B-153037, MAY 11, 1964

B-153037: May 11, 1964

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THIS EQUIPMENT IS TO BE USED BY CORPS OF ENGINEER AND U.S. THE SUCCESSIVE RIGHT ASCENSION AND DECLINATION POSITIONS OF THE PASSIVE SATELLITE AND THE PRECISE EXPOSURE TIMES ARE UTILIZED. THE COMBINATION OF DATA FROM THESE SYSTEMS WILL ENABLE THE REDUCTION OF INHERENT BIASES IN BOTH SYSTEMS. THAT IT WAS ESSENTIAL TO BUY BC-4 CAMERAS AND THE STEROCOMPARATOR FROM A FOREIGN SOURCE. THAT WHETHER SUCH ACCURACIES COULD BE OBTAINED IS DEPENDENT ON THE PRECISION OF THE LOCATION OF THE STARS AND THE NUMBER OF STARS WHICH CAN BE IMAGED ON THE RESPECTIVE PLATES. THAT THE FIELD OF THE 300 MM FOCAL LENGTH BC-4 IS 900 SQUARE DEGREES. THAT THE FIELD OF THE 600 MM FOCAL LENGTH PTH 60 IS AT MOST 289 DEGREES AND WOULD CONTAIN AT MOST 29 STARS.

B-153037, MAY 11, 1964

TO MR. A. K. SCHIEFNER:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 30, 1964, WITH ENCLOSURES, AND THE OTHER CORRESPONDENCE, PROTESTING AGAINST THE AWARD MADE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY FOR FOREIGN MANUFACTURED BC-4 CAMERAS.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT ON SEPTEMBER 23, 1963, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY AWARDED CONTRACT NO. DA-44-009-AMC-383 (X) TO WILD-HEERBRUGG INSTRUMENTS, INCORPORATED, UNDER THE NEGOTIATING AUTHORITY OF 10 U.S.C. 2304 (A) (10), FOR A QUANTITY OF 8 BC-4 BALLISTIC CAMERAS AND 1 WILD STK-1 STEROCOMPARATOR, TO BE MANUFACTURED AT THE CONTRACTOR'S PLANT IN HEERBRUGG, SWITZERLAND, AT A TOTAL PRICE OF $315,815. THIS EQUIPMENT IS TO BE USED BY CORPS OF ENGINEER AND U.S. COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY PERSONNEL IN A COOPERATIVE PROGRAM OF PASSIVE SATELLITE SPECIAL TRIANGULATION. ARMY EXPLAINS THE NEED FOR THIS EQUIPMENT, AS FOLLOWS:

"2. RECENT ADVANCES IN THE STATE-OF-THE-ART INDICATE THAT THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PRECISE WORLD-WIDE GEODETIC CONTROL SYSTEM TO SATISFY URGENT DEFENSE REQUIREMENTS CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED MORE RAPIDLY, MORE ACCURATELY, AND MORE ECONOMICALLY BY AN INTEGRATED SATELLITE OBSERVATIONAL PROGRAM UTILIZING ELECTRONIC DISTANCE MEASURING AND PHOTOGRAMMETRIC ANGLE MEASURING SYSTEMS. SUCH AN INTEGRATED PROGRAM COMBINES ACTIVE SATELLITE TRILATERATION WITH PASSIVE SATELLITE TRIANGULATION TO DEFINE BOTH SIZE AND SHAPE FOR A PRECISE WORLD-WIDE GEODETIC CONTROL SYSTEM. THE PASSIVE SATELLITE METHOD OF TRIANGULATION OPERATES BY PHOTOGRAPHING A SUN REFLECTING, ECHO TYPE SATELLITE AT FREQUENT INTERVALS SIMULTANEOUSLY FROM THREE OR MORE TRACKING STATIONS, AGAINST THE CELESTIAL BACKGROUND. RESORTING TO EUCLIDIAN SPATIAL TRIANGULATION, THE SUCCESSIVE RIGHT ASCENSION AND DECLINATION POSITIONS OF THE PASSIVE SATELLITE AND THE PRECISE EXPOSURE TIMES ARE UTILIZED, IN CONJUNCTION WITH SCALING INFORMATION FROM THE ELECTRONIC DISTANCE MEASURING SYSTEM WHICH UTILIZES AN ACTIVE SATELLITE, TO DETERMINE GEODETIC COORDINATES OF UNKNOWN POINTS ON THE SURFACE OF THE EARTH. THE COMBINATION OF DATA FROM THESE SYSTEMS WILL ENABLE THE REDUCTION OF INHERENT BIASES IN BOTH SYSTEMS, STRENGTHENING THE MATHEMATIC SOLUTION.'

PRIOR TO THE AWARD, IT HAD BEEN DETERMINED BY THE ACTING CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, UNDER DATE OF JUNE 24, 1963, PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE BUY AMERICAN ACT (41 U.S.C.) AND APP 6-103-2, THAT IT WAS ESSENTIAL TO BUY BC-4 CAMERAS AND THE STEROCOMPARATOR FROM A FOREIGN SOURCE, AS NO DOMESTIC SOURCE HAD DEVELOPED A CAMERA EQUALLY CAPABLE OF PERFORMING THE NECESSARY FUNCTION. THEREAFTER, UNDER DATE OF AUGUST 5, 1963, THE DEPUTY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE HAD GRANTED AUTHORITY TO PROCURE THE CAMERAS AND STEROCOMPARATOR FROM A FOREIGN SOURCE BASED UPON A DETERMINATION OF NONAVAILABILITY OF EQUIPMENT OF THE REQUIRED PRECISION FROM DOMESTIC SOURCES.

YOU CONTEND THAT IN MAKING THIS "SOLE SOURCE" AWARD, ARMY IGNORED AT LEAST ONE SUITABLE DOMESTICALLY MANUFACTURED CAMERA, THE PTH 60 MANUFACTURED BY YOUR FIRM. IN ITS ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT TO THIS OFFICE, ARMY STATES THAT PRIOR TO THIS PURCHASE, ITS EXPERTS IN THE FIELD OF PASSIVE SATELLITE PHOTOGRAMMETRIC TRIANGULATION (DR. H. H. SCHMID AND LT. COMMANDER E. M. TAYLOR, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY) HAD EVALUATED THE CAMERAS AVAILABLE AND HAD DETERMINED THAT THE CAMERA ORIENTATION ERROR SHOULD BE REDUCED TO PLUS OR MINUS 0.5 SECONDS OF ARC FOR RAYS 11.5 DEGREES OFF AXIS IN THE BC-4 AND 5 DEGREES OFF AXIS IN THE PTH 60; AND THAT WHETHER SUCH ACCURACIES COULD BE OBTAINED IS DEPENDENT ON THE PRECISION OF THE LOCATION OF THE STARS AND THE NUMBER OF STARS WHICH CAN BE IMAGED ON THE RESPECTIVE PLATES. IT FURTHER REPORTED THAT DUE TO THE INACCURACIES FOUND IN THE STANDARD STAR CATALOGUES--- THE FK-4 AND H-30 STAR CATALOGUES--- IT CAN UTILIZE ON THE AVERAGE ONE STAR IN A FIELD OF TEN SQUARE DEGREES; THAT THE FIELD OF THE 300 MM FOCAL LENGTH BC-4 IS 900 SQUARE DEGREES, AND ON THE AVERAGE CONTAINS 90 STARS, A GREATER NUMBER THAN THE REQUIRED 80 STARS TO REDUCE THE ORIENTATION ERROR CONTRIBUTION TO AN ACCEPTABLE VALUE; BUT THAT THE FIELD OF THE 600 MM FOCAL LENGTH PTH 60 IS AT MOST 289 DEGREES AND WOULD CONTAIN AT MOST 29 STARS, LESS THAN THE REQUISITE 60 STARS FOR SUCH A REDUCTION. ARMY FELT THAT THE IDEA OF EXTENDING STAR COLLECTION TO MULTIPLE SETS OF THE SAME STARS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE BECAUSE THE STABILITY OF THE CAMERA MOUNT IS INSUFFICIENT TO ASSURE THE RESULT WITHIN A FEW TENTHS OF A SECOND OF ARC; MOREOVER, THAT THE SMALLER FIELD OF VIEW OF THE LARGER FOCAL LENGTH CAMERA PERMITTED ONLY HALF THE NUMBER OF SATELLITE IMAGES TO BE EXPOSED, THEREBY LIMITING READINGS TO A SHORTER PORTION OF THE ORBIT. IN CONCLUSION, ARMY STATION THAT THE CONCOMITANT SMALLER FIELD OF VIEW WITH THE LONGER FOCAL LENGTH CAMERA WAS THE PRINCIPAL REASON THAT THE PTH 60 DID NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THIS PROCUREMENT. (ARMY CALLS ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT BC-4 BALLISTIC CAMERA HAS A 33 DEGREE ANGLE OF VIEW, THUS PROVIDING A CAPABILITY OF OBTAINING OVER 300 SATELLITE IMAGES ON EACH PHOTOGRAPHIC PLATE AND, IN THE OPINION OF ARMY, INSURING A STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OVER A LONG PORTION OF THE ORBIT.)

YOUR POSITION IS THAT A LARGE ANGULAR FIELD OF VIEW IS OF NO SIGNIFICANT ADVANTAGE IN GEODETIC OPERATIONS; RATHER, FROM THE STANDPOINT OF ACCURACY ALONE (WITHOUT CONSIDERATION TO PORTABILITY AND LOGISTICS) CAMERAS OF 1 TO 2 METERS FOCAL LENGTH AND ANGULAR FIELDS OF 10 DEGREES TO 15 DEGREES CAN BE EMPLOYED TO BETTER ADVANTAGE THAN THE 300 MM BC-4 WITH ITS 33 DEGREE FIELD OF VIEW. YOU BELIEVE THAT THE PTH 60 REPRESENTS THE IDEAL COMPROMISE BETWEEN THE CONFLICTING FACTORS OF ACCURACY, PHYSICAL SIZE AND FIELD OF VIEW.

YOU HAVE SUBMITTED LETTERS FROM VARIOUS PEOPLE WHOM YOU SAY HAVE EXPERTISE IN THIS FIELD. IT APPEARS THAT THESE LETTERS WERE WRITTEN IN RESPONSE TO YOUR INQUIRY CONCERNING THE VALIDITY OF ARMY'S POSITION ON THIS PROCUREMENT. (THE LETTERS ARE FROM PROFESSOR HEINRICH K. EICHORN-VON WURMB, DEPARTMENT OF ASTRONOMY OF WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY, MIDDLETOWN, CONNECTICUT, MR. S. W. HENRICKSEN OF THE U.S. ARMY MAP SERVICE, MR. JOHN H. BERBERT, MR. DUANE BROWN OF D. BROWN ASSOCIATES, INC. (DATA PROCESSING) AND MR. OWEN W. WILLIAMS, ASSOCIATED WITH THE OFFICE OF AEROSPACE RESEARCH, AIR FORCE CAMBRIDGE RESEARCH LABORATORIES.) THEY CONTAIN STATEMENTS TO THE EFFECT THAT THE 600 MM FOCAL LENGTH CAMERA IS MORE DESIRABLE FOR SATELLITE TRACKING THAN THE 300 MM FOCAL LENGTH; THAT STAR CATALOGUES MORE SUITABLE THAN THE N30 AND FK3 ARE AVAILABLE; THAT CAMERAS OTHER THAN THE BC-4 ARE CAPABLE OF TRACKING STARS AND SATELLITES WITH EQUAL OR BETTER ACCURACY; AND THAT THE ARMY IS MISINFORMED IF IT BELIEVES THAT THE BC-4 CAMERA PRODUCED BY WILD-HEERBRUGG IS THE ONLY CAMERA AVAILABLE IN THE FREE WORLD WHICH CAN SUCCESSFULLY TRACK SUN-ILLUMINATED PASSIVE SATELLITES OR THAT THE 600 MM SSL CAMERA IS NOT CAPABLE OF FULFILLING ARMY'S TASK. (THE COMMANDER OF THE U.S. NAVAL OCEANOGRAPHIC OFFICE INDICATED IN HIS LETTER THAT HE WAS IN NO POSITION TO COMMENT ON ARMY'S PROCUREMENT.)

WE GATHER FROM READING THESE LETTERS THAT ERRORS IN SATELLITE TRACKING MAY ARISE FROM THE MEASUREMENTS INVOLVED, FROM THE CAMERA ITSELF, FROM ATMOSPHERE CONDITIONS, FROM INACCURACIES IN THE STAR CATALOGUES AND FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHIC PLATES; THAT THERE IS NO OPTIMUM TRACKING CAMERA NOW IN PRODUCTION; AND THAT THE GOAL IS TO DESIGN A CAMERA SO THAT THE SOURCES OF ERROR ARE MINIMIZED. IT SEEMS THAT SEVERAL APPROACHES MAY BE TAKEN TO THE CAMERA DESIGN TO MINIMIZE THE ERROR FACTOR. FOR EXAMPLE, MR. S. W. HENRICKSEN, IN THE ARTICLE YOU HAVE SUBMITTED ENTITLED ,CAMERA DESIGN FOR PHOTOGRAPHY OF ARTIFICIAL SATELLITES," APPEARING IN PHOTOGRAPHIC SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, VOL. 6, NO. 6, NOV.-DEC. 1962, P. 318 ET SEQ. LISTS AND EVALUATES SEVERAL APPROACHES, INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING:

A. INCREASING THE FIELD OF VIEW TO INCLUDE MORE STARS.

B. INCREASING THE CAMERA FOCAL LENGTH.

C. INCREASING THE CAMERA APERTURE.

D. DESIGN THE OPTICAL SYSTEM WITH A VIEW TO ELIMINATING COMA EFFECT.

HENRICKSEN SUGGESTS A CAMERA DESIGN WHICH INCLUDES, INTER ALIA, A 600 MM FOCAL LENGTH AND A 20 DEGREE FIELD OF VIEW. HOWEVER, IT IS CLEAR FROM THE ARTICLE THAT OTHER DESIGNS MAY BE PREFERRED.

THE BUY AMERICAN ACT PROHIBITION AGAINST PURCHASES OF FOREIGN MANUFACTURED ARTICLES OR SUPPLIES DOES NOT APPLY, IF SUCH ARTICLES OR SUPPLIES OF THE CLASS OR KIND TO BE USED ARE NOT "MANUFACTURED * * * IN THE UNITED STATES IN SUFFICIENT AND REASONABLY AVAILABLE COMMERCIAL QUANTITIES AND OF A SATISFACTORY QUALITY.' 41 U.S.C. 10A. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE BC-4 CAMERA IS OF A DESIGN WHICH IS NOT MANUFACTURED IN THE UNITED STATES. THE POINT OF CONTENTION, HOWEVER, IS WHETHER THE BC-4 CAMERA IS ALSO OF A QUALITY WHICH IS NOT MANUFACTURED IN THE UNITED STATES.

THE AWARD TO WILD-HEERBRUGG WAS MADE UNDER THE NEGOTIATING AUTHORITY OF 10 U.S.C. 2304 (A) (10, PURSUANT TO A FINDING THAT IT WAS IMPRACTICABLE TO OBTAIN COMPETITION. ARMY HAD DETERMINED THAT ONLY THE BC-4 CAMERA WAS CAPABLE OF PERFORMING THE REQUIRED TASK WITH THE NECESSARY DEGREE OF ACCURACY. YOU HAVE ATTEMPTED TO ESTABLISH HERE THAT THE SSL 60 PTH IS AT LEAST AS ACCURATE AS THE BC-4. THE AUTHORITIES YOU CITE ACKNOWLEDGE THAT NO ONE CAMERA DESIGN IS UNIVERSALLY ACCEPTED, ALTHOUGH THE SSL 60 PTH MAY BE PREFERRED BY SOME. BUT ARMY FOLLOWED THE CONSIDERED JUDGMENT OF ITS EXPERTS; AND UNDER RECENT AMENDMENT TO THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT ACT, AN ADMINISTRATIVE FINDING TO MAKE AWARD UNDER THE NEGOTIATING AUTHORITY OF 10 U.S.C. 2304 (A) (10 IS FINAL. 10 U.S.C. 2310 (B), AS AMENDED BY PUBLIC LAW 87-653, APPROVED SEPTEMBER 10, 1962, 76 STAT. 529. SEE B 150639, APRIL 30, 1963.

YOU SAY THAT ARMY GAVE NO ADVANCE NOTICE OF THE PROCUREMENT; NOR DID IT ATTEMPT TO SOLICIT PROPOSALS FROM DOMESTIC SOURCES.

IT IS A FUNDAMENTAL POLICY EXPRESSED IN THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT STATUTES AND REGULATIONS THAT THE PROCURING AGENCIES MUST PERMIT COMPETITION TO THE MAXIMUM POSSIBLE EXTENT CONSISTENT WITH THE GOVERNMENT'S NEEDS. SEE 10 U.S.C. 2304 (A); ASPR 3-102. HENCE, WE HAVE HELD THAT WHERE THE PROCURING ACTIVITY RESTRICTS COMPETITION TO A PARTICULAR MANUFACTURER'S PRODUCT, THE AGENCY IS REQUIRED TO JUSTIFY SUCH A RESTRICTION. 39 COMP. GEN. 101. IN THIS CASE ARMY CONCLUDED, REPORTEDLY AFTER MAKING A SUSTAINED EFFORT TO DEVELOP DOMESTIC SOURCES OVER A PERIOD OF 10 YEARS, THAT THE BC-4 CAMERA WAS THE ONLY INSTRUMENT AVAILABLE WHICH WAS ABLE TO MEET THE GOVERNMENT'S NEEDS. IT SEEMS TO US THAT ARMY WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER ABLE TO JUDGE WHETHER COMPETITION WAS AVAILABLE FOR THIS PROCUREMENT IF IT HAD ATTEMPTED TO SOLICIT PROPOSALS FROM POTENTIAL DOMESTIC SOURCES BY MEANS OF, AT LEAST, A PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATION AND PRE-AWARD QUALIFYING PROGRAM. THIS OFFICE IS LOATH TO SANCTION A SOLE SOURCE PROCUREMENT IN THE ABSENCE OF DEMONSTRABLE PROOF, SUCH AS MAY BE OBTAINED UNDER A QUALIFYING PROGRAM, THAT ONLY ONE SOURCE WAS QUALIFIED. SEE 16 COMP. GEN. 318. THE NEED FOR COMPETITION IS PARTICULARLY ACUTE WHEN THE ONLY APPARENT SOURCE IS A FOREIGN BASED MANUFACTURER. HOWEVER, ARMY STATES THAT AN URGENT NEED EXISTED FOR THIS EQUIPMENT. IN VIEW THEREOF, WE CANNOT CRITICIZE ARMY FOR FAILING TO NOTIFY YOUR FIRM OF THE PENDING PROCUREMENT.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, YOUR PROTEST IS DENIED. HOWEVER, BY LETTER OF TODAY WE ARE SUGGESTING TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY THAT IN FUTURE PROCUREMENTS OF THIS REQUIREMENT, ARMY SHOULD ATTEMPT TO GENERATE COMPETITION FROM DOMESTIC SOURCES.