CBD: NASA: Teaming opportunity for the In-Space propulsion technologies program NRA

Status Report From: Langley Research Center
Posted: Monday, September 3, 2001

[Commerce Business Daily: Posted in CBDNet on August 29, 2001]
[Printed Issue Date: August 31, 2001]
From the Commerce Business Daily Online via GPO Access

CLASSCOD: A--Research and Development--Potential Sources Sought
OFFADD: NASA/Langley Research Center, Mail Stop 144, Industry Assistance Office, Hampton, VA 23681-0001
SOL SS-326
DUE 091401
POC Richard J. Siebels, Contracting Officer, Phone (757) 864-2418, Fax (757) 864-6131, Email - Mary Jane Yeager, Contracting Officer, Phone (757) 864-2473, Fax (757) 864-7709, Email

DESC: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) intends to release a NASA Research Announcement (NRA) in the near future for the In-Space Propulsion Technologies Program. The In-Space Propulsion Technologies Program fosters the development of innovative space propulsion concepts and the assessment of those concepts in ground, flight, or engineering model demonstrations. The NRA will solicit analytical studies, lab demonstrations, field demonstrations, requirements analysis, design, and engineering model construction for innovative techniques that have the highest potential to meet the goals for the In-Space Propulsion Technologies Program and the requirements of the Office of Space Science. Successful proposers must present concepts that have great potential for enabling/enhancing space transportation and/or reducing cost, size, mass, and resource use.

The In-Space Propulsion Technologies Program will competitively select, through a peer review process, proposals to participate in the program. NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) is seeking partners from the aerospace industry to participate with NASA LaRC Principal Investigators (PI) in the In-Space Propulsion Technologies Program to develop proposals and execute development and performance demonstrations of space propulsion systems, subsystems, and/or components. It is expected that selection of the proposal(s) and availability of funds would result in system, subsystem, and/or component contracts for the selected partner(s). This partnering opportunity does not guarantee selection for award of any contracts, nor is it to be construed as a commitment by NASA to pay for the information solicited. It is expected that the partner(s) selected would provide (at no cost to NASA) conceptual designs, technical data, proposal input, project schedules and cost estimates consistent with the requirements of the NRA.

Potential partners must demonstrate the capabilities and experience to provide systems, subsystems, and components consistent with the efforts synopsized for each intended LaRC proposal.

Partners must work collaboratively with NASA and other potential aerospace industry partners to perform the required tasks. Partner selection(s) will be made by LaRC based on the following criteria in the following order of importance: 1) Relevant experience, past performance, technical capability and availability of key personnel This criteria evaluates the proposer's relevant recent experience, past performance in similar development activities, technical capability to perform the development and key personnel available to support the development. Substantive evidence (points of contact and telephone numbers) of successful participation in similar developments should be included. 2) Cost and schedule control This criterion evaluates the proposer's ability to control both cost and schedule. The proposer should provide evidence of successfully controlling cost and schedule for similar development programs and provide evidence of management processes. 3) Facilities This criterion evaluates the proposer's facilities (analyses, development, and testing) used to conduct the development or demonstration of the proposed task.

The proposer should discuss facility availability, access, and the ability to meet the proposed objectives. Responses should be limited to 3 pages (12 point, Times Roman font) and address each of the criteria. Even though it may be duplicative, a separate proposal must be submitted for each technology area of interest. The responder must indicate on the cover page of the proposal the applicable technology area.

All responses should be sent to: NASA Langley Research Center, Attn: Junilla Applin, Mail Stop: 173A, Building 1221B, Room 233, Hampton, VA 23681, or via e-mail to The due date for submission is COB September 14, 2001. Procurement questions should be directed to Richard Siebels, NASA LaRC Procurement Office, 757-864-2418, Partners are sought for the following technology areas.

The technical requirements and NASA LaRC point of contact for technical questions is provided for each area. Technology Areas Strategy concepts, technology and system concepts, and mission concepts (single missions and mission sets) are solicited in the following areas: 1. Aeroassist/Aerocapture Technologies 2. Solar Sail Technologies 1. Aeroassist/Aerocapture Technologies Technical Point of Contact: Michelle Munk, 757-864-2314, The next generation of planetary exploration vehicles will rely on robust aeroassist technologies. For landers, aeromaneuvering will allow precise landings, resulting in less risk and increased scientific return. For orbiters, aerocapture will significantly reduce mission mass and cost, enabling access to destinations not possible with conventional orbit insertion methods. Significant technical challenges, such as approach velocities and vehicle size (scaling) must be addressed when considering aeroassist technologies for multiple robotic missions. The goal is to address key technology risks and encourage innovative solutions in preparation for future exploration missions. Both deep space and near-Earth environments should be considered. The development and/or qualification of flight hardware will not be supported. Proposers should describe the technology application, provide a clear indication of potential system benefits, demonstrate an understanding of the environmental issues, and provide information on planned activities and expected outcomes.

Emphasis will be on the following high-priority areas for aeroassist/aerocapture technology development: aeroshell structures and thermal protection systems; Ballute technology to include tethered & towed concepts, and deployment & inflation of large towed Ballutes for aerocapture; sensors and instrumentation technologies for aeroassist including flowfield and TPS instrument development & integration. 2. Solar Sail Technologies Technical Point of Contact: W. Keith Belvin, 757-864-4319, The NASA Langley Research Center's Ultralightweight and Inflatable Structures (UIS) team is developing structures and materials for solar sails. In collaboration with several NASA mission centers, the UIS team leads the development (test, analysis, and characterization) of lightweight deployable rigidizable booms that will serve as the support structure for the sail membrane. These booms have linear densities of 20-80 grams/meter. A single-boom, two-quadrant test-bed has been developed to study deployment loads and system integration of the boom and sail membrane. Optical methods are in development for characterization of the sail shape and structural dynamics. Thin film materials development is also underway whereby carbon Nan tubes are being added to a space durable polymer to enhance electrical conductivity while minimizing solar absorptivity. Five-micron thick films are under evaluation for initial solar sail missions and more advanced materials processing such as electrospinning are being studied for future ultralightweight sail membranes. Extensive analysis efforts are underway to predict the structural performance of deployed sails. The most difficult challenge of the analysis activity involves modeling membrane wrinkling and boom deployment dynamics. The potential NRA objectives include ground testing of scaled solar sail models for a reference mission such as GEOSTORM. These square sail models would be approximately 10 meters on a side and statically and dynamically tested in Langley's 16-meter vacuum chamber. Potential NRA activities include model design and fabrication, testing and analysis, and extrapolation of scaling laws to full-scale performance. Both a static (non-deploying) constant thickness scaled model and a deployable geometrically scaled model are planned. The latter model will be used to study boom deployment and membrane packaging and deployment control. In addition coupled-field problems such as structural shape effects (e.g. wrinkling) on navigation and control will be evaluated.

LINKURL: LINKDESC: Click here for the latest information about this notice
EMAILDESC: Richard J. Siebels CITE: (D-241 SN50W243)

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