Geo Week News

June 29, 2011

When a public entity wants to buy a C-5, but cannot just say it...

These GSA sites are so fun to peruse. Yesterday, it was the Army looking for a close-range scanner. Today it looks like SLAC National Accelerator Lab is looking for a scanner as well, but this time it’s a long-range scanner they’re after. Specifically, a Leica C-5. How do I know they’re looking for a C-5, since they don’t actually mention a brand by name? Well, do you know of another scanner that might fit this criteria?

Range: min 35m, upgradable to 300m 

Scan rate: 25,000 pts/sec, upgradable to 50,000 pts/sec 

Dual-axis compensation: 1″ resolution available as upgrade 

Integrated camera: streaming video with zoom, upgradable to min 4 meg-pixel color single image  

Yeah, didn’t think so (find the story on the C-5 with its specs here). Why a public solicitation would request, specifically, a scanner that has a minimum of 35m range, but is upgradeable to 300m is beyond me. Why wouldn’t they just ask for 300m in the first place? Or 50,000 pts/sec?

Well, because they have a particular scanner in mind, obviously, but they’re a public entity so they have to go through the motions of a public solicitation process. 

I mean, if they were really seeking sources for such an instrument, would they post the solicitation on June 28, and have the response date be July freakin’ 4 at midnight? I’m guessing not. 

I’m sure this happens all the time and I’m not trying to imply there’s something untoward going on here, I just like to point out absurdities in our systems, and this certainly seems silly to me. 

But who knows what might happen. QPL Technologies is the only one listed currently as an “Interested Vendor,” and they don’t sell Leica equipment, according to their web site. They do sell FARO, but they don’t list any of FARO’s long-range scanners on their site. So maybe they’re trying to get creative. Or maybe they’ve recently added the C-5 to their line and have already got SLAC sold and they’re just waiting for the solicitation process to conclude.

Regardless, it’s pretty interesting to see a government agency seemingly interested in the C-5 over the C-10. Apparently, the money matters.

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