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R -- Autonomous Underwater Vehicles

Notice Date
Notice Type
541330 — Engineering Services
Contracting Office
Department of the Navy, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, NAVFAC Southwest, Specialty Center Contracts Core, 1205 Mill Road Building 850, Port Hueneme, CA, 92043-4347, UNITED STATES
ZIP Code
Solicitation Number
Response Due
Archive Date
AMENDMENT 1 TO PREVIOUS NOTICE: This amendment is to correct the email address for Hugh Thomson. The correct email address is hugh.thomson@navy.mil ORIGINAL NOTICE: This is a source of sought announcement for written information only. This is not a solicitation for proposals and no contract will be awarded from this announcement. No reimbursement will be made for any costs associated with providing information in response to this announcement or any follow-up information requests. No telephone calls will be accepted. In preparation for a future procurement, The Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center (NFESC), Port Hueneme, CA is performing a ?market research? to determine potential firms that can demonstrate technology, equipment and software related to inspection of seafloor cables using Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV?s). Underwater inspections provide valuable information in assessing cable condition and planning for cable maintenance or repair operations. The ultimate program objective is to provide the Navy with a capability to use AUV?s to inspect underwater range cables which are laid ?proud? (exposed) on the seafloor. Seafloor types include sediment, gravel and rocky. Locations for these cables are generally known within a radius of a few hundred yards and their heading is generally known within 20 degrees. Cables of interest may be 5 to 40 km (3 to 25 miles) long in water depths from 25 to 5,000 meter (80 to 16,500 ft). Range cables are ?small cables? defined as approximately 1.6 to 3.2 cm (5/8 to 1 ? inch) diameter with internal steel strength member?s equivalent to a 0.6 cm (?-inch) diameter steel cable. The cables are typically covered with either a black or white colored polyethylene jacket or occasionally in shallow water with a black ?jute? wrapping. AUV?s are potentially attractive platforms for cable following and inspection operations. AUV?s can significantly reduce cable inspection costs by reducing the high costs associated with leasing and operating an ROV or manned submersible and support vessel. The critical technology that is currently considered ?missing? for conducting an AUV cable inspection is the sensors, and the associated cable acquisition/following algorithms used to detect, identify and follow the ?small? cable. Integration and operation of the equipment on an AUV is not a part of this phase of the demonstration, nor is it the intent of this effort to develop new sensors or AUV?s. Currently available AUV?s have suites of guidance and navigation software/hardware and are capable of hosting detection systems and fusing together guidance data from various sensors. NFESC is interested in funding a demonstration(s) to establish the feasibility of using AUV?s (autonomously and using passive - non tone applied techniques) to locate, and follow small seafloor range cables laying ?proud? on the surface of the seafloor. The intent of this effort is to demonstrate the feasibility of equipment (sensors) and methods (software) to autonomously detect and follow the cable. It is not the intent of this effort to demonstrate the performance of an AUV platform. Thus, the demonstration might be accomplished by conducting a field test using a laboratory platform, ROV or AUV, or by other convenient laboratory demonstration or data simulation. Demonstrations should as a minimum include all necessary software and hardware to autonomously accomplish the following: Find and acquire a small diameter cable laying ?proud? on the seafloor given the general location (within a few hundred meters) and heading (within 20 degrees) of the cable; and specific cable properties (cable specifications) cited above. Follow the cable, including determining the direction to follow the cable. Resolve issues along route: Reacquire the cable after losing the cable in short runs of sediment cover - Resolve issues related to crossing cables. Notes: (1) Techniques that allow for following a buried cable are not a part of this effort but are of potential future interest (2) Following must be accomplished in a manner that will allow the AUV to photo or video document the entire length of the cable. Organizations that have all or some of these capabilities are invited to submit information on their related experience, technology available and proposed approach to demonstrate meeting the requirements. A summary, citing related work demonstrating relevant experience should be included. Responses to this announcement can include both off-the-shelf and developmental approaches. Responses should include a technical description with characteristics of the proposed technology including for example: the recommended demonstration approach; detection algorithms; sensors and expected detection resolution. There should be sufficient detail to allow the government to determine the development state and suitability of the technology to meet the requirements and the value of a funded demonstration. Organizations responding to this Sources Sought announcement should not include proprietary information in their responses. Any responses that include information marked as proprietary will be returned unread. Responses to this announcement will serve as a first step for evaluating alternatives. This announcement is not a commitment by the Government to issue a solicitation or ultimately award a contract. The government will assess the technology described in the submittals for potential application to AUV underwater cable following and inspection. Firms with technology assessed to provide significant value and potential for AUV underwater cable following and inspection may be provided an opportunity to demonstrate their technology. Discuss the requirement and your firms, ability to provide the requested procurement. The applicable NAICS code is 541330 with a size limitation standard of $20M. Interested sources must submit any comments and information by via email to Hugh.Thomas@navy.mil and Richard.Camacho@navy.mil no later than 26 July 2007. Responses received after this deadline may not be considered. Since this is a sources of sought announcement, no evaluation letters will be issued to the participants.
Place of Performance
Address: Naval Facilities Engineering Command Specialty Center Contracts Core Code RAQNO/Naval Base Ventura County 1205 Mill Road Bldg 850 Port Hueneme, CA
Zip Code: 93043-4347
SN01329402-W 20070629/070628031744 (fbodaily.com)
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