PS & ER Opportunity Overview

Port Security and Emergency Response UxS Demonstration Projects
Announcement of Opportunity (AO)

Following the July 28, 2021, Port Security and Emergency Response UxS Industry Summit sponsors of that event highlighted there would likely be a funding opportunity to propose system solution demonstrations that meet the challenges facing the Port Security and Emergency Response community.

A Proposers Webinar was held to provide the following:

  • An overview of the AO
  • Allow attendees to ask questions
  • Provide input to potentially help shape the AO
  • Understand where and how to get the latest information on the AO release including entities looking to partner


AO Schedule (All dates subject to change)

  • Solicitation release: January 5, 2022
  • Proposals due: EXTENDED DEADLINE is Wednesday, March 2 by 4:00 PM EST
  • Proposal Selection / Announcement(s): April 26, 2022
  • Anticipated Project Start Date: May 18, 2022
  • Project Completion by Oct. 28, 2022


Read Formal AO   Submit Proposals   Collaboration Opportunities Form  Collaboration Opportunities    Charts from Webinar   Maritime Summit Slides   Webinar Video


Announcement of Opportunity Sponsors

Frequently Asked Questions. Final Version Posted 2/15/2022

  1. What is an AO?
    • A proposal solicitation mechanism that is used to convey proposal criteria and requirements for potential offerors to submit their proposals for evaluation. Similar to an RFP.
  1. Can ODU department(s) take part as a Collaborative partner since ODU is a sponsor?
    • Yes, and any entity that has received funds in the past or currently receiving funds from ODU, VISA, CIT/VIPC, Va. Dept. of Public Safety and Homeland Security, or any other State entity can be a collaborator or proposer.
  2. As a North Carolina company, we must team with a Virginia lead. We can provide a 24/7 surveillance and communication capability using our tactical aerostat system. Will there be a teaming capability during the announcement?
    • Correct, any entity outside of Virginia must team with a Virginia entity. Also, there is a collaborator form that can be filled out to highlight to others an entity’s capability.
  3. Does previous or current VISA funding preclude proposing as the lead?
    • See Q1
  1. Will there be technical information about any VMS (video management system) in the AO/RFP or is there someone we can point questions to?
    • Using a FEMA Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grant, the Hampton Roads Region purchased 32 AMV Insight RT1 video streaming systems from AMV ( These systems were distributed to all public safety UAS teams and the three regional bomb squads (Newport News, Norfolk and Virginia Beach) for use in live video streaming from the UAS and bomb squad robots. These systems are fed video via HDMI cable from the remote controls or other video feed and streamed to AMV’s secure server site over LAN or Wi-Fi hotspot where the Public Safety Agency controls access to the user’s ability to view the video with typically less than a half-second latency. For technical specifications or other information, contact can be made to Richard Duke (Vice President of AMV) at 646-486-8080 or via email at:
  1. Is this strictly a tech solution or can we incorporate service/SMEs?
    • The AO is soliciting a system-level solution. That demonstration should include all elements to ensure success.
  1. Who would “own” the solution for the port security/ER community?
    • That determination will be made after the final selections.  Proposers should consider their position as to the ownership of the solution including Intellectual Property etc. It is anticipated that during final contracting this will be identified. The current baseline position is that all hardware and software will be owned by the proposer, provided that VIPC will have rights to use the data results for other UAS efforts for the common good of the UAS community of the Commonwealth of Virginia, which could include sharing data results with third parties.
  1. Assuming $100k in funding, how many awards do you plan to make with this level of funding?
    • The AO states we anticipate making 1 or more awards
  1. To verify, the 100K is for demonstrators and not a complete platform?
    • The $100K is for a demonstration of a system-level solution(s). A prototype through a fully operational system can be proposed and demonstrated.
  1. Will individuals from the port and/or other users of the technological results of this work be available to provide guidance on how to best serve their needs, either pre-or post-award?
    • Not pre-award, however, we anticipate during the selection process further questions will likely need to be asked of the proposers. We anticipate users will be involved following selection through project status review(s).
  1. Can companies from other nations (US allies) participate as partners with a Virginia company lead?
    • Yes, as long as ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) are followed.
  1. Is there some level of, or specific types of communications infrastructures that we should use or preclude from use?
    • No, however, the current video stream system in use is highlighted in Q4.
  1. Who is the overall sponsor for funding?  Why is this not an OTA to expand greater than the VA region?
    • The sponsors are using Commonwealth of Virginia funding to enable this AO. An OTA (Other Transaction Agreement) is another mechanism that could be used. However, this AO will allow for other entities greater than Virginia to participate but not as the lead proposer. In the future, if other funding is available an OTA could be considered.
  1. Is there any expected buy-in from proposers? Will a buy-in increase a company’s chance?
    • Part of the evaluation will include Cost share / Leverage
  1. At least for the aerial component of UxS, regulatory challenges are the largest barrier to entry. How much do you expect these proposals to address regulatory approval?
    • It is not expected that all waivers/approvals will be obtained prior to proposal submittal. The special waivers/approvals will be worked as part of the implementation phase. Also, the selection team involved in this AO has the necessary connections needed to help the offeror enable the necessary waivers/approvals for the demonstration(s).
  1. When is the projected selection going to occur? UAS air restrictions are why I asked.
    • End of April 2022 timeframe. See Q14 for further information.
  1. Where would the demonstration occur?
    • The demonstration should occur in the Hampton Roads region
  1. Is the pain point/use case document available?
    • An Attachment containing Use cases, pain points, and common system requirements is included in the AO. Or please see the following button to download the final report from the June-July 2021 workshops.
  1. Will there be any special waivers available for flying a UAS near the port? Is that responsibility still on the operator?
    • See Q14.
  1. Will VISA/CIT/VIPC help facilitate any regulatory environmental or coordination requirements?
    • Yes, see Q14
  1. ANRA Technologies is a Virginia-based UTM provider that is FAA LAANC approved, do you envision a solution requiring FAA airspace waivers? Will there be a singular “ops center” for us to depict this info?
    • See Q14. There is no singular “ops center” currently.
  1. Only Virginia entities, does this mean a government entity within the commonwealth may lead and submit the proposal OR ONLY Virginia private sector entities may lead and submit the proposal?
    • Government entities can be a partner/collaborator but NOT proposal lead or submitter. Proposals can only be led and submitted by Virginia-based industry, non-profits, or academic institutions (Public and/or Private).
  2. Can any private legal entity based in Virginia lead a proposal, including legal entities with their parent company based in another State?
    • Yes
  3. Can a non-lead partner be part of more than one proposal?
    • Yes
  4. Since the project may involve significant expenditures in hardware & software that will be used to make/prepare/adapt the autonomous system to be demonstrated we would like to know if the hardware involved can remain the property of the organization/s that is awarded the contract; or does it have to be left behind for the Virginia Institute for Space Flight and Autonomy (VISA)? See Q7 above.
  5. Will the contractor have the chance to demonstrate or showcase its development to other organizations beyond VISA and the Virginia Port Authority?
    • Yes, and will be identified in the contract if selected
  6. Since the answers to these and other questions are fundamental for good proposal preparation, can you extend the due date by a week?
    • Currently, there are no plans to extend the AO deadline. The questions above either have been answered previously or were contained in responses to similar questions. If the AO submittal date is extended it will be sent out and noted on the VISA website.
  7. In Attachment One, it is referenced that to “enhance safety and security and improve the operational effectiveness across five (5) Uses Cases including: • Hazmat; Search and Rescue (SAR); Maritime/Port Operations; General response; Bomb squad.” Do you have preferred sensor(s) for the respective five use cases? If no, do you have a list of requirements for the respective sensors?
    • A proposal will be evaluated as per the selection criteria identified in the AO and the Use Cases, Pain Points, and Common Requirements documented in Attachment 1.
  8. Further, please define what you are attempting to do when you reference Hazmat? Preferred sensor (or requirements) for Hazmat activities?
  9. In Attachment 1 it is referenced: Threat and hazard identification on and under water, which include ship and bridge assessments; underwater mapping of the bottom of the bay and rivers and channels including the ability to detect changes quickly following a disastrous event or natural hazard. Question: how deep underwater is the requirement to “see” pertinent threats?
    • Please consider the various depths and channels in the Chesapeake Bay and entry channels and depths coming into the bay
  10. In the next phase will the finished solution be procured as a system, or will the end user/procurer prefer to purchase the UAS and sensors separately?
    • Please refer to prior FAQs (Q7) and the AO
  11. What are the expectations of any Detect and Avoid solution?
    • Up to the proposer
  12. Are the expectations that the integrated system will fly under 14 CFR Part 107? Or is the expectation that Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations are required for the award?
    • Please see the AO and other FAQs regarding approvals required at the time of submittal.
  13. What is the time scale for this AO? If the vehicle is not available for testing until a year from now, is it eligible?
    • AO is seeking System level demonstrations including sensor systems to enable use case(s), pain points, and common system level requirements identified in Attachment#1 of the AO. The demonstrations should take consistent with the schedule identified in the AO.
  14. Is this like SBIR, where the inventor retains all of the IP rights?
    • See FAQ #7 Response
  15. Are you going to run another AO for this mission next year?
    • That is a possibility
  16. Is the AO looking for a completely finished vehicle with complete autonomy and sensor integration accomplished, or, will a demonstration of the raw vehicle performance be enough with inner loop control only and a simple video link?
    • AO is seeking System Level demonstrations including sensor systems to enable use case(s), pian points, and common system requirements identified in Attachment #1 of the AO.