This is an extremely broad request. Group II and III extends from 21 to 1320 pounds (about 10 to 600 kilos). There is one particular revealing question (page 5, para. 13c) that may show more specifically what they are looking for, but it may not be limited to this.
“How many personnel will be required to support your system onboard a host cutter for a 90-day maritime deployment operating at 12 continuous flight hours per day?”
The list of “sensor capabilities available for Government use” is long and may include some surprises (page 2 and 3).
a. EO/IR target detection?
b. Surface search radar?
c. Sub-surface target detection?
d. High resolution bioluminescence detection?
e. Maritime Wide-Area Search (MWAS) radar?
f. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)?
g. Light and or Visual Detection and Ranging?
h. Chemical, Biological, and Radiological (CBR) sensors or other sensors to detect hazardous materials and/or toxic industrial chemicals?
i. Radio Frequency and Radio direction finding (covering at least 406 MHz EPIRB and marine band VHF-FM frequencies)?
i. An ability to relay audio communications to the host cutter?
j. Does your system utilize lasers?
i. If so, what is the classification of the laser (Class 1, 2, 3A/R, 3B, or 4)?
ii. Does the laser meet the performance requirements of Title 21 CFR §1040.10, Performance Standards for Light Emitting Products also known as the Federal Laser Product Performance Standard (FLPPS)?
iii. What is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accession number for the laser system?
iv. If your laser cannot fully comply with the FLPPS, have you sought a variance through the FDA?
k. A sensor to detect lasers pointed at the UAS?
l. A multi-spectral or hyper-spectral sensor?
m. An automated object alerting and detection capability?
n. Any other sensor that would be relevant and beneficial to the USCG’s ability to conduct its statutory missions?
o. What are the standards for the sensors listed above? Please list what they are based on (Example: Joint Interface Control Document (JICD), Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and Intelligence Community Directive (ICD)).
p. What are the data formats of each sensor listed above?
Coast Guard seeks information on UAS capabilities
The Coast Guard continues to respond to new challenges and threats in the maritime domain, so it is critical to have a comprehensive understanding of capabilities that are potentially available through the UAS commercial marketplace. The goal of this market research is to learn about the most recent advancements pertaining to system and service commerciality, performance and sensor capabilities.
The RFI is open to all vendors. Vendors who did not respond to an August 2022 RFI seeking information on the ability of small businesses to meet specific Coast Guard UAS requirements may provide that information as part of their response to this RFI.
The RFI is available here. One question needs to be answered by 1 p.m. EST Feb. 3; the rest of the responses are due by 1 p.m. Feb. 21.
For more information: Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program page