CSA Issues RFI Regarding Space-Based Automated Identification System Data Services

The Canadian Space Agency has issued a Request for Information (RFI – 9F013-140805/A) regarding Space-Based Automated Identification System (SB-AIS) data services.


Introduction
Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC), on behalf of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), is releasing this Request for Information (RFI) to obtain comments, concerns and where applicable, alternative recommendations from interested parties regarding how the requirements or objectives described in this RFI could be satisfied. Respondents should explain any assumptions they make in their responses. The objective for this possible procurement of Space-Based Automated Identification System (SB-AIS) data and services is to solicit information from industry, which includes both national and international suppliers, that will help PWGSC and CSA to refine its procurement strategy.
Definitions
In the context of this RFI, the following terms are defined as detailed below:
– Canadian Area of Interest (AOI): defined as up to 2000 Nautical Miles (nm) East or West from the Canadian land mass, 500nm north of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, as well as inland waterways from which access to Canada is possible, such as the Great Lakes.
– SB-AIS Data: defined as data collected by spaceborne AIS receivers, and processed so as to be useable by Government of Canada (GoC) customers.
– Global Maritime AOI: defined as all of the Earth’s oceans and waterways navigable by seagoing vessels.
– Refresh: defined as the number of updated AIS detections of a specific ship from successive spacecraft passes that are made available by the contractor in a 24 hour period.
– Latency: defined as the elapsed time from data capture of the AIS signal from a vessel at the satellite to dissemination of the AIS product to the client.
– Network Connectivity: defined as the number of secure data feed connections from the SB-AIS data feed source to multiple destinations within the GoC.
– Data Delivery Rate: defined as the data transfer rate from the SB-AIS data feed source to multiple destinations within the GoC.
– Data Delivery Service: defined as the network protocol and the physical network infrastructure for transferring the SB-AIS Data from the source to multiple destinations within the GoC.
– Data Format: defined as the available data formats of the SB-AIS Data.
– Derived Product: defined as an information product derived from the processing or manipulation of Space-Based AIS data.
Background
The Automated Identification System (AIS) is an automatic Very High Frequency (VHF) broadcast capability used by ships and Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) primarily for collision avoidance. The types of information available include: ship identification, tonnage, position, destination, course and speed. The International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) requires AIS equipment to be fitted aboard all internationally voyaging ships with gross tonnage of 300 tons or more. Collecting AIS data from space overcomes range limitations inherent in traditional terrestrial AIS. As a result, SB-AIS has become an increasingly important tool for Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) for the Government of Canada (GoC).
The Government of Canada has a requirement for SB-AIS data services for near-real-time monitoring of global maritime traffic that can also be queried for historical tracking purposes. These services will support the operational needs of numerous government departments, as well as Research and Development (R&D) activities.
PWGSC intends to procure, on behalf of the Government of Canada, SB-AIS data services from industry. Specific departmental needs continue to evolve, but basic requirements for the purpose of this RFI are as follows:
– Provision of SB-AIS data service to commence no later than 1 April 2016 for a two-year period with an additional option year;
– Coverage of the Canadian Area of Interest (AOI), with a minimum of 6 refreshes daily and no more than 4 hours between updates on a given vessel at all latitudes;
– Coverage of the Global Maritime AOI with a minimum of 6 refreshes daily and no more than 4 hours between updates on a given vessel at all latitudes;
– Latency of no more than 1 hour;
– Continuous delivery of SB-AIS data via secure data feed;
– Network Connectivity must support at least 10 simultaneous data feed connections from the source to multiple destinations within the GoC;
– Data Delivery Service must use a secure TCP/IP based network protocol suitable for transmission via the Internet (such as SFTP), and must support both push and pull features;
– Data Formats should include as a minimum, NMEA 0183 (GNM+NM4), and comma delimited format (CSV);
– Access to a dedicated on-line web-based viewing tool which can support at least 50 HTTPS network connections at a given time;
– Ongoing access to as much historical AIS data as possible, with a minimum of one year’s worth of data available from any given moment in time; and
– The ability for GoC departments to share processed AIS data and derived products, both internally (within GoC) and externally (with allies and partners) in direct support of operational mandates.
The RFI closing date is March 16, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. EST.
Access the RFI at Buy and Sell Canada.

About Marc Boucher

Marc Boucher
Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceRef Canada Interactive Inc, CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef U.S., advisor and co-founder of the Canadian Space Commerce Association, and director and co-founder of MaxQ Accelerator Inc. Previously he was the founder of Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine which he sold.

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