Special Operations Command asks industry for EO/IR cameras for 14-pound hand-launched UAV

uav camerasMacDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla., 23 May 2014. U.S. Special Operations experts are asking industry to supply an electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) camera with laser pointer for a 14-pound hand-launch unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in surveillance and reconnaissance applications.

Officials of the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., issued a presolicitation this week (H92222-14-R-0023) to supply EO/IR UAV cameras with laser pointer for the RQ-20A Puma small UAV from AeroVironment in Monrovia, Calif.

These cameras, which SOCOM officials may buy from several different companies, must have stabilized gimbals for steady focus on targets as far away as 1,000 feet. The camera also should have adjustable black-and-white contrasting infrared imaging.

The laser pointer accuracy should be 65 microns, with target position tracking and movement estimation. the camera should be waterproof, operate from existing Puma UAV power and data linking, and have image resolution of 10 to 20 megapixels at 1.67-micron pixel size in 1080 by 720-pixel images.

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The camera should be able to download streaming digital video at 30 frames per second, and should be able to help intelligence experts recognize personnel on the ground by their uniforms and clothing from as far away as one mile.

The camera also should have shortwave infrared (SWIR) imaging capability able to help analysts recognize personnel through windows and shaded areas in daylight and at night. The device should weigh between 19 and 24 ounces.

The AeroVironment Puma UAV is 4.6 feet long, weighs 13.5 pounds, and has a wing span of 9.2 feet. It can fly for as long as 3.5 hours at speeds from 20 to 45 knots, at altitudes to 500 feet above the ground. It has a range of nearly 10 miles. It can navigate with GPS via the AeroVironment common ground control system.

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SOCOM officials say at least some proposers may demonstrate and test their cameras on the Puma before a down selection to one successful offeror. Officials plan a six-month base period and one three-year ordering period. an official request for proposals is expected by 16 June 2013.

SOCOM officials would like to hear from companies interested in bidding by 3 June 2014. To express interest, or to ask questions, email contracting officer Christine Johnson at johnsc1@socom.mil, or Jennifer Metty at jennifer.metty@socom.mil.

More information is online at https://www.fbo.gov/spg/ODA/USSOCOM/SOAL-KB/H92222-14-R-0023/listing.html.

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