Army asks industry for wide-area electro-optical sensors for manned and unmanned aircraft

FORT BELVOIR, Va., 1 Aug. 2016. U.S. Army researchers are surveying industry to find companies able to develop airborne wide-area motion imagery electro-optical surveillance sensors for manned and unmanned aircraft.

Aug 1st, 2016
Army asks industry for wide-area electro-optical sensors for manned and unmanned aircraft
Army asks industry for wide-area electro-optical sensors for manned and unmanned aircraft
FORT BELVOIR, Va., 1 Aug. 2016. U.S. Army researchers are surveying industry to find companies able to develop airborne wide-area motion imagery electro-optical surveillance sensors for manned and unmanned aircraft.

Officials of the Army Contracting Command at Fort Belvoir, Va., issued a sources-sought notice last week (W909MY-16-R-A017) for the Wide Area Motion Imagery (WAMI) / Wide Area Aerial Surveillance (WAAS) Payload for Manned and Unmanned Platforms project.

The industry survey is on behalf of the Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development, And Engineering Center (CERDEC) Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD) at Fort Belvoir, Va., to determine the state-of-the-art in WAMI and WAAS sensor technologies for airborne applications.

Army researchers are interested in moderate-resolution persistent-surveillance electro-optical sensors that operate during the day and at night over large areas to detect vehicles and people on foot. Researchers want to develop a sensor that consists of an imaging sensor, as well as a storage and processing unit.

Related: BAE Systems to develop wide-area motion-analysis sensors to detect and track large numbers of ground forces

The imaging sensor should have a stabilized turret containing the sensor optics, focal planes, and supporting electronics -- essentially everything required to operate the WAMI sensor except for data storage and processing.

The storage and processing unit will have a computer that runs processing and exploitation algorithms, which also will also host the imaging sensor's command, control, and status software.

The WAMI system's imaging sensor should provide gap-free ground coverage at a nominal altitude of 18,000 feet above the ground while moving at speeds of 100 to 200 knots. Every point in the coverage circle should be imaged once per frame. The WAMI system should include provisions for non-uniformity correction of the EO and the IR imagery. Calibration sources should be provided for the IR sensor.

The WAMI system's imaging sensor should include provisions for forward motion compensation and image rotation compensation. The storage and processing unit, meanwhile, should store, compress, and process the imaging sensor's imagery. Compression should be near lossless.

Related: Army chooses electro-optical sensors from FLIR for Persistent Ground Surveillance Systems

Researchers want to hear from companies able to build the imaging sensor, the storage and processing unit, or both. Imaging sensor responses are limited to 20 pages, and the storage and processing unit responses are limited to 15 pages.

Companies interested should email responses no later than 8 Sept. 2016 to the Army's Hanh Dinh at hanh.t.dinh.civ@mail.mil.

Email questions or concerns to Rosetta Wisdom-Russell at rosetta.wisdom-russell.civ@mail.mil, or Ryan Close at ryan.r.close.civ@mail.mil.

More information is online at https://www.fbo.gov/notices/cc42b64980773d531dab7b5ff67f1b7f.

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