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Airborne Sense and Avoid (ABSAA)

Solicitation Number: FA8620-12-X-0001
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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Sources Sought
Added: Jul 03, 2012 2:12 pm

The Aeronautical Systems Center (ASC) ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) & SOF (Special Operations Force) Directorate (ASC/WI) is seeking market research for potential sources, industry qualifications and capability concepts in anticipation of releasing a draft Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Airborne Sense and Avoid (ABSAA) program; to develop a sensor agnostic, platform agnostic sensor fusion and avoidance maneuver product. This product will contain both software/hardware interfaces needed to be sensor and platform agnostic.
The purpose of ABSAA is to satisfy the regulatory ‘see and avoid' requirement to routinely integrate Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System (NAS) and maritime environment. The regulatory requirements are 14 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) Part 91.111 & 91.113. To satisfy these CFRs, sensors will connect to the sensor agnostic, platform agnostic sensor fusion and avoidance maneuver product, then to the flight controls and operator interface. The sensors development, operator interface, and integration/installation into the platform are not part of this notice. This notice strictly focuses on the development of the sensor agnostic, platform agnostic sensor fusion and avoidance maneuver product, which will be installed on the aircraft and must support airworthiness certification criteria following MIL-HDB-516.

While this product is expected to be sensor agnostic, the initial increment is expected to utilize Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast (ADS-B), radar, and Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) input while allowing easy integration of other sensor types in the future. While this product is expected to be platform agnostic, the initial increment is expected to satisfy Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) category groups 3-5 with the initial installation planned for the RQ-4 Global Hawk UAS, but remain scalable to accommodate all groups in the future.

ABSAA is intended to provide follow-on operational capabilities for sense and avoid as demonstrated earlier by the Multiple Intruder Avoidance Algorithm (MIAA) program, conducted by the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL).

ASC/WI is interested in industry abilities to transition technologies and capabilities from AFRL to a qualified industry provider, specifically to: Leverage MIAA development (Multi-Sensor Integrated Conflict Avoidance / Joint Optimal Collision Avoidance capability (MuSICA/JOCA)) and progress product from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 to TRL 9.
The government will assess industry/contractor's capabilities as an input to developing the draft RFP. In addition, the government is considering hosting an ABSAA Industry Day in late November/early December 2012. Announcements will be posted on FedBizOps, at


Statement of Capabilities (SOC) - Contractors responding to this Special Notice/Sources Sought Synopsis are encouraged to submit unclassified SOCs addressing their capabilities to address ASC/WI needs as detailed in the overview above. As part of the discussion, the following topics should also be addressed by industry providers:

• Aeronautical Systems Center (ASC) mission experience
• Experience working development programs that support multiple platforms and/or multiple military Services (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines)
• Experience exposing data net-centrically to the Global Information Grid
• Systems engineering, test, integration and sustainment experience
• North American Industry Code (NAIC) and Size Standard information
• Existence of related Small business mentor/protégé/ programs
• Experience transitioning new technology/capability from lab environment into an operational system
• Working collaboratively with Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC), laboratory, and/or commercial vendors
• Obtaining military airworthiness certification
• Performing safety development functions to include defining, developing, collecting, and analyzing the artifacts necessary to build and defend a safety case

All responses (which shall only include UNCLASSIFIED information) to this announcement may be submitted by email to Capt Chris Hearl at

All responses shall be Windows 7 compatible. Responses from small and small disadvantaged businesses are highly encouraged.

Each response shall include a cover letter, a Word (2007 compatible) file for the white paper, and a Powerpoint (2007 compatible) presentation with a general company overview. See below for additional detail.

(1) Cover Letter:
The cover letter should reference this Special Notice. The cover letter should also provide technical and contracting points of contact (including name, phone number, and email address), CAGE code, and include statement indicating if the firm is a Small Business, a Small Disadvantaged Business, an 8(a) Certified Business, a HUB Zone certified business, a Woman-Owned Small Business concern, a veteran-owned small business, or a service-disabled veteran-owned small business relative to the NAICS code and size standard listed above.
The cover letter must be signed and dated by an authorized official of the organization.
The Contractor must use a font size no smaller than 10-point font, Times New Roman. Smaller type may be used in figures and tables as long as it is clearly legible.

(2) Statement of Capabilities:
Contractor's statement of capabilities shall address the needs outlined in the overview and response instructions.
They shall not exceed 10 pages and use Times New Roman with font size no smaller than 10-point font.
NOTE: No set aside decision has been made; however, the Air Force is contemplating setting this acquisition aside for Small Businesses if there is sufficient demonstrated interest and capability. Note that a key factor in determining an acquisition to be a Small Business Set Aside is that two or more potential small business prime contractors must be capable of performing at least 50% of the effort, as defined in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) clause 52.219-14, Limitations on Subcontracting. The clause reads, in part, as follows: "Limitations on Subcontracting (Dec 1996) ... (b) By submission of an offer and execution of a contract, the Offeror/Contractor agrees that in performance of the contract in the case of a contract for - (1) Services (except construction). At least 50 percent of the cost of contract Performance incurred for personnel shall be expended for employees of the concern. (2) Supplies (other than procurement from a nonmanufacturer of such supplies). The concern shall perform work for at least 50 percent of the cost of manufacturing the supplies, not including the cost of materials ...." Provide specific details and rationale as to how compliance with FAR clause 52.219-14 would be achieved, including specific details regarding teaming arrangements, etc.

If subcontracts are to be used, provide anticipated percentage of effort to be subcontracted and whether small or large businesses will be used. Teaming and/or subcontracting arrangements should be clearly delineated and previous experience in teaming must be provided.
If this effort is not set-aside for small business, a small business utilization requirement will be considered. Request that large and small businesses provide a reasonable requirement for small business utilization as a percent of total contract value. Please provide supporting rationale for the recommended percentage.

(3) Company Overview:
Contractor's shall also submit Powerpoint presentations which provide a company overview that include organization, customers, products, business base, etc. Page count is at contractor's discretion. The PowerPoint Presentation may also include narrative in the notes section of each slide.

Contracting Office Address:
2640 Loop Road West
WPAFB, OH 45433
Chris Hearl, Capt, USAF
ABSAA Contract Management Officer
Phone: 937-255-2169

Primary Technical Point of Contact.:
Mathias Kohnen,
Lead ABSAA Engineer
Phone: 937-656-7855

Secondary Technical Point of Contact:
Paul Schaeffer
Program Manager
Phone: 937-255-9219

This notice will not result in the issuance of a contract to any of the responders.

This is for informational purposes only.
The Government wants to provide information on a potential contract action in the future and gain information on existing industry capabilities.

OMBUDSMAN: The ASC Ombudsman is Ms. Janet Miller. You can reach her at or at (937) 255-5472. An Ombudsman has been appointed to hear concerns from potential offerors. The purpose of the Ombudsman is to receive and communicate concerns with potential offerors when an offeror prefers not to use established channels to communicate his concern during the proposal development phase of this acquisition. The Ombudsman will communicate certain offeror issues, disagreements, and recommendations on this acquisition into the proper channels. The Ombudsman's role is not to diminish the authority of the program director or the contracting officer but to advocate an offeror's concern on a non-attribution basis. The Ombudsman will maintain strict confidentiality as the source of the concern when requested by the offeror.

2275 D Street
Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio 45433-7218
2640 Loop Road West

WPAFB, Ohio 45433
United States
Christopher M. Hearl,
Contract Management Officer
Phone: 9372552169
Mathias Kohnen,
Lead ABSAA Engineer
Phone: 937-656-7855