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Rapid Expandable Mobile Shelter (REMS) for Mission Command



OBJECTIVE: The objective of this effort is to develop a rapidly deployable shelter that provides greater expeditionary capabilities at the squad level in combat operations in multi-domain environments and mission command. The development of this system will result in improved mobility; reduced battlefield signatures of personnel, equipment and communication facilities; enhanced speed and agility for dispersed combat operations and multi-domain operational environments including mission command. The protection capabilities that could be provided by this system would enhance Soldier protection on the battlefield, thus, increasing Soldier Lethality. 

DESCRIPTION: Current military deployable shelters require soldiers to focus on assembly for large periods of time rather than focusing on their combat missions. On top of that, once the shelters are settled, mobility becomes an issue during expeditionary combat missions as taking down the shelters requires additional time from the Soldiers resulting in mission limitations. With the Army moving to a more expeditionary focus, the existing shelter systems offer significant disadvantages rendering them impossible to incorporate or adapt to high tempo operational missions. The development of a compact, rapidly deployable, expendable and relocatable shelter system will provide Soldiers with protection during dispersed missions and combat operations. The objective of this system would be to provide environmental protection whilst reducing battlefield signatures for small units (squad level), and provide operational space. The potential payoffs of a shelter system design based on the aforementioned functionalities could be rapid set-up, takedown and movement in multi-domain operational environments. It would also reduce logistical burden; increase small unit readiness and survivability, reduce detection and provide environmental and camouflage protection. Additionally, the system must exhibit reduced weight and ease of stowing when compared to traditional shelter systems. The proposed system should exhibit the following specifications: • Innovative rapid expandable mobile shelter solution which could include soft wall, rigid wall or combination of both. • Setup time by one or two Soldiers must not exceed 5 min. • Takedown time by one or two Soldiers must not exceed 5 min. • Be expandable to fit a small unit comfortably Expanded Dimensions: Area = 220 sq-ft (desired); 180 sq-ft (threshold) Floor to ceiling height = 8 ft (desired); 7 ft (threshold) • Stowed size range 1/10th the size of the fully expanded shelter size. • The desired weight of the shelter is 175 pounds, however, up to 300 pounds shelter weight would be considered. • Operational Life: 3 years (threshold); 5 years (desired) of continuous field use. • Storage Life: 15 years (threshold); 20 years (desired) minimum useful life when placed in storage. • Erect/Strike Cycles: 34 (threshold); 37 (desired) cycles per year. • Shall meet waterproof specifications as per MIL-DTL-22992. • Shall meet weather and wind resistant, water and fire specifications as per MIL-PRF-44103D. • Shall operate in a temperature range between -25F – 120F and all-terrain. • Camouflage, low observable and concealment features in shelter material property, geometry and design are required. Note: The shelter system solution will operate without any heating or cooling system. In addition, all fabric fibers shall be compliant of the Berry amendment. 

PHASE I: The offeror shall propose to research and develop an innovative mobile shelter system addressing the requirements discussed in the previous section. Furthermore, in order to fulfill reporting requirements, the awardee shall report monthly on their progress, in the form of a 4-8 page technical report indicating accomplishments, project progress against proposed schedule (manage to budget), tables, graphics, and any other associated test data. Deliverables: • A system demonstrator. The system demonstrator could be a small scale model that would convey confidence in the system that it would meet deployment and set up times and other concealment requirements listed in the objective and description sections. • Swatches and small samples of materials and fabrics representing the outer skin, core, inner liner and structural/mechanical components of the shelter shall be provided that would demonstrate confidence that the system would meet the required characteristics and properties listed in Six monthly reports, with each report containing the following (four more monthly reports if the Option is awarded): o Expenditure to date, against proposed schedule. o Technical progress to date, against proposed schedule. o Technical achievement highlights, as well as problems or decision-points reached. o Within first two reports, present market research of all existing and future mobile shelter solutions and their applicability to a military deployment. • Final Technical Report, submitted within 15 days after contract termination, containing the following: o Conceptual 3D drawings and figures of the rapid expandable mobile shelter system in all configurations. o A list of maintenance items, frequency of replacing such items, and specific training required. o A cost analysis of the systems life cycle, including the cost of maintenance items and consumables, as well as the initial capital cost of procuring the system – over 5 years. 

PHASE II: It will focus on developing, demonstrating and fabricating a well-defined rapid expandable mobile shelter solution that is reproducible, and exhibits confidence in transition to both military and commercial markets. The objective is to conduct further development and optimization of the design and materials that provide the best balance to achieve the requirements, specifications and metrics listed in this topic. The Phase II effort will significantly improve upon the performance and efficiency of the conceptual design developed under Phase I. Required Phase II tasks and deliverables will include: • “Monthly” and “Final” reporting, as mentioned for Phase I, to cover the 24 month Phase II “Period of Performance”. • Generate technical detailed (Level 2 or equivalent) drawings of a rapid expandable mobile shelter solution. • Deliver a full scale prototype of a complete rapid expandable mobile shelter system that meets the requirements and metrics listed in the objective and description sections. • The contractor shall demonstrate functionality and increased setup/takedown efficiency over current shelter system. The demonstration shall be conducted at the Base Camp Integration Laboratory (BCIL) at Fort Devens, MA or an equivalent test site. • The target production cost of the system shall not exceed $12K including insulation and concealment materials and all hardware (e.g., poles, posts, stakes, hinges, buckles, zippers, ropes, etc.) • Demonstrate the capability for production based on shelter design, materials and provide unit coproduction cost based on quantities of 1,000 and 10,000 items. 

PHASE III: Initially the rapid expandable mobile shelter system will be used with troops deployed in austere environments. Further extensions of this technology to commercial and industrial use are likely as well. Soft wall shelters and rigid walls shelters are popular in the recreation and industrial markets. The development of this mobile shelter could bring further enhancements to the current technologies and expand the applications and uses in those markets and in new markets. Examples of mobiles shelters would include mobile clinics, mobile libraries, temporary living shelters, temporary office spaces, mobile kitchens, etc. 


1: MIL-STD-810G – Test Method Standard – Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests


3:  MIL-PRF-44103D – Performance Specification – Cloth, Fire, Water, and Weather Resistant


5:  MIL-DTL-22992 – Detail Specification – Connectors, Plugs and Receptacles, Electrical, Waterproof, Quick Disconnect, Heavy Duty Type, General Specification


7:  HDT Vertigo STAT 32


9:  MIL-STD-1472F – Department of Defense Design Criteria Standard - Human Engineering



12:  Tents and Shelters – Defense Technical Information Center


KEYWORDS: Mobile, Protection, Shelter, Rapid Deployment, Sustainability 


Rizalah Masadi 

(508) 233-5443 

Luis Padilla 

(508) 233-4515 

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