The Coast Guard this month issued its second Request for Information for small and medium-size commercial unmanned aircraft system (UAS) as part of ongoing market research and to learn more about sensors and payloads.

“The state of the UAS commercial marketplace is rapidly changing, and the USCG is combating new challenges and threats daily,” says the Jan. 19 notice in the federal procurement site “It is critical to have a comprehensive understanding of the UAS commercial marketplace, to include its most recent advancements pertaining to system and service commerciality, performance, and sensor capabilities.”

The RFI is for Group II and III UAS, the former having a maximum gross take-off weight between 21 and 55 pounds and the latter weighing less than 1,320-pounds. The Coast Guard’s high-endurance national security cutters (NSCs) operate with Boeing’s [BA] Insitu ScanEagle UAS, which are Group II drones. The ScanEagles are contractor-owned and operated for the service.

A Coast Guard spokeswoman tells HSR that the latest RFI “builds on the first while addressing commerciality as a service. It is also designed to obtain more detailed information that ties to requirements, particularly state-of-the art market information on air vehicle, sensor and payload capabilities.”

The second RFI also gives vendors that didn’t respond to the first survey another chance to give feedback.

Draft system performance specifications included in the first RFI say the UAS must be able to concurrently operate electro-optical and infrared sensors, a communications relay, automatic identification system and aeronautical transponders, and a non-visible IR marker. The service also wants the UAS to be able to conduct automatic flight operations, including launch and recover, and remain airborne for at least 12 hours.

In addition to the NSCs, the Coast Guard has said it wants its future medium-endurance offshore patrol cutters (OPCs) to deploy with UAS. The service plans to buy 25 OPCs and 11 NSCs.

The service has also evaluated smaller UAS aboard its cutters, including hand-launched drones.