Updated on June 28, 2018 by Henrik Andersson

Tender 2: First Stage Receiver Unit

Status: 2018-06-28 Contract Signed

Selected Vendor

EISCAT has signed a contract for the delivery of the First Stage Receiver Unit for EISCAT_3D with DA-Design Oy, Finland.

DA-Design Oy is part of the DA-Group, a provider of advanced electronics and high technology solutions and products. The DA-Group serves industrial, defence and space sector customers on a global scale. The core competencies are embedded software solutions, FPGA designs, electronics, mechanics and RF, microwave and millimeter wave engineering. The service portfolio covers the turnkey solutions: from R&T, product development and engineering, testing and validation, manufacturing to product lifecycle management. Established in 1995 in Forssa, Finland, DA-Group employs about 100 professionals. www.da-group.com (source: DA-Design, 2018-06-28)

Tender

The FSRU procurement covers the low noise amplifier, analogue-to-digital converter and the first stage beamformer system receiver chain for each of the E3D antennas at the three sites. Since each E3D antenna receive in two polarisations, the total number of receive channels is 19 838 for a fully deployed site. Due to potential funding constraints, a part of system build-up will be handled as options that may be ordered later, but before the final regular deliveries are done.

Illustration E3DS1 FSRU

The EISCAT_3D system will be built as sub-arrays with 91 antennas in each block. The system should integrate the resulting 182 receive channels (for each 91-antenna sub-array) in a common FSRU unit.

The procurement will be through a two-stage process: first an open competitive procedure followed by restricted (invited only) tendering. To be part of this process, tenderers need to first express their interest:

Call for Expression of Interest (EOI) for the E3DS1 First Stage Receiver Unit (FSRU)

App1 Technical Description for the E3DS1 First Stage Receiver Unit (updated)

App2 EOI Requirements Answer Template to be used when expressing the interest

Deadline for EOI replies: CALL CLOSED

Questions and Answers

Last update: 2018-05-17


Question 32: FSRU: Procurement Objects 2 and 3 state 50 units each, is that correct?

Answer 32: No, it’s a typo. The number units for Procurement Object 2 (Sweden) should read 55 and for Procurement Object 3 (Finland) should read 54. This will be corrected in the Enquiry.


Question 33: The majority of our Industrial principal customers are OEM account with active non-disclose agreements. Thus, we are not able to disclose the company names of the industrial principle customers without breeching the non-disclose agreements. Is it sufficient to provide a list with industrial principle customers which contains following information: Industry, main application, Country and sum of revenue for the last three Years?

Answer 33: For the EOI it is enough to provide Industry, main application, Country and sum of revenue for the last three Years with out customer names. Examples of projects similar to EISCAT_3D FSRU with basic information is highly appreciated. We may request more information on the later phase of the tendering process.


Question34:  Section 11.1: Do you need sub-contractor information for external manufactures or only for R&D related tasks?

Answer 34: We like to know if supplier have all the necessary knowledge in house or is planing to use sub-contracting for e.g. FPGA development or RF design. Concerning manufacturing we like to know if you have manufacturing in house or plans to use sub-contracting.


Question 35: Enquiry 3.1. Please clarify in what form is it possible to negotiate. Can we propose alternative/deviating terms?

Answer 35: You can propose alternative or deviating terms for all technical and contractual terms.


Question 36: Ts&Cs 5. Please clarify whether these provisions apply only to information submitted as part of the bid, or also to protected IP provided by Tenderer under the contract.

Answer 36: IP rights can cover both the bid and those under the contract. Please specify in the offer which items will be under IP rights. 


Question 37: Could export control provisions (like ITAR) be incorporated?

Answer 37: Export control provisions for hardware can be incorporated as long as they do not apply to any of the EISCAT Host countries – Finland, Norway, or Sweden.


Question 38:  Enquiry 13.4. Expression of interests are accepted in original and via email (PDF format). Do you need both the paper and PDF versions or will the email with the PDF be enough?

Answer 38: For EOI email with PDF will be enough. 


Question 39:  Q1. SS_04_05 – It shall be possible to reboot the system by cycling power. Hard power cycles will risk corrupting the file system of the FSRU. Would a controlled shutdown/power cycle procedure be acceptable?

Answer 39: Although, sub-array containers will have UPS systems installed we expect some power cuts to be happen. Most of the time controlled power down is enough. Sites are remote and unmanned so in case FSRU is not responding we are planning to cycle the power using remote controlled power switch. If there is an other way to have same functionality, that will be accepted.


Question 40:  White Rabbit Interface. Do you expect 1 gigE control traffic to be carried over the White Rabbit 1 gigE optical links?

Answer 40: Our plan is to build the site wide 1 GbE control network using White Rabbit compatible routers and have WR switches in each Sub-array to deliver control and timing information. From this switch we can provide one SFP slot for control and one for timing.


Question 41: What type of connector is required for the input end of the LNA of FSRU? This is in relation to the design of FSRU. Is SMA acceptable?

Answer 41: SMA is acceptable, however we like to see a connector which is easier to install. For PfP HD-BNC was used.


Question 42:  “SS_02_04 Stop band attenuation shall be better than 80 dB (can be done partly in digital domain).” Please clarify the definition of “stop band”, and how far is it from the center frequency 233.38 MHz?

Answer 42: As this depends selected technology we like to hear from  There is no requirement for this but we ask tenders to give an estimation 


Question 43: In Chapter 3.5 the control interface is 1GbE SFP for receiving control signals and time information, and in Figure 3 there is only one Control port. Should there be two 1GbE SFP here, one for control information and another for time information based on WR? Please clarify it.

Answer 43: Our plan is to build the site wide 1 GbE control network using White Rabbit compatible routers and have WR switches in each Sub-array to deliver control and timing information. So control and timing goes in the same 1 GbE Ethernet cables. However, we can provide two identical SFP ports to the FSRU connections. 


Question 44:  “SS_01_14 FSRU shall have remote firmware update possibility.” Does the firmware include the FPGA firmware, if FPGA firmware is used?

Answer 44: Yes, that is our requirement. 


Question 45: “SS_07_02 Timing uncertainty between White Rabbit reference and sampling shall not exceed 100ps.” Does this timing uncertainty mean the uncertainty after power on or at the moment when power on? 

Answer 45: Timing uncertainty here means jitter (1 sigma) between White Rabbit reference in the container and any of the 182 ADC samples. 


Question 46: SS_BF_02_06. The noise figure of the Front End shall be on order of 0.5 dB. The formulation is not so precise: “on order of”. Would 1.5 dB noise figure be acceptable?

Answer 46: We understand that this requirement may have big influence to the complexity and price of the FSRU. Estimated noise figure shall be mentioned in the offer. In any case noise figure should be smaller than 1 dB. 


Question 47: SS_BF_02_09. The spurious free dynamic range (SFDR) of the First Stage Receiver Unit shall be better than 70 dB for a -40 dBm input signal.
Is this measured with a single sine wave at -40dBm?
Is this linearity required for a two tone intermodulation test?

Answer 47: It shall be measured using single sine wave at -40 dBm. 


Question 48: SS_BF_02_12. TOI measurement shall be better than 30 dBm. Is this “Input 3rd order intercept point” or “Output 3rd order intercept point”? 

Answer 48: It shall refer to the Output 3rd order intercept point.  


Question 49: SS_BF_02_05. The Front End LNA function shall have a maximum gain variation of 1 dB.
Is this gain variation over temperature range or
Is this gain variation over the frequency band of interest?

Answer 49: It is gain variation over the frequency band of interest. 


Question 50: SS_BF_02_10. Analog to digital conversion can be done using so called super nyqiost or under-sampling method at 104 MSPS or a multiple of this frequency. Does the word “can” mean that another sampling frequency can be selected? If yes, is any value of the sampling frequency that can handle the analog signal band (218-248MHz) allowed?

Answer 50: Yes, supplier can select freely the sampling frequency to be used. 


Question 51: SS_BF_03_02. Beamformer shall perform IQ detection having settable center frequency. Which are the required settings of the center frequency? (minimum, maximum and frequency step)

Answer 51: Should cover the receiver band (233 +-15 MHz) having at least 1 kHz resolution.  


Question 52: SS_BF_03_03. Decimation factor of the First Stage Beamformer shall be at least: 1,2,3,4,13,21,52. Is this decimation from 104 MSPS? (This would mean 104, 57, 34.7, 26, 8 4,95, 2 MSPS.) Or is the decimation from any selected sample rate? (This would mean that if we select 200 MSPS, the resulting sample rates are 200, 100, 66.7, 50, 15.4, 9.5, 3.8 MSPS after decimation.) 

Answer 52: We will rewrite the requirement using required signal bandwidth (MHz) rather than decimation factors. Smallest output signal bandwidth shall be 1 MHz. 


Question 53: SS_BF_03_05. The First Stage Beamformer shall have an Ethernet interface to output the data streams. There is one beamformer with 91 analog channels and 10 beams for horizontal and one for vertical polarization. Is it required to have one single 100GbE Ethernet connection to combine both polarizations? Would it be acceptable to have on 40GbE cable from one polarization and one 40 GbE cable from the other polarization? (This would simplify the system as the data streams do not have to be merged into a single unit.)

Answer 53: Second level beamformer will be a cluster of servers having 100 GbE capable connections. Our plan is to have one port for serving each 109 FSRU. Our estimation is that high speed network should be build using 100 GbE components. Supplier can provide switches to combine slower data rates to one. 


Question 54: SS_BF_06_03. Note that the diagram only displays the Sub-array sub systems. External systems (e.g. Computing System which is located outside of the Instrument Container) are not displayed. What is the distance to computing system? (the distance to transmitt over the 100GbE fiber)

Answer 54: Cluster computer for Second Level Beamformer and analyzing system will be located at the site close to the array. Lengths of the fiber optics cable will less than 200 m. If FSRU is provided with SFP+ slots then EISCAT will be responsible for the correct plug ins.   


Question 55: SS_BF_05_04. Data samples having hard targets are replaced with 0 and data packet shall be flagged. If a hard target is detected in one polarization, should the corresponding samples be replaced with 0 and packets flagged in the other polarization as well?

Answer 55: Answer is no. HTR detection can be done independently on each polarization.  


Question 56: SS_BF_01_08. The FSRU shall have a technical life time of at least 15 years. The technical life time can be expected to be 15 years. It may be troublesome to repair units after such long time. The components on the boards may not be available anymore. What is expected in such a situation?

Answer 56: This can happen and we expect supplier to have reasonable big stock of units and chose components with long support times. 


Question 57: SS_BF_01_15. Access to source code and rights to modifications for own use shall be given to EISCAT. The system will contain different parts. There will be Teledyne SP Devices’ standard products. There is also a parts which are designed for this system. The source code for the standard product cannot be available. There is nothing that can be changed without deep knowledge of the product. The custom source code can be supplied to EISCAT. Is this separation acceptable?

Answer 57: Yes, it is.


Question 58: Please clarify why one currency is required (section 8.1). Is it acceptable to use local currency in the designated countries of delivery (7.2)?

Answer 58: Pricing in the three currencies will be acceptable. For R&D and first article, the country is Norway.  


Question 59: Status of TX part? Availability of sub-array block for FSRU testing?

Answer 59: We have already installed sub-array available for testing. It has 91 antennas with all cables so 182 channels can be connected simultaneously. 


Question 60: Would HD-BNC connectors be acceptable for RX RF ports? 

Answer 60: Yes, it would be.


Question 61: Are four 10GbE ports acceptable for the data port? 

Answer 61: No, we will have one 100 GbE capable connection available for each 109 sub-array container. Supplier can provide a switch to combine separate data streams. 


Question 62: Is there a specification for the EISCAT Real Time Operating System? 

Answer 62: We have a web page: ‘eiscat.se/scientist/user-documentation/eros4/’ but for relevant E3D part development will be done during the EISCAT 3D construction and integration phase.


Question 63: Could EISCAT supply a timing diagram for the HTER algorithm? (FSRU Technical Specification Section 4.5)
For example: given a envelope threshold and integration time, is it possible to specify at which time offset after the integrated envelope exceeds the threshold
samples should be nulled? Is the threshold for releasing the target removal the same? What is the exact definition of the ‘time window’ parameter?

Answer 63: Yes, we will provide better diagram.


Question 64: Does EISCAT have a specific mechanism in mind for the transmission of error messages? (SS_BF_04_03) 

Answer 64: No, we have no plans for the error message handling. It’s up to supplier to design one.


Question 65: Is a start time resolution of 1 sample (~4.8 ns) sufficient? (SS_BF_04_12) 

Answer 65: We will rewrite this requirement. 


Question 66: Regarding the Stream API– is it sufficient to imply the beam index, e.g., by previously mapping stream indices to beam indices? (SS_BF_06_04)

Answer 66: Yes.


Question 67: What is your definition of the ‘data packet index’? Is it simply for sequence error checking? (SS_BF_06_04)

Answer 67: Yes, it is simply running index to check dropped packets. 


Question 68: SOW 69 (Labelling and marking). What about using the contractor’s standard labeling and marking?

Answer 68: For FSRU it’s possible to have only contractor’s labels.


Question 69: SOW 88 (Support)  What is your definition for support?

Answer 69: We will discuss this with selected supplier during contract negotiation phase.


Question 70: SOW 88 (Support). How long do you expect the support services to be provided after the delivery of the Procurement Object?

Answer 70: We will discuss this with selected supplier during contract negotiation phase.


Question 71: SOW 88 (Support) Do you plan to sign a separate support and maintenance contract for the deployed units?

Answer 71: We will discuss this with selected supplier during contract negotiation phase.


Question 72: SOW 88 (Support). As you will have access to the source code of the SW of the Procurement Object:
• do you plan to “open source” it and have the software of the Procurement Object maintained and supported by the open source community or
• do you plan to take full ownership of the software of the Procurement Object after the delivery?
Answer 72: No open source community will be involved. EISCAT reserves right to make changes to the software.


Question 73: What type of connector is required for the input end of the LNA of FSRU? This is in relation to the design of FSRU. Is SMA acceptable?

Answer 73: SMA is acceptable, however we like to see a connector which is easier to install. For PfP array a HD-BNC was used.


Question 74: In Chapter 3.5 the control interface is 1GbE SFP for receiving control signals and time information, and in Figure 3 there is only one Control port. Should there be two 1GbE SFP here, one for control information and another for time information based on WR? Please clarify it.

Answer 74: Our plan is to build the site wide 1 GbE control network using White Rabbit compatible routers and have WR switches in each Sub-array to deliver control and timing information. So control and timing goes in the same 1 GbE Ethernet cables. However, we can provide two identical SFP ports to the FSRU connections.


Question 75: “SS_01_14 FSRU shall have remote firmware update possibility.” Does the firmware include the FPGA firmware, if FPGA firmware is used?

Answer 75: Yes, that is our requirement.


—–    End of negotiation phase    —–


Question 76: “SS_BF_03_03 Output 3 dB bandwidth after IQ detection shall be at least 25 MHz.”. Is it possible to provide the 1 dB bandwidth, including the bandwidth after detection and the bandwidth corresponding to each decimation factor?

Answer 76: It is up to supplier to present expected performance after IQ and quality of decimation filters.   


Question 77: “SS_BF_03_10” Can you please clarify the actual signal bandwidth corresponding to each decimation factor?

Answer 77: As actual signal bandwidth depends on selected sampling rate and DSP algorithms we chose not to require exact decimation bandwidths. Our second level beam former will produce the final bandwidths. 


Question 78: For HTER function, can you please clarify the maximum integration time?

Answer 78: The idea is to calculate reflected power so any small number of samples is enough like 32


Question 79: Do you provide system and procedures for beamforming tests/verification and is there any equipment for calibration and verification already that also take care of cables et cetera between the antenna array and FSRU? We are wondering if the whole system is going to be calibrated/verified externally, making it unnecessary to perform an internal calibration for FSRU only.   

Answer 79: We will have a calibration system with transmitters and antennas around the array. Internal calibration is not necessary if  FSRU is otherwise meeting the requirements of stability. External calibration is expected to run at least daily base but in case temperature changes fast, it could be done more often.


Question 80: “SS_BF_01_10 The FSRU shall be rack mountable.”. Is it possible to connect cables both on the front panel and the rear panel of the FSRU when it is installed in the rack.

Answer 80: Yes, it is possible to have installation having cables on the both side of the rack. Instrument location and cabling can be arranged freely inside the standard 19′ rack and will have an access from both side. White Rabbit router will be in the same rack.


Question 81: SoW76 and SoW77 an Eiscat Error Reporting Process is mentioned, but there is no explanation what this means. Can you elaborate if we can use our own process or what the requirements of the Eiscat Process are?

Answer 81:  Supplier can propose to use their own reporting system. In case supplier doesn’t have any or it’s not suitable then EISCAT Gitlab server shall be used.


Question 82: SOW 95 and SOW 96 seem to be in contradiction. In the contract data requirement list it states for SOW95 that the procurement object should be delivered 7 days after approved ATR. SOW states that delivery shall take place on the agree delivery dates for review by EISCAT. Delivering e.g. 119 FSRUs within 7 days after approved ATR seems rather challenging. Please clarify.

Answer 82: The 7 day delivery after ATR review shall be understood so that delivery of first set of procurement object shall start. We also like to have delivery in smaller units than 119 or 54 at ones. Details of the delivery will be written during the contract negotiation phase.


Question 83: The “Checklist for included material in the tender” states that evidence according to SOW32, 36 & 42 should be included in the tender. The contract data requirements list states that evidence according to the same SOWs needs to be provided 30 days after contract. Please clarify.

Answer 83: If mentioned evidences exists before contract phase they shall be presented in the tendering documents otherwise 30 days after the contract has been signed. Later may be valid if a new consortium is going to be formed.


—–    End of E3DS1 FSRU questions and answers phase    —–