USMC Seeks Portable Fuel Analyzer

MARCORSYSCOM has just released a sources sought notice for a Portable Fuel Analyzer. According to the RFI, “The PFA will consist of a system that will enable an unskilled incidental operator the capability to rapidly obtain and analyze sample of indigenous/captured fuel stocks on location to determine usability for immediate exploitation.” Basically, they want a device that will allow the novice to determine whether or not a fuel source is contaminated and can be used to power a vehicle or generator. This is critical in small unit operations where they may be required to scavenge fuel from a variety of sources.

1. The components of the PFA shall be maintained and operated by a single incidental operator and not require formal institutional training in order to operate and maintain the system at the unit level (Threshold).

2. All operator functions shall be capable of being performed during reduced light conditions with the aid of a maximum of 50 lumens of unfiltered white iridescent or Light Emitting Diode (LED) illumination source (Threshold).

3. The PFA sampling and analyzing components shall be able to be operated and maintained in a Nuclear, Biological and Chemical contamination environment by personnel in Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) level IV and be capable of withstanding decontamination (Threshold).

4. The analyzing and sampling components of the PFA shall be contained in a hardened case to prevent, other than normal wear and tear, damage during repeated transport, handling and lifting in a field environment (Threshold).

5. The PFA components shall be able to operate in temperature ranges from -4°F to 110°F (Threshold) and -25°F to 135°F (Objective).

6. All components shall be able to remain operational after exposure to uncontrolled climates that the USMC will deploy within , to include rain, dust, sand, etc. (Threshold).

7. All PFA components shall be able to withstand a transit drop In Accordance With (IAW) MIL-STD-810G Method 516.6 Procedure IV without adverse performance to their operational capability (Threshold).

8. The dimensions of the analyzing and sampling components case will not exceed 24″x18″x12″ (Threshold).

9. The weight of the component case will not exceed the maximum weight limits for portability by a single Marine (Male/Female) IAW MIL-STD-1472F (Threshold)

10. The sampling component of the PFA shall provide the capability to rapidly obtain adequate quantities required for analysis (Threshold).

11. The analyzing component of the PFA shall have the capability to analyze an indigenous/captured fuel source and determine is suitability IAW military fuel standards for use in ground combat vehicles and equipment (Threshold) as well as combat aviation platforms (Objective).

12. The analyzer portion of the PFA shall accurately provide in easily read format, “GO/NO GO” determination of the usability of indigenous/captured fuel IAW military fuel standards (Threshold) and a detailed format showing each critical property results for reporting purposes when the sampled fuel stocks do not meet specifications (Objective).

13. The operational time required for the incidental operator to obtain and analyze a sample of indigenous/captured fuel to determine its usability shall not exceed ten minutes (Threshold) and 30 seconds (Objective).

14. The PFA shall be capable of self-sustained operations for at least 15 fuel analyses (Threshold) or 60 months of repeated use (Objective).

15. If required, the PFA analyzer shall operate on battery power for 3 hours (Threshold). If the batteries are removable, they shall be a service common solution from the commercial sector (AA, AAA, B, C, D, 9V, CR-123) or existing military battery (Threshold).

16. If a power source is required, the PFA analyzer shall also have the capability to operate/charge on 85-240 AC current, and be internally protected from power surge (Threshold).

17. The PFA system shall be able to be shipped by commercial air carrier, rail, loose cargo, helicopter, etc (Threshold).

In particular, SYSCOM wants to know –
1. Industry comments on draft USMC performance requirements, to include ability to meet performance requirements.
2. Industry comments on draft USMC work statement, to include ability to meet work requirements.
3. Industrial capability to manage and execute this type program
4. Industrial comments on production rate and timing
5. Past performance delivering a like or similar capability

Interested parties should visit www.fbo.gov for full details.

2 Responses to “USMC Seeks Portable Fuel Analyzer”

  1. Jeff says:

    1) Pour fuel in clear water bottle.
    2) Let it sit for a few minutes.
    3) Is there dirt at the bottom? It’s dirty. Is it cloudy? There’s water in there.

    That’s basically what most units are forced to do, because the test kits that are available to Bulk Fuel Specialists require a bulk fuel specialist. They also require a reliable power source, and even then, often don’t work.

    We are spared many problems by the outstanding fuel-water separators on our vehicles, but generators, HE and trucks are often knocked out by bad fuel.

  2. Desert Lizard says:

    How about making an effort in developing a colorimetric paper (e.g. M8 paper for testing for an NBC environment). That would be inexpensive, small, not require power, lightweight. Development would be easy to figure out.