DHS asks industry to demonstrate persistent-surveillance technologies next year on U.S.-Mexico border

WASHINGTON, 28 Aug. 2012. Border security experts at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in Washington, are asking industry to apply mature persistent-surveillance technology for extensive testing next year under real-world conditions on the U.S.-Mexican border.

The DHS Science and Technology Director -- the department's primary research and development arm -- issued a broad agency announcement (BAA12-13) this month for the Wide Area Airborne Surveillance System (WAASS) program to deploy airborne persistent-surveillance technology for testing next year in Nogales, Ariz.

DHS officials want industry to deploy persistent-surveillance sensor systems via manned or unmanned aircraft in an operational environment. The goal of these tests is to demonstrate the ability simultaneously to collect, detect, and highlight select observables within a large land or maritime region, DHS officials say.

Technology demonstrated on the Arizona-Mexico border is to demonstrate capabilities for long-duration persistent surveillance over urban and rural areas with daylight cameras as well as infrared sensors for nighttime use.

Sensor systems will integrate with some sort of manned or unmanned aircraft, which should then display imagery at a DHS operations center for forensic analysis within eight to 24 hours from time of collection, DHS officials say.

Sensor technology must be mature and ready to use at the time of making a proposal. The winning contract must provide the company's own aircraft, pilot, sensor system, data storage, and other necessary technologies, and should have its own liability insurance.

The project will involve all-weather, day-night sensors; sensor concept of operations; sensor control; sensor networking; communications; data storage; image and signal processing; and relevant open-systems standards.

Officials of the DHS Borders and Maritime Security Division say they expect to award a contract or contracts worth about $1.25 million for the WAASS project.

Companies interested should send proposals no later than 13 Sept. 2012 to the DHS by e-mail at BAA12-13@dhs.gov. For questions or concerns contact DHS by e-mail at BAA12-13@dhs.gov. The WAASS program manager is John Appleby, and the contracting officer is Carolyn Smith.

More information is online at https://www.fbo.gov/spg/DHS/OCPO/DHS-OCPO/BAA12-13/listing.html).

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