electronic submissions should use the following subject heading: Biological Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (BIO-ISR) and the RFI Number. These submissions must be properly marked, and sent to the following e-mail addresses; for NIPR or for SIPR. Responses to the RFI will not be returned and shall become the property of DTRA. All submissions must be received by 1500 EST on 31 Jan 2014.

This is a Sources Sought Synopsis/Request for Information. There is no solicitation available at this time. Requests for Solicitation and inquiries related to same will not receive a response. This RFI is published for market research purposes only, and in no way obligates the Government to issue a solicitation or otherwise make a contract award. Any and all information submitted in response to this synopsis is strictly voluntary. The Government will not pay for any information submitted in response to this RFI and shall become the property of DTRA.

The Government makes no future guarantees of a request for proposal release related to the effort. The above technical material responses from companies will be used to inform a strategic plan for future DTRA investments in counter WMD technologies.


DTRA Annex
8725 John J. Kingman Road, MSC 6201
Fort Belvoir, Virginia 22060-6201
Julie Loiland