A market survey is being conducted to determine if there are adequate Small Business, SBA certified HUBZone, SBA-certified 8(a), Women-Owned, or Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) contractors available for a proposed project who meet the specific criteria outlined below.

This is a SOURCES SOUGHT NOTICE ONLY. This is not a solicitation Announcement or Request for Quote. It does not constitute any commitment by the Government. No award will result from this notice. The purpose is to conduct market research to gain knowledge of potentially qualified sources and to determine the capability of Small Business and/or Large Business companies to provide the supplies/services described below. Responses to this Sources Sought Notice will be used by the Government to make an appropriate acquisition decision. Department of Agriculture (ARS) requests responses from ALL socioeconomic categories in order to gain a more complete understanding of the market for these products and service.

The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) will not award a contract on the basis of responses or pay for the preparation of any information submitted. Respondents will not be notified of the results of this notice. After completing an analysis of the responses, the Government will determine whether to limit competition to 8(a), HUBZone, SDVOSB, Women-Owned, or other small business firms, or to proceed with issuing an unrestricted solicitation, inviting full and open competition.

The NAICS code for the expected acquisition is 336411, with a Size Standard of 1,500 employees and the PSC Code is 1550. Any subsequent procurement will be conducted as a commercial item purchased in accordance with FAR Part 12 and as a Simplified Acquisition Procedure in accordance with FAR Part 13.

The Department of Agriculture (ARS) has the need for the following products:

001) Drone with Imager and Camera

Scope of Work:

The USDA-ARS Cereal Corps Research Unit (CCRU) in Madison, WI is seeking sources for a drone with imager and camera.


In this project we are screening a large collection of barley accessions that are known as the iCore diversity panel to identify lines that are tolerant to abiotic stresses such as heat, drought, combined heat and drought stress as well as germination traits, growth stature, lodging and heading date. Such lines will then be analyzed to determine the molecular mechanism governing the tolerance trait and used in breeding programs to develop varieties with improved tolerance to abiotic stress.  The drone will be used to capture data throughout the growing season with the intent of developing spectral profiles associated with traits mentioned above. Additionally, we will be evaluating the image profiles to determine if malt quality factors such as protein content and seed color can be captured in the spectral profiles which will increase our ability to phenotype these traits and predict malt quality of grains as they mature in the field. The Walling laboratory currently does not have a UAV for monitoring field samples. The drone will be used on a biweekly basis throughout the growing season to monitor our barley accessions at a few field locations. This instrument is crucial to the needs of our research projects, to fulfill the requirements outlined in our CRIS.

Technical Requirements:

Below is a list of technical specifications that are best suited for our experimental needs:

  • UAV drone capable of 55+ minute flight time (payload dependent)
  • 3:1 lift to weight ratio
  • Multispectral Sensor with embedded GPS
    • Blue, green, red, red edge, near-IR
    • Global shutter, aligned with all bands. 
    • 8 cm per pixel (per band) at 120 m (~400 ft) AGL
  • RGB  Premium Compact Digital Camera w/ 1-inch sensor 24-200mm ZEISS zoom lens and pop-up OLED EVF
  • Universal gimbal-mount solution to allow for future additional payload integration
  • Flight Control Computer
  • Flight Control PCB with integrated PDB
  • Drone Radio PCB and Video Encoder
  • Super bright front and rear LED strobes, FAA certified for 3 miles
  • Fully autonomous mission planning and waypoints/automatic flight logging
  • Hovering accuracy: Vertical: +/- 0.5 meters, Horizontal: +/- 1.5 meters
  • Wind resistance: 35 mph (~16 m/s)
  • Designed for integration of custom payloads
  • Smart return to home feature and fail safes
  • No direct on-board or Ground Control Station cellular radio connectivity or cloud storage outside the United States
  • 4k Video/High Resolution Stills/Thermal Imaging/NDVI 
  • Foldable airframe with folding props and quick release landers for quick set up and storage
  • Aerospace-grade carbon fiber construction
  • Motor failure protection
  • Power redundancy protection
  • Redundant/independent battery power (two sides). Loss of one side still allows aircraft to receive power from operational side
  • Motor failure or propeller blade loss (single or dual-opposing arms) allows for the aircraft to remain capable of flight
  • Swappable battery solution
  • Supported operating systems: iOS, Andriod
  • Must be compatible with a Samsung tablet
  • Training: Operations, Maintenance, & Basic Flight (6 hours)
  • Made in USA
  • US based Customer Service
  • NDAA section 848 and Executive Order 13981 compliant
  • No control, communication, sensor subcomponents or software that is manufactured or developed in an “adversary country”. 
  • Approved by the US Army Corps of Engineers (Air Worthiness Certification). See attached example. 

One-year manufacturer warranty for system's operation and functionality from date receipt.

Name Brand or Equal: Terraview RangePro X8 Drone with Micasense MX multispectral imager and Sony digital camera OR EQUIVALENT.

Note: NO products manufactured in China are acceptable (purchase of Chinese drones for Government use is now prohibited).

Security Requirements:

Company must be NDAA section 848 and Executive Order 13981 compliant. No control, communication, sensor subcomponents or software that is manufactured or developed in an “adversary country”. Approved by the US Army Corps of Engineers (Air Worthiness Certification).

Contractor’s Key Personnel:

Personnel must have experience in supplying ARS scientists with UAVs for monitoring agricultural research and supply necessary imagers/cameras to do so.  Previous examples of supplying training for ARS scientists is preferred.

Evaluation Factors: 

Lowest price, technically acceptable. The government intends to award a firm-fixed price award based on the lowest price technically acceptable product. The lowest priced product will be evaluated first; if not found acceptable, the next lowest priced product will be evaluated, and so on until an acceptable product is identified. The government will not review higher priced products if the lowest priced product is determined to be technically acceptable. For a vendor’s products to be considered technically acceptable, they must meet all of the technical requirements identified in the solicitation.

Key Deliverables:

  • Drone
  • Sensor
  • Sensor Integration
  • Sensor Gimbal
  • Payload Integration
  • Camera
  • Camera Integration
  • Camera Gimbal
  • Payload Integration
  • Two (2) Batteries
  • Control Tablet
  • Delivery
  • Training
  • Warranty


Delivery and training to be made to USDA-ARS CCRU located at 502 Walnut Street, Madison, WI 53726 by or before December 31, 2021.

The vendor shall provide all items F.O.B: destination. Location of the Government site is aboard USDA-ARS Madison, WI and will be identified in the contract. The Government anticipates award of a Firm Fixed Price contract.

Capability Statement:

Companies who have the experience, as well as an interest in doing business with ARS, should submit a Capabilities Statement which, for this notice, is not expected to be a proposal, but rather short statements regarding the company’s ability to demonstrate their expertise and experience in relation to the areas specified in this notice.

Companies should also indicate whether they are a Small Business, SBA-certified HUBZone, SBA-certified 8(a), SDVOSB, or Women-Owned Small Business.

To be eligible, all vendors must be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) with a current and active registration. A DUNS (Dun and Bradstreet) number is required in order to register in SAM. A vendor can contact SAM by calling 1-866-606-8220 or e-mail at www.sam.gov. NO EXCEPTIONS. Vendor must include their DUNS# on their capability statements.

Finally, to be eligible, all vendors must be NDAA 889 Certified. If they do not currently have a NDAA 889 Certification, then they must complete the attached NDAA 889 Certification form and submit it to aaron.dimeo@usda.gov so that they can be added to the list of NDAA 889 Certified vendors.

Submitting a Capability Statements:

Responses should be submitted via email to aaron.dimeo@usda.gov by Monday, September 13, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. CST. Telephone inquiries will not be accepted.


This notice does not obligate the Government to award a contract or otherwise pay for the information provided in response. The Government reserves the right to use information provided by respondents for any purpose deemed necessary and legally appropriate. Respondents are also advised that under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of information or provide feedback about any of the information received.  After review of the responses received, the Government may issue a pre-solicitation synopsis and solicitation. No proprietary, sensitive, confidential or classified information shall be included with your response. The Government reserves the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in any resultant solicitation.