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D -- Replacement Communications Services

Notice Date
Notice Type
Contracting Office
Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Acquisition and Grants Office, SSMC4 - Room 7601/OFA61 1305 East West Highway, 7th Floor, Silver Spring, MD, 20910
ZIP Code
Solicitation Number
Response Due
Archive Date
Point of Contact
Edith Jones, Contract Specialist, Phone (301) 713-3478 x171, Fax (301) 713-4155,
E-Mail Address
The date for receipt of the responses to this Request for Information is extended until February 14, 2003. This is a Request for Information for a Replacement Communications for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) United States Mission Control Center (USMCC). Background: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) manages the Nation's operational geostationary, and polar-orbiting environmental satellites, and manages a large collection of atmospheric, geophysical and oceanographic data. Within NESDIS, the Office of Satellite Data Processing and Distribution (OSDPD) manages and directs the operation of the central ground facilities which ingest, process, and distribute environmental satellite data and derived products to domestic and foreign users. The Direct Services Division of the OSDPD manages and operates the Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking (SARSAT) program. The SARSAT program and system are part of the international Cospas-Sarsat System which is an international system designed to provide distress alert and location data to assist search and rescue (SAR) operations, using spacecraft and ground facilities to detect and locate the signals of distress beacons operating on 406 Megahertz (MHz) or 121.5 MHz. The position of the distress and other related information is forwarded by the responsible Cospas-Sarsat Mission Control Center (MCC) to the appropriate SAR authorities. Currently, the Cospas-Sarsat system consists of an MCC in Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Taipei, United Kingdom, and the United States. MCCs are being planned in Greece, Nigeria, Thailand, and Vietnam. Further information concerning Cospas-Sarsat can be found at http://www.cospas-sarsat.org/ and http://www.sarsat.noaa.gov/ . The United States Mission Control Center (USMCC) is located in Suitland, MD.. The USMCC exchanges 1) non-alert system information directly with each of the other MCCs and 2) alert information through the Cospas-Sarsat nodal network. X.25 via Packet Switched Data Networks (PSDNs) provided by WorldCom and SPRINT has been the primary means for the exchange of non-alert and alert information between the USMCC and other MCCs. As a matter of fact, X.25 via PSDNs has evolved to be the principal means of data communications among all the MCCs within Cospas-Sarsat. Direct links from the USMCC to the PSDNs of WorldCom and SPRINT as well as the international X.75 gateways provided by WorldCom and SPRINT. It should be noted that the data volume among MCCs is low and 56 kbps links are more than sufficient. Problem Statement As a member of the Cospas-Sarsat program involved in satellite-aided search and rescue, the USMCC uses an X.25 based network as its primary means for sending and receiving data internationally on emergency beacon activations. The USMCC currently communicates with MCCs in 23 countries via X.25 . Countries and locations appear below: ALMCC Algiers, Algeria; ITMCC Bari, Italy; ARMCC Ezeiza, Argentina; JAMCC Tokyo, Japan; ASMCC Cape Town, South Africa; KOMCC Daejeon, R. of Korea, AUMCC Canberra, Australia; NMCC Bodoe, Norway; BRMCC Brasilia, Brazil; PAMCC Lahore, Pakistan; CHMCC Santiago, Chile; PEMCC Callao, Peru; CMC Moscow, Russia; SAMCC Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; CMCC Trenton, Canada; SIMCC Singapore, Singapore; CNMCC Beijing, P. R. of China; SPMCC Maspalomas, Spain; FMCC Toulouse, France; TAMCC ITDC/Taipei MCC; HKMCC Hong Kong, China; UKMCC Kinloss, UK; IDMCC Jakarta, Indonesia. Under the FTS 2001 contract both WorldCom and SPRINT have announced the termination of their respective PSDNs between December 2002 and June 2003. It should be noted that AT&T terminated their PSDN in December 1999. Although the USMCC utilizes the PSDN of WorldCom under a contract that expires in October 2005, the future commercial availability of PSDNs and associated X.75 gateways in the United States appears bleak As noted in the Background, X.25 via PSDNs has evolved to become the primary data communications means within Cospas-Sarsat. It is not known at this time what the future holds for PSDNs in the other countries that have Cospas-Sarsat MCCs. Because of the number of countries involved and the management structure of Cospas-Sarsat, it is estimated that it would take Cospas-Sarsat 6-8 years to completely transition to another primary means of data communications . The Needed Information: The primary purpose of this RFI is the acquisition of information including estimated costs that shows an alternative X.75 gateway, either in the United States or another country, that can be accessed to allow the USMCC to continue X.25 data communications until at least 2010. The secondary purpose of this RFI is the acquisition of information concerning data communications methods other than X.25/PSDNs that could be considered future candidates for the primary data communications method within Cospas-Sarsat. Appendix A provides a set of high level requirements for an international communications network. APPENDIX A: Communications System Requirements Reliable The communications service shall be provided 24 hours-per-day on a continuous basis. The service must be relatively error-free and reliable and must have an error transmission rate of one in ten billion or less. The communications service shall have an operational availability of 99.5% or greater calculated for each calendar day. All preventive maintenance shall be transparent to the Government. Any interruption of service shall be treated as an outage. The communications service shall provided a timely method of delivery failure notification to the USMCC. Maximize single transmission size limitations The typical single message size transmitted between MCCs is 256 bytes. However, the communications service shall allow for individual message size up to at least 25,000 characters and ensure that message content shall not be modified. The communications service shall also handle text format using International Alphabet #5 (IA5) representation. Globally accessible The communications service shall be globally accessible allowing NOAA to easily add communication sites (e .g., Vietnam, Greece, and Nigeria will be added in the next year.). The service shall also allow NOAA to easily remove or modify communication sites. Responsive maintenance Due to the critical nature of the information to be disseminated, the contractor shall provide a single point of contact for trouble reporting and provide 24-hour trouble support with a response time not to exceed two (2) hours. The USMCC shall be notified at least 48 hours in advance of any unavoidable, scheduled outage. The communications service shall provide for automatic rerouting of messages within network to eliminate single points of failure within the cloud. The communications service shall provide circuit status confirmation and provide a timely method of receipt verification. Security The communications service shall provide the resources to ensure that inbound traffic is restricted to authorized call-ins designated by the USMCC and all inbound traffic is authenticated using parameters such as calling address, called address and call user data. Cost Effective The communications service must minimize both recurring and non-recurring costs. Other Considerations ? The communications service must be accessible in terms of technology and price for all Cospas-Sarsat members ? The communications service must provide for either centralized management by an entity other than the US or distributed management such that each member country works with the vendor to manage and maintain their part of the system Contact Information: ALL Responses to this RFI will be accepted ONLY by e-mail no later than 3:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, February 3, 2002, to the following e-mail address: Lou.Rubin@noaa.gov .
Place of Performance
Address: Federal Building No. 4 - Room 3320, Suitland, Maryland
Zip Code: 20746
Country: USA
SN00252672-W 20030206/030204213234 (fbodaily.com)
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