The U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC), on behalf of the Joint Science and Technology Office (JSTO), is leading an effort for the identification and assessment of technologies to support automated sensitive site exploitation (SSE).
Existing site assessment relies on humans, supported by systems with limited mobility, dexterity, or autonomy. In the case of today’s challenges and conflicts, the military is relying more and more on robotics to perform tasks previously performed by humans, thereby reducing the risk to personnel.
A new generation of robotic systems is sought that can provide even more function and more accurately project the presence of the human in austere or contested environments. To this end, a fully capable system with the ability to move across multiple terrain types to include water, ice, snow, sand, and rocks with capabilities ranging from tele-operation to fully autonomous operation, advanced intuitive interfaces, and the ability to perform highly dexterous tasks on target is desired.
ECBC recently issued a formal request for proposals from contractors capable of identifying and assessing SSE automation candidate technologies that provide improvements in the core capability areas of mobility, dexterity, system interfaces, autonomy, and communications; and to perform a tradeoff analysis of the technologies identified for each core capability area.
The effort requires the contractor to:
|Conduct a trade study to identify potential technologies to incorporate in the Sensitive Site Exploitation System that can potentially support the SSE Mission|
|Assess the technologies identified and provide technology recommendations that support the SSE Mission with respect to the core capability areas, as well as, complexity of integration, maintenance, reliability and cost|
|Produce a Trade Study Report including the contractor’s recommendations related to the core capability areas|
|Present the results of the trade study at a Technology Down-Select meeting at ECBC|
|Submit a comprehensive Final Report summarizing the activities conducted during the contract, system design and performance, and schedule.|
Desired characteristics and capabilities of the automated SSE system:
|Unscrew/screw the cap off of a 15 mL falcon tube, extract the sample, and conduct a lateral flow assay with the sample from the tube|
|Operate a Joint Chemical Agent Detector (JCAD) without any electronic interfaces to achieve all functionality that a human being could obtain from the same device, AND report the results of the JCAD analysis|
|Collect and analyze suspected radiological active soil, water, or air collector media using a currently fielded radiological or nuclear detection system with results reporting|
|Service a Portal Shield System|
|Navigation capability in GPS-denied environments and the ability to map GPS- denied tunnel networks, or other spaces in 3 dimensions|
|Capabilities for waypoint-navigation, tele-operated guidance, or fully autonomous navigation where the system can be provided a target, automatically avoid obstacles, and change overall approach paths to the target|
|Remote operation with direct control at ranges of threshold 1 km, objective 5 km and ability to function through existing communications infrastructure for unlimited range (i.e. SATCOM or via HF radio or internet)|
|Ability to maintain communications in GPS denied environments to include continuous video/mapping transmission|
|Continuous on-board storage/duplication of collected information with ability to burst transmit after loss of communications. Dexterity tasks will only be required to be performed in tele-operation mode, while all other functions should be capable of occurring via tele-operation, pre-programmed operation, or complete autonomous operation|
|Intuitive human-machine interfaces that allow an untrained or minimally trained operator to operate the system|
|Total lift and move capability of at least 25 kg (threshold) and 50 kg (objective) in fully fueled/energized state|
|Ability to navigate through at least 100 continuous meters of 20 cm deep mud, 1 m deep water, ice-covered surfaces, 1m deep snow, and terrain consisting of continuous boulders of 1 m diameter with average spacing of 1 m. Maneuver on slippery- surface, climb stairs, traverse up to 3 inches of water|
|Ability to operate in -0°F to +140°F temperature, direct sunlight, blowing rain, blowing sand|
Further details are available under Solicitation Number: W911SR13R0007. The response deadline is May 30, 2013.