Maritime Non-Containerized Cargo: Radiation Detection Equipment and Operations

Agency: Department of Homeland Security
State: District of Columbia
Level of Government: Federal
  • 63 - Alarm, Signal, and Detection Systems
Opps ID: NBD00159910288601457
Posted Date: Oct 5, 2017
Due Date: Oct 19, 2017
Solicitation No: RDPA-17-0053
Source: Members Only
Solicitation Number :
Notice Type :
Sources Sought
Synopsis :
Added: Aug 09, 2017 6:34 pm Modified: Oct 05, 2017 8:46 am Track Changes

Maritime Non-Containerized Cargo:
Radiation Detection Equipment and Operations

THIS IS A REQUEST FOR INFORMATION (RFI) ONLY. This RFI is issued solely for information and planning purposes; it does not constitute a Request for Proposal (RFP) or a promise to issue an RFP or Broad Agency Announcement (BAA). This RFI does not commit the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) to contract for any supply or service. DHS DNDO is not at this time seeking proposals. Responders are advised that the DNDO will not pay any cost incurred in response to this RFI. All costs associated with responding to this RFI will be solely at the interested party's expense. Not responding to this RFI does not preclude participation in any future RFP or BAA. If a solicitation is released, it will be released via the Government-Wide Port of Entry (GPE) at ( It is the responsibility of the potential responders to monitor the website for any information that may pertain to this RFI. The information provided in this RFI is subject to change and is not binding on the Government. All submissions become the property of the DNDO, and will not be returned.

1.0 Description

Nuclear terrorism is a persistent threat that has potentially devastating consequences, and countering that threat is the reason the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) was created. DNDO's mission is to detect and protect against the unauthorized importation, possession, storage, transportation, development, or use of a nuclear explosive device, fissile material, or radiological material in the United States, and to protect against attack using such devices or materials against the people, territory, or interests of the United States. DNDO's research and development does not focus just on current threats and capabilities, but continually seeks to anticipate future trends and challenges. Furthermore, DNDO does not restrict itself to domestic security within the U.S., but reaches out to U.S. foreign partners to aid in effectively organizing, training, and equipping foreign security personnel to prevent nuclear terrorism globally. To this end, DNDO continually acquires radiation detection equipment for deployment and operation by DHS and state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement entities to protect pathways of global commerce.

Through this RFI, DNDO is conducting market research to identify current industry capabilities to detect, identify, and/or localize radiological/nuclear threats (including material and other components) that may be smuggled via maritime non-containerized cargo (MNCC) at seaports. These capabilities are to be on a mobile or relocatable platform, occur in real-time, and include the ability to provide a still-image (photo) of the scene during a detection event. This RFI could potentially lead to a material solution acquisition/Request for Proposal in approximately 18-24 months.

The information provided in response to this RFI may be used to assess market capabilities; discover alternate or improved technologies or concepts; determine the technical maturity and commercial availability of potential solutions; and support future planning efforts to strengthen the vast Global Nuclear Detection Architecture with next-generation radiation detection and identification technologies.

2.0 Information Sought

DNDO is seeking technological solutions for scanning maritime non-containerized cargo (MNCC) entering the US through sea ports of entry (POEs) for radioactive materials.

There are three types of MNCC: bulk, break-bulk, and roll-on/roll-off.

Bulk cargo is cargo that is transported unpackaged in large quantities. It may be comprised of dry commodities (e.g., grain, seed, gravel, powder, coal, and ore) and/or liquid commodities (e.g., petroleum products, chemicals) and is usually dropped or poured as liquid or solid into a bulk carrier's hold.

Break-bulk cargo is loose cargo, shipped in bags, bundles, crated, or on strongbacks that are stowed in the ship's hold (as opposed to containerized cargo or bulk cargo). Break-bulk includes commodities such as large steel products, machinery, crated goods, wood, and agricultural products and cargo in non-International Standards Organization (non-ISO) compliant containers.

Roll-on/roll-off cargo is comprised of cars and other wheeled cargos, such as tractors, loaded trailers, and other heavy machinery that may be loaded and unloaded using ramps.

DNDO is seeking equipment that can detect, identify, and/or localize illicit radiological/nuclear material in the MNCC environment. Solutions shall detect, identify, and/or localize radiological/nuclear material in real-time from a mobile platform, relocatable platform, or some combination of the two. Equipment shall provide the end-user with actionable information in real-time to assist with the adjudication of radiological/ nuclear anomalies in the MNCC environment.

Due to differences among the various MNCC seaport POEs, a single solution may not be applicable for all locations; multiple solutions may be necessary to accommodate all seaport POEs. System designs are unconstrained (i.e., Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS), developmental, and non-developmental solutions). Since DHS/DNDO will not provide any helium-3 based on the policy statement released in May 2014 (i.e.,, it is required that responders not offer a solution using helium-3 based neutron detectors unless the helium-3 is coming from the vendor's supply.

3.0 Performance Characteristics

Requirements for radiation detection systems, as well as additional requirements for relocatable radiation detection and mobile systems, are provided below.

Requirements Applicable to all Radiation Detection Systems *

? Detect and/or identify radiological/nuclear material in the MNCC pathway.
? Capable of discriminating Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) from non-NORM sources.
? Wireless annunciator for alarm types; operate up to 50 feet away.
? Control software to monitor multiple units in the same area. Please clarify if the system uses cable or wireless protocols.
? Operate in -30C to +55C (-22F to 131F).
? Require minimal start up time when starting up within the operating temperatures [preferably no more than five (5) minutes].
? Self-calibrating on a continual basis.
? Wirelessly report state of health to a centralized network.
? Wirelessly send daily scan statistics through a centralized network for archiving purposes.
? NIEM N.25 compliant.
? ANSI N42.42 compliant.
? Does not require a Commercial Driver's License.

*Automated systems during offload may also be considered.

Additional Requirements for Relocatable Radiation Detection System

? Require minimal set up time at a new location.
? Minimize background corruption from radiation sources (NORM or otherwise) moving into the surrounding area.

Additional Requirements for Radiation Detection/Identification (or Categorization) Mobile Systems

? Operate in a stationary or mobile scanning mode.
? Able to be stored in a temperature range of -30C to +80C (-22F to 176F).
? At a minimum, use one-sided detection (driver's side strongly preferred). If options or variants for multi-sided detection, please specify.
? Plug into a standard 110V/220V (110/120VAC 60 Hz. NEMA 5-15P Receptacle preferred) outlet to power on board computer, radiation detector system, hand-held inspection equipment chargers, and any peripheral equipment (in stationary mode).
? Track, via GPS, the path and alerts (mobile mode).
? For systems utilizing one-sided vertical detection, able to link two units together as a two-sided drive-thru portal (in stationary mode), i.e. data from both sides wirelessly linked together to determine alarm status.
? Driver's side high-definition quality, pan-tilt-zoom camera to capture vehicle images for alerts.
? For stationary mode, have an optimal light rig for night/low light operations.
? Operate off its own vehicle power in mobile scanning mode or a separate power source (e.g. shore power or onboard generator) in stationary mode.

4.0 Submission Instructions

Please include the following in the RFI response:

(1) Provide a general description of the system. Include a list of system physical components, nomenclature, picture/representation of the system, user interface, and model number, as appropriate. Please make note of any special components and a discussion on the software maturity level (e.g., ANSI N42.42 and NIEM N.25 compliant).

(2) Explain how the system will be operated in the field (i.e., proposed conduct/concept of operations) to include the number and type of personnel needed to execute operations, when the scanning operations would occur during the cargo conveyance and transfer process, potential for integration into a Terminal Operating System (TOS), and how alarms may be adjudicated, and/or how cargo may be sent to secondary screening.

(3) Describe the technology being proposed. Include characteristics and capabilities of the technology, remote monitoring capabilities, and compliance with applicable ANSI standards, such as N42.33, N42.43, N42.53, N42.35, or N42.38 as appropriate.

(4) If applicable, describe the radionuclide identification algorithm or the detection/categorization algorithm. Include:

? Algorithm description and performance range
? Integration times for gamma and neutron detectors
? Expected false alarm rate (e.g., alarms on NORM cargo and statistical false alarms)
? Algorithm validation performed
? Description of replay tools that mimic a radiation detector system's signal processing and alarm logic

(5) If applicable, describe the neutron radiation detection capability, including type of material and size/volume. Note: Since DHS/DNDO will not provide any helium-3, it is required that responders not offer a solution using helium-3 based neutron detectors unless the helium-3 is coming from the vendor's supply.

(6) Describe the data file storage and transmission capability.

(7) Describe the operating system.

(8) Describe the overall maintenance strategy.

(9) If available, include supplementary information such as

a) The system's user manual, if one exists.
b) Any test reports, whether government-sponsored or private, if available.
c) Any other information that would be applicable to the intent of this RFI.

(10) Describe how the system would scan cargo during offloading.

(11) Describe how the system was designed to address cyber security.

5.0 Instructions

DNDO appreciates responses from all capable and qualified sources, including but not limited to, private or public companies, universities, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, and national laboratories.

For clarification purposes ONLY, DNDO may request oral presentation sessions from respondents, after receipt and initial assessment of written responses.

Responses to this RFI, in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF, are due no later than October 19, 2017 by 5:00 PM (local Eastern Time). Please e-mail responses to Tisha Blue, Contracting Officer, at and Christiane Schmidt, Contract Specialist at

DNDO reserves the right to review late submissions, but makes no guarantee to the order of or possibility for review of late submissions. Please be advised that all submissions become the property of DNDO and will not be returned.

Responses to this RFI may be assessed by Government technical experts drawn from staff within DNDO and other Federal agencies. The Government may use selected support contractor personnel to assist in the review of RFI responses. These support contractors will be bound by appropriate non-disclosure agreements to protect proprietary information. Vendors must ensure that such proprietary information is so marked.

Amendment 00001 (dated October 5, 2017)

The purpose of this amendment is to extend the response due date to October 19, 2017 by 5:00 pm Eastern.

Contracting Office Address :
Office of the Chief Procurement Officer
Washington, District of Columbia 20528
United States
Primary Point of Contact. :
Christiane Schmidt,
Contract Specialist
Phone: 202-254-8863
Secondary Point of Contact :
Tisha Blue,
Contracting Officer
Phone: 202-254-6751


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