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D -- Collection of Weather data from air carriers

Notice Date
Notice Type
Solicitation Notice
488119 — Other Airport Operations
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
The Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Weather Service (NWS) in Silver Spring, MD, intends to enter into a sole source agreement with Arinc Managed Services, LLC in Annapolis, MD. Arinc Managed Services provides the Meteorological Collection and Dissemination System (MCDS) for air to ground weather conditions and activity to NOAA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The period of performance is from August 15, 2005 through March 16, 2006. This synopsis is being issued to notify interested parties that Southwest Airlines is joining the other six reporting carriers who support the MCDS. The airlines that support the MCDS are chosen based on their routes and frequency of flights. Adding Southwest Airlines to the MCDS will help fill in gaps that the FAA and NOAA currently have for the dissemination of this information. Arinc is the single largest supplier of air-to-ground communications for the nation?s air carriers. Arinc provides the communications infrastructure that allows Southwest and other carriers to provide NOAA and the FAA with weather observations data. No other communication infrastructure can communicate between Southwest planes and Arinc. Arinc?s unique air?to-ground relationship with the nation?s air carriers will assist the Government in developing strategies to optimize the MCDS data collection in a way that minimizes cost and maximizes positive impact to aviation and public safety from improved weather forecasts. This is not a request for competitive proposals. However, interested companies may submit an affirmative response to the requirement within 15 days from the posting date of this notice to mark.a.miller@noaa.gov or via fax to 301-608-0876. A determination by the Government not to open the requirement to competition based upon responses to this notice is solely within the discretion of the Government. A fixed-price purchase order is contemplated for this effort in accordance with FAR Subpart 12 acquisition of commercial items. See note 22 Aircraft Observation Data Collection and Optimization Statement of Work The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) desires to have Southwest Airlines (SWA) participate in the Meteorological Data Collection and Reporting System (MDCRS) and has agreed to pay a portion of the cost incurred by SWA for the communications of MDCRS data. MDCRS data are wind and temperature reports gathered by commercial aircraft along their respective flight tracks and centrally collected using a commercial air-to-ground communications network. MDCRS data from United States commercial air carriers have been used for over 10 years to help observe the atmosphere in support of improvements to operational NWS forecasts. 1. Functional Description ARINC, Inc., receives, decodes, and encodes Automated Meteorological Reports from Commercial Aircraft (ACARS), formats these ACARS messages containing meteorological data into the Binary Universal Form for the Representation (BUFR) meteorological data file format, and transmits these MDCRS BUFR files to the NWS Telecommunications Operations Center (TOC) in Silver Spring, Maryland, through a dedicated circuit between ARINC in Annapolis, Maryland and the NWS TOC in Silver Spring, Maryland. ACARS messages are routed over the ARINC ground network to the airline computers. MDCRS messages are separated from other messages and are sent to the NWS over NADIN II and to the FSL over the ARINC ground network. 2. Service Support ?Southwest Airlines Weather Report Collection and Monitoring ARINC currently provides MDCRS data collection, formatting, and distribution services under an existing contract with the FAA (NWS cost shares with FAA on this contract). Approximately 1500 aircraft operated by the six airlines provide data for the MDCRS program. The number of MDCRS messages processed by ARINC typically exceeds 1.2 million per month. The government desires SWA weather reports be disseminated to ARINC during the aircraft?s ascent phase of flight from about 100 B-737 aircraft, as identified by Southwest Airlines, be incorporated into the existing FAA contracted MDCRS BUFR meteorological data file. ARINC will provide engineering support for the integration of the new SWA MDCRS weather reports into the existing FAA BUFR file. ARINC will also collaborate with SWA and the NWS to identify and resolve problems that occur in the data collection and distribution process. As part of the existing FAA MDCRS contract, ARINC will provide on-call engineering support, on a 24-hour by 7-day per week basis, through the ARINC Network Operations Center. As a part of this engineering support, ARINC will monitor and maintain the network to insure the availability of the MDCRS service to the NWS TOC, to include Southwest MDCRS data availability. This ARINC service has historically achieved a >98% for MDCRS data availability to the NWS TOC. 3. Additional Engineering Support ? Data Optimization Functional Requirements Development The NWS desires to implement a capability to select certain aircraft to provide MDCRS messages from participating aircraft in order to optimize the collection of MDCRS data according to its mission needs (e.g. observations when and where needed) and reduce the message communications cost to the government and the airlines resulting from redundant data collection. ARINC does not currently have the capability to schedule the collection of meteorological data to meet the NWS requirements by sending messages to aircraft to enable or disable MDCRS reporting. ARINC will work with the NWS to define the technical and operational requirements for a data scheduling capability, called the MDCRS Data Scheduling and Collection System. ARINC will draft a Requirements Document, review the document with the NWS and revise it as necessary to arrive at a final document that accurately reflects the government?s requirements for a MDCRS Data Scheduling and Collection System. This effort will be completed by March 31, 2006.
Place of Performance
Address: ARINC, 2551 Riva Road, Annapolis, Maryland
Zip Code: 21401-7465
Country: USA
SN00856621-W 20050730/050728211901 (fbodaily.com)
FedBizOpps.gov Link to This Notice
(may not be valid after Archive Date)

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