Sources Sought: Autonomous Confined Space Inspection and Certification Requirements

NCMS is assisting the U.S. Navy in seeking a partner with capabilities to automate gas-free and confined-space inspection in support of sustainment.


Confined spaces can pose hazards to workers required to perform maintenance and sustainment tasks in these areas. With limited or restricted means for entry and exit, there are many potentially serious hazards, including insufficient oxygen supply, flammable or explosive materials, toxic gases, and electrical or mechanical hazards. Many of these atmospheric hazards are not visible nor detectable by odor, which may lead to someone entering a confined space without awareness of potential dangers. Ensuring and maintaining safe working conditions in confined spaces is resource-intensive, which results in higher costs and reduced productivity of work performed as compared to similar work outside of confined spaces.

Solution Sought

Development of a certifiable autonomous system with the capabilities to:

  • Provide real-time sensing and assessment of maintenance workers and conditions of their surrounding environments (including temperature monitoring)
  • Measure potentially hazardous gases in the atmosphere, including: O2, CO, CO2, H2S; and gas-free conditions
  • Reduce required time, costs, and manpower significantly
  • Have configuration that is portable and/or wearable
  • Have proven track record of effective monitoring
  • Allow user-friendly diagnostics check
  • Provide visual and audible alarm setpoints
  • Have a minimum of 48-hour recharge cycle
  • Enable survivability in harsh environments
    • Water-resistant (to 100 feet)
    • Shock resistant
    • Temperature resistant (up to 200 F)
  • Store up to an hour of readings with a visual quick display of results
  • Provide accurate readings that are calibrated to industry standards MSA
  • Meet Naval Maritime Confined Space Program requirements (View Technical Manual)
  • (Optional but ideal) – Establish a communication link to enable remote monitoring and communication among workers in confined spaces

A successful technology solution needs to evaluate the breathability of surrounding air to ensure adequate conditions to sustain life. This solution will be available for use across all U.S. Navy assets, repair centers, and base of operations.


White paper responses to this Sources Sought need to provide the following:

  • Background of capability development and maturity
  • Expected time to market
  • Test results to date
  • Demonstrated efficacy and current examples of use—if any
  • Cost summary form

Interested parties should submit their white paper before COB October 29, 2021. All questions or concerns can be addressed to

    Primary Contact

    Technical Contact

    Capabilities Summary (Word .doc or .docx format only)

    Cost Summary Form (PDF file format only)



    Disclaimer and other Legal Information

    NCMS encourages the participation of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs), including Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) and Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs).

    Responding to a Sources Sought, RFI or Survey does not guarantee that a CTMA Program initiative will result. By submitting a response, you are agreeing to allow NCMS to share your information with the United States government. All submissions containing proprietary information shall be marked accordingly.

    Any industry or academia participant awarded a contract by a participating government sponsor pursuant to a Sources Sought, RFI, or Survey will be compensated, under the agreement, on a cost-reimbursable basis. Each project participant will be expected to share in the total project cost by contributing cash or in-kind resources.

    Under the CTMA Program, the parties shall limit participation on the project to (1) U.S. citizens, (2) lawful permanent residents as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20), (3) other protected individuals as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3) and (4) Canadian citizens (pursuant to the principles underlying the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement), if such participation will involve visual inspection of the Technology, Intellectual Property or Technical Information, or oral exchanges of information about the foregoing. We also require the project participants to furnish NCMS, upon request, with proof of the citizenship status of its personnel participating on the project, including (1) U.S. citizens; (2) legal permanent residents; and (3) foreign nationals who are not permanent residents. In instances where it is necessary to involve foreign national employees in the visual inspection of the Technology, Intellectual Property, or Technical Information, or oral exchanges of information about the foregoing, the parties will be required to furnish to NCMS proof of appropriate valid export license, or technical assistance agreement, or exemption from licensing requirements (e.g. Canadian exemption) to the extent required by the International Traffic In Arms Regulations (“ITAR”) or the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”). A copy of such license or agreement shall be furnished to NCMS before any disclosure of information to such foreign person. In the event a party believes that the subject matter of the project agreement is not covered by ITAR, that party may request a written waiver of the requirements of foreign national provision in the CTMA Agreement, which may be granted if the NCMS contracting officer agrees that ITAR does not cover the subject matter.

    These requirements also apply to individuals who have dual citizenship status.