Night-vision devices for military bomb-disposal suits is objective of JIEDDO industry solicitation

WASHINGTON-Leaders of the Joint Improvised Explosives Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) in the Pentagon are asking industry to integrate night-vision devices into explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) protective bomb suits to enable bomb-disposal experts who search for, clear, and neutralize roadside bombs to operate at night or in limited illumination.

JIEDDO officials released a broad agency announcement (JIEDDO-09-EODNVD-01) in April for the Rapid Development of Night Vision Devices for Integration into Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bomb Suit Helmets program, which seeks to integrate night-vision sensors onto EOD bomb suits for demonstration and deployment within one to two years.

Bomb-disposal experts now have no night-vision capability for the EOD 8 and EOD 9 bomb suit, helmet, and mission because the face shield on the EOD 8 and EOD 9 helmet does not allow the PVS-7 and PVS-14 night-vision devices to work properly.

The only options currently available to EOD experts working at night are either to use a flashlight, which increases the risk of hostile fire, or open the face shield to use conventional night-vision devices and compromising protective equipment's effectiveness.

Proposals should address how to develop and test an EOD 8 and EOD 9 bomb suit helmet visor system that incorporates imaging technology and an integrated display with integrated user controls for nighttime missions.

The system must weigh less than two pounds and be mountable onto the EOD 8 and EOD 9 bomb suit helmet within 10 minutes with common tools, without compromising any of its protective qualities and without adversely affecting the helmet functions; have a minimum field of view of 32 degrees in the horizontal direction and 24 degrees in the vertical; offer adjustable focus from 18 inches to infinity; include a near-infrared illuminator; have battery power for three hours on one set of batteries; have break-away cable connectors; and be either binocular or monocular.

JIEDDO seeks proposals that quickly adapt existing night-vision technologies to meet size, weight, and power requirements for bomb suits.

The JIEDDO Reading Room has information on JIEDDO's capability gaps, emerging critical initiatives, new developments, as well as studies, documents, and other items of interests for defeating IEDs online at www.jieddo.dod.mil/rr.aspx.

Companies interested in participating should send proposals no later than 4 June 2010. Send proposals to the JIEDDO bids Web site at https://bids.acqcenter.com/JIEDDO.

For questions or concerns, phone the JIEDDO's Mark Keller at 703-601-5756, or Dick Chladek at 703-602-5476. More information is online at https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=5526b65dafb851cf83d1fac6055aae31&tab=core&_cview=0.

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