The key documents for industry completion are:
- Attachment A: HP sUAS Vendor Company Data
- Attachment B: HP sUAS Characteristics
- Attachment C: HP sUAS Summary Response Form
The United States Border Patrol (USBP), as part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), is conducting market research on the current availability and technological capabilities of Hybrid Platform (HP) Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS).
The United States Border Patrol (USBP) is a sub-component of the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) whose mission is to prevent the illegal flow of people and contraband into the U. S. via air, land, and sea. The USBP’s primary mission is to conduct law enforcement activities along the U. S. border and between the official U. S. ports of entry. As the nation’s single, unified border agency, USBP’s mission is vitally important for the protection of the American people and the national economy. USBP represents the first line of defense of America’s borders. One of USBP’s strategic objectives is to establish and maintain effective control of air, land, and maritime borders with the appropriate mix of infrastructure, technology, and personnel. An integral component to this situational awareness is the planned use HP sUAS to provide Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA) capability to the USBP along the southern and northern border.
BACKGROUND: CBP established a sUAS Program of Record in FY18 to procure, deploy and sustain a mix of Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL), Fixed-Wing, and Hybrid platforms. CBP’s approach to sUAS has provided it the ability to quickly procure and deploy mature, cost effective systems to meet the urgent need for technology on the US. Border. Systems including the Indago 3, Skyraider, and Puma 3 have been procured to fulfill part of the CBP’s requirement. Hybrid lift solutions that may meet CBP requirements combine the advantages of VTOL and Fixed wing solutions into a single airframe. These solutions will provide Border Patrol Agents with the ability to extend their missions beyond the capability of existing VTOL solutions while avoiding the potential airframe damage caused by landing Fixed Wing solutions. The CBP sUAS program will continue to survey industry to obtain the latest information on the rapidly changing sUAS marketplace.
PURPOSE: This market research seeks to obtain information from industry about the availability of HP sUAS with the characteristics described in Attachment B – HP sUAS Characteristics. Vendors who respond to this early market research are also requested to provide the information sought in Attachment A – Vendor Company Data.
CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS: HP sUAS will be responsible for monitoring an Area of Coverage (AoC) that is comprised of the instantaneous field of view (FoV) and the total field of regard (FoR). The HP sUAS will elevate the imaging devices to maximize the AoC and overcome natural (e.g. terrain features, vegetation, and tree lines) obstacles within and along USBP’s varied operating areas. The number of HP sUAS deployed within each USBP sector will vary based on geography, availability of equipment and trained operators, and operational need. When deployed, the system will provide the HP sUAS operator with video data that enables the detection, identification, classification, and tracking of an IoI in rugged, remote, rural, urban, riverine, and coastal environments. The HP sUAS will also support vectoring of USBP Agents to the immediate vicinity of the IoI for interdiction and event resolution, and if the HP sUAS has illumination capabilities (laser illuminator) will provide covert IoI illumination to assist agents in prepositioning themselves for intercepting the IoI.
OPERATIONAL DEPLOYMENT: The HP sUAS can be transported in several form factors, from a single backpack to several large hard cases that need to be transported by vehicle to a location closer to the final deployment location. The HP sUAS must be ruggedized so it can be transported in a 4×4 vehicle over terrain in the USBP operational environment, sometimes for long distances. The HP sUAS, packaged for transport, must not obstruct or disrupt the driver while in transport. Once the system is deployed, the agent will operate the system for the duration of their 10 hour shift. The operator interface (ground control system) shall allow the agent to control the HP sUAS easily for extended periods of time. The agent shall be able to adjust the screen brightness as necessary. The operator interface controls shall be intuitive and placed so that they are easy to reach. The agent will need to have the ability to rapidly move the system from one deployment location to another. The system shall allow the agent to easily and quickly prepare the HP sUAS for deployment to a different site.
The HP sUAS will be deployed in myriad environmental and climatic conditions including day/night, dense, thick foliage, extreme temperature ranges (-20° F to 120° F), high salt air conditions, dirt and fine dust conditions, humidity (> 90%), rain, fog, snow, icing, high winds (up to 30 knots), sand storms, and electrical storms.
As one part of a multi-layered approach to border surveillance, the desire is for the HP sUAS to provide effective surveillance capability. USBP Agents require scalable, adaptable, and flexible sensor configurations to optimize surveillance within the many operating areas/ranges and environmental/climatic conditions encountered in 19 diverse USBP Sectors (Rio Grande Valley, Laredo, Del Rio, Big Bend, El Paso, El Centro, San Diego, Tucson, Yuma, Swanton, Spokane, Detroit, Buffalo, Blaine, Grand Forks, Havre, Miami, Houlton, New Orleans, and Ramey). To accommodate these operational conditions and constraints, the anticipated HP sUAS operational and support concept calls for a modular and covert, mobile detection, identification, classification, and tracking (DICT) system for day and night operations. The system is expected to be composed of a single integration module, common to all sensor sets. This integration module will enable configuration of self-contained fully functional sensor subsystems that will be suitable to specific deployment locations, environmental conditions, and ranges.
The HP sUAS must be capable of vertical takeoffs, transitioning to horizontal flight to perform mission critical functions, and then vertical controlled landings in excess of 8 hours per day in support of USBP operations, which are on-going 24 hours a day/365 days per year. This requires a highly reliable and low maintenance system. During system power up and when the operator selects, the HP sUAS must have the capability to run an automatic system pass/fail built in test (BIT) diagnostic. In addition, during operation the system must be able to report mission critical failures to the operator and, if possible, be able to isolate failures to a Line Repairable/Replaceable Unit (LRU) to minimize downtime.
Mission critical failures include any failure condition that prevents the system from performing/enabling detection, identification, classification, and tracking, functions. Upon notification of a mission critical failure, the HP sUAS operator may assess the available health and status information and, if possible, apply corrective action such as a visual inspection or reboot. For some repairs, a field repair kit (FRK), consisting of small and lightweight items, will be used to perform field repair of the HP sUAS by the operator in a harsh environment.
RESPONSE: Your firm is requested to submit its response electronically no later than September 13, 2019 to SUASRFI@cbp.dhs.gov. Your firm is asked to provide its response using the attached Vendor Response form. Responses should be prepared using Microsoft Office Word, Excel or Power Point in Times New Roman, 12 point.