Industry Responses are due no later than 12 JUN 2020, 5:00 PM CST

The full RFI is here –

This RFI is issued solely for information and planning purposes and to identify interested sources. It does not constitute an invitation for bid, a Request for Proposal (RFP), a solicitation, a request for quote or a promise to issue such documentation in the future. Funding is not available at this time. This request for information does not commit the Government to contract for any supply or service. Further, the U.S. Army is not at this time seeking proposals and will not accept unsolicited proposals. Responders are advised that the U.S. Government will not pay for any information or administrative costs incurred in response to this RFI; all costs associated with responding to this RFI will be solely at the interested party’s expense. Not responding to this RFI does not preclude participation in any future RFP, if any is issued. If a solicitation is released, it will be synopsized on the Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) website. It is the responsibility of the potential responders to monitor this site for additional information pertaining to this subject.

The information provided in the RFI is subject to change and is not binding on the Government. The U.S. Army has not made a commitment to procure any of the items discussed, and release of this RFI should not be construed as such a commitment or as authorization to incur cost for which reimbursement would be required or sought. All submissions become Government property and will not be returned.

Additionally, responses may include data that the offeror does not want disclosed to the public for any purpose or used by the Government except for informational purposes. If your company wishes to restrict use of the data, the response must be marked appropriately.

The Government will utilize non-Government personnel (support contractors) to review and evaluate white papers submitted in response to this RFI. If any respondent does not currently have a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) that would permit the Program Management Unmanned Aircraft Systems (PM UAS) support contractor(s) listed below to review the respondent’s RFI submission, the respondent is encouraged to sign NDAs with the listed support contractor(s) for this purpose. In any event, any markings on the submissions in response to this RFI should reflect that the information is releasable to the identified contractors solely for the purposes stated herein. The contractors listed below will be precluded from submitting a response to this RFI or any subsequent solicitation for this effort. The following individuals will review and evaluate the white papers:

Company / Individual / Telephone Number / Email Address

  • SAIC, Inc. / Larry Herbek / (256) 313-5379 /
  • SAIC, Inc. / Ashley Casiano / (256) 876-9145 /
  • SAIC, Inc. / David Cornutt / (256) 313-5643 /
  • SAIC, Inc. / Neil Masco / (256) 313-5304 /
  • SAIC, Inc. / John Innes / (256) 955-3313 /
  • Avion Solutions / Reggie Warner / (256) 313-3243 /

Historical Information:

Sense And Avoid (SAA) Systems provide situational awareness to Unmanned Aircraft Operators enabling enhanced safety for flights in the National Airspace System (NAS), serving as a means of mitigating the FAR 91.113 see and avoid requirement. Since September of 2016, the Army has used the Army-developed Ground Based Sense And Avoid (GBSAA) System to allow the Gray Eagle Unmanned Air Vehicle to transit the NAS from an airfield to restricted airspace or operate in Military Operating Areas (MOAs) to conduct training exercises. The Air National Guard also uses the system to transit the Reaper Unmanned Air Vehicle from an airfield up to Class A airspace above 18,000 feet since July 2019 at Syracuse, NY. ANG is currently planning to install the same system at 5 additional sites.

The existing GBSAA System consists of multiple external sensors, computing platforms operating on a Real-Time Operating System, fusion of radar tracks, classification of tracks, and assess algorithms, and operator displays. The current system is commonly located in the Gray Eagle hanger and operated by a dedicated GBSAA operator who stays in communications with the Aircraft Operator (AO), but has also been used with Air National Guard pilots directly monitoring the system displays inside the Ground Control Station . The GBSAA System is certified to an overall Design Assurance Level (DAL) B, and complies with the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Aviation and Missile Center (AvMC) Software, Simulation, Systems Engineering and Integration (S3I) Directorate’s “Program Manager’s Handbook for Aviation Software Airworthiness” (PMHASA), which incorporates the commercial standard DO-178C for military use. Safety critical software has been developed in compliance with RTCA DO-178C, level B. The system middleware is RTI Data Distribution Services (DDS).

Current Request for Information

This RFI is seeking concepts which will extend the current capability and operational options. The capability being sought may provide: 1) ability to use additional external sensors; 2) ability to place the information directly in front of the Aircraft Operator (AO)/pilot; 3) ability for long transits through the NAS via use of airborne sensors resident on the aircraft; 4) ability to be used in emergency/contingency operations; and 5) ability to support multiple types of aircraft without requiring configuration changes. Any proposed solutions shall comply with the PMHASA, (available for public release upon request) and be designed utilizing DO-178C guidance to a DAL B, as a minimum. This capability should be tailorable to require minimal effort/modifications to accommodate different control stations, different air platforms, and support different fielding locations. While the current system resides in the Gray Eagle hanger, this is not a requirement for proposed concepts. Solutions presented should be effective against all other air traffic, whether or not they are cooperative (transponder or ADS-B equipped) or non-cooperative, and under all weather conditions from Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) to Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC). Fully autonomous, pilot in-the-loop, and pilot on-the-loop solutions will be considered, as well as varying levels of autonomy.

Security Requirements: Responders must be eligible for a COMSEC account and demonstrate the ability to maintain National Information Security Program standards. Security requirements for any resultant contract will be a facility cleared to the Secret level with authorization to store COMSEC items and individuals with clearance eligibility to the Secret level. A sufficient number of individuals will require access to COMSEC. Potential solutions sought shall have full National Security Agency (NSA) approved Type-1 and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) level encryption capability.

Responses: Interested parties are requested to respond to this RFI with a white paper, no more than 10 pages in length, describing the responder’s capabilities and potential materiel/services solution that meets the criteria referenced in this document. The whitepaper should include what is available for a demonstration within a year, what will be available within five years, and what will be available long term (after 2028). The whitepaper should also include, at a minimum, sensors, processors, operator skill qualifications, operational ranges and unclassified specifications, power requirements, rough order of magnitude system cost and operating cost. Responses are due no later than 12JUN 2020, 5:00 PM CST.

Primary Point of Contact
Anthony L. Jones
Phone Number 2563136360

Secondary Point of Contact
Michael S. Allison
Phone Number 2563135847