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Short Range Reconnaissance System Platform

Friday, November 9, 2018

Solicitation Number: W15QKN-19-X-04GM

Agency: Department of the Army
Office: Army Contracting Command
Location: ACC - NJ (W15QKN)

On November 5, the U.S. Army posted a call for submissions for a Short Range Reconnaissance System Platform (Solicitation Number: W15QKN-19-X-04GM). Submissions will be accepted through November 18.  ***This posting is directly related to the special notice posting (W15QKN18X03RL) of the DRAFT Performance Specification for the SRR Platform on September 10, 2018.

**************************************the following cut & paste is from the DIU website******************************************


Short Range Reconnaissance:

Short Range Reconnaissance Area of Interest

Short Range Reconnaissance System Overview: DoD seeks commercial solutions for fielding of the U.S. Army’s Short Range Reconnaissance (SRR) platform. The SRR is intended to be an inexpensive, rucksack portable, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) small unmanned aircraft that provides the platoon with a rapidly deployed intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability to provide situational awareness beyond the next terrain feature.


Acquisition Strategy: SRR acquisition will follow the DIU Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO) process with the goal of awarding prototype Other Transaction Agreements (OTA) to one or more companies who meet the intent of this Area of Interest (AOI). The prototype OTAs provide the contractual foundation to develop and equip units in low quantities for operational evaluation. Performance throughout the prototype OTA to include the operational evaluation will serve to inform which system(s) are awarded a follow-on production OTA for wider fielding.


System Requirements: The Performance Specification (P-Spec) listed below serves as the evaluation criteria for all phases of the prototype OTA. This criteria will continue to be refined based on technical developments and warfighter feedback. All changes and updates will be made available to industry accordingly.


Selection and Award: Proposed solutions will be evaluated using the CSO process. Technical priorities to consider when conducting design trade-off analysis include rucksack packability, ease of employment, reliability and endurance to consistently execute the mission, as well as unit cost.

  • Phase I Solution Briefing- This phase will be executed in accordance with the DIU CSO process and should also specify the following information in the solution briefing: company background, current drone sales and addressable markets, plan for addressing gaps between current platform and the PSPEC, and a rough order of magnitude (RoM) cost for integration and final target unit price.


  • Phase II Pitch- This phase will be executed in accordance with the DIU CSO process with the following modifications. The pitch phase will consist of an in-person pitch as well as a flight demonstration. The in-person pitch will be conducted concurrently with the flight demonstration and will be executed in Boston, MA from 7-18 January. The pitch will provide additional details about the proposed solution including refined cost and schedule with the understanding that this information does not constitute a binding proposal. The flight demonstration will focus on baseline platform capability and affords the company with the opportunity to fly the platform and demonstrate overall performance. The system will not be required to meet all P-Spec requirements at this time. For example, it is understood that a thermal camera may not be integrated into the platform at the time of this initial flight demonstration. The intent is to provide the evaluation team with an understanding of the current maturity of the proposed solution.

NOTICE: The Government will not provide funding for company participation in the flight demonstration. This will be performed at the company’s expense.


  • Phase III Proposal- This phase will be executed in accordance with the DIU CSO process.

Schedule: Immediately upon award, awardees will begin integration required to transition the baseline commercial system to meet the PSPEC. A series of User Assessments will occur throughout the program to provide feedback on design as well serve as evaluation criteria. User assessment 1 will occur early in the schedule and utilize Alpha prototypes to allow the warfighter to operate the systems and provide initial feedback as a knowledge point for both the companies and the Government. The Alpha prototype in User Assessment 1 will not be required to meet the P-Spec requirements.


Development time will then be provided to allow for integration of critical components (e.g. universal ground controller, radio, thermal camera, etc). This development cycle will be overlapped with a series of user assessments to demonstrate maturity of system integration and provide user feedback critical to the design process. The user assessments will continue to increase in complexity of integration and flight testing.


User assessments will inform which system(s) will transition into production. Production will be executed under a follow-on contract.


If appropriate, the Government may request vendors to create integrated teams to combine solutions. Submissions accepted from Nov 5th until Nov 18th.


Companies are advised that any Prototype Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) awarded in response to this Area of Interest may result in the award of a follow-on production contract or transaction without the use of competitive procedures. The follow-on production contract or transaction will be available for use by one or more organizations in the Department of Defense and, as a result, the magnitude of the follow-on production contract or agreement could be significantly larger than that of the prototype OTA. As such, any Prototype Other Transaction Agreement will include the following statement relative to the potential for follow-on production: “In accordance with 10 U.S.C. 2371b(f), and upon a determination that the prototype project for this transaction has been successfully completed, this competitively awarded prototype OTA may result in the award of a follow-on production contract or transaction without the use of further competitive procedures.”

The unmanned aircraft (UA) shall be capable of vertical take-offs and landings (VTOL)

The UA flight characteristics desired (target capabilities):

30 Minute Flight Endurance

3 km operational range

8,000 ft. Service ceiling

Operate in 15 knot winds or greater

Manual and semi-autonomous/waypoint flight modes

Programmable mission and loss of link procedures

UA assembly and disassembly should take 2 minutes or less by a single person (target)

The UA shall be delivered with an Operators manual and field repair kit with minimal use of special tools

The UA airframe including battery and payload shall be able to fit within case(s) that occupy a maximum volume of 576in3 with total takeoff weight not exceeding 3lbs. (target)

The UA shall use an open communications (mavlink) and video protocol.

The UA should use an open autopilot software stack.(target)

The UA computer hardware must be scalable and provide flexibility to integrate with a variety of payload configurations, continually be developed, and receive upgrades. (target)

The UA payload shall be a modular design capable of Electro Optical (EO) and/or Infrared (IR) for both Full Motion Video (FMV) and Still image capture. (target)

The UA should have the capability to enable detection of people and vehicles at standoff ranges of 300m (EO) and 200m (IR). (target).

The UA shall provide still images with a minimum of 16MP (target) resolution and formatted in JPEG.

The UA shall provide High Definition (target) FMV products formatted as a H.264 elementary stream video within a MPEG2 Transport Stream.

The UA control and video latency shall be minimized for sufficient safe operation of the UA in confined areas.

The UA shall be integrated with a Government furnished common controller hardware and software (QGroundControl)

The UA should be reasonably inaudible at an autonomous steady-state cruise at 200ft AGL with a background noise of a running vehicle. (target)

The UA should be durable and reliable enough to complete 25 operationally relevant missions with minimal operator level maintenance. (target)

The UA should be able to operate within IP-53 standards and in temperatures ranging from -32F to 110F (target)

The UA should reduce operator workload through autonomy (eg optical flow, obstacle avoidance, image stabilization) and self-diagnostic features. (target)

The UA should be made as secure as commercially feasible from interference or cyber-attacks from third parties.  (target)

Price point for airframe is under $2K, under $2K for thermal sensor component, and under $2k for the radio.  (target.)

The over the air communications between the UA and the GCS should be encrypted at AES-256 (target)


The UA communications shall operate within all of the following frequency bands; 1625-1725MHz, 1780-1850MHz, and 2025-2110MHz. (target)  The occupied bandwidth shall be 2.5MHz or 5MHz, selectable by the user. (target)  The Government will accept an interim communications system that operates within the ISM bands at larger, variable channel widths. The UA communications subsystem shall support all other requirements specified in this document (range, resolution, etc).

Note 1: Requirements noted by “(target)” state minimums and maximums that are not absolute thresholds. They are approximate target performances that, within reason, should be included in capability and cost tradeoffs. Requirements not noted by (target) are firm requirements.


Note 2: SRR Mk1 designates the initial UAS that will be fielded for the SRR program. Future variants are possible but currently unplanned.


Note 3: A secondary hand controller that runs a mobile application of qgroundcontrol will be evaluated as an additional feature, but does not to replace the requirement for qgroundcontrol integrated on the universal ground controller.


Note 4: An addendum to MAVLink protocol is acceptable as long as the platform can still accept MAVLink commands and the addendum is open.

Submissions accepted from 11/05/2018 10:00 to 11/18/2018 23:59 PT


Companies are hereby advised of the following:


1.    Solicitation for solution briefs is not a guarantee that award and obligation of funds will be made.

2.    The costs incurred by companies in the preparation and submission of their solution briefs in response to solicitations will not be paid by the DoD and are not allowable as a direct charge to any DoD contract or agreement.

3.    By submission of its solution brief, the company agrees that the DoD

a.    may reproduce the brief, or any portions thereof, to the extent necessary to evaluate the offer.

b.    may use information contained in the brief only for evaluation purposes and shall not disclose, directly or indirectly, such information to any person including potential evaluators, unless that person has been authorized to receive such information.