Synopsis - Aug 30, 2012
Solicitation Number: SG-Stations
Posted Date: Aug 30, 2012
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Aug 30, 2012
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No
Original Response Date: Oct 05, 2012
Current Response Date: Oct 05, 2012
Classification Code: A -- Research and Development
NAICS Code: 541712
Contracting Office Address
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 210.Y, Greenbelt, MD 20771
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) is seeking capability statements from all interested parties, including Small, Small Disadvantaged (SDB), 8(a), Woman-owned (WOSB), Veteran Owned (VOSB), Service Disabled Veteran Owned (SD-VOSB), Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) businesses, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)/Minority Institutions (MI) for the purposes of determining the appropriate level of competition for this potential requirement.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Space Geodesy Project (SGP) is soliciting information to improve its understanding of the interest, capabilities, and Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) estimates for planning the construction, deployment, and operation of the next generation Space Geodesy (SG) stations that will be part of a new NASA's Space Geodetic Network (SGN). NASA is considering the construction of up to ten new or upgraded stations that will contribute to the larger Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS).
One of the main objectives of SGP is to produce the necessary observations for realization of the Terrestrial Reference Frame (TRF). Scientific objectives dictate the desire for a TRF definition with accuracy of 1 mm and stable to .1mm/yr (millimeters per year), including geocenter and with a scale accurate to 0.1ppb (parts per billion), and stable to 0.01 ppb/yr. (Source: Gross et al., 2009). This is a factor of 10-20 beyond current capability.
The NASA SGN will comprise integrated, multi-technique next generation space geodetic observing systems, as the core contribution to a global network designed to produce the higher quality data required to maintain the Terrestrial Reference Frame and provide information essential for fully realizing the measurement potential of the current and coming generation of Earth Observing spacecraft. It is anticipated that to achieve the desired level of accuracy and stability the SG sites will collocate and use in unison several key techniques of observation, including Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR), Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and Doppler Orbitography and Radiopositioning Integrated by Satellite (DORIS). Other secondary instruments (e.g., gravimeters, may be added. The measurements derived from the various techniques at each site must be combined. To achieve this combination, a Vector Tie System (VTS) is required. The VTS will ensure that the relative position among systems is known (to an anticipated requirement of 1 mm).
In accordance with FAR 15.201(e), the information requested is for planning purposes only and does not constitute a commitment, implied or otherwise, that NASA will take procurement action in this matter. Further, neither NASA, nor the Government will be responsible for any costs incurred in furnishing this information.
NASA's Space Geodesy Project (SGP) is a new initiative and is part of NASA's response to two important reports from the National Research Council (NRC): 1) "Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond", a.k.a. the " Earth Science Decadal Survey"; and 2) "Precise Geodetic Infrastructure, National Requirements for a Shared Resource". These reports highlight the importance of maintaining and enhancing the geodetic infrastructure that enables modern geodesy.
Geodesy is the science of accurately measuring, with the highest precision, the Earth's geometric shape, gravity and orientation in space, including their evolution in time. Currently, the main space-geodetic systems used to observe the geodetic properties of the Earth are: Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR), Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) (including the US Global Positioning System, GPS), and the French Doppler Orbitography and Radio-Positioning by Integrated Satellite (DORIS) System. These space-geodetic observations also provide the basis for the reference frame that is needed in order to assign coordinates to points and objects and thereby determine how those points and objects move over time.
The global geodetic infrastructure, with its terrestrial- and space-based assets, enables the realization of the Terrestrial Reference Frame (TRF), the foundation for virtually all airborne, space-based and ground-based Earth observations. Through its tie to the Celestial Reference Frame (CRF) by time-dependent Earth orientation parameters, it is also fundamentally important for interplanetary spacecraft tracking and navigation. The TRF determined by geodetic measurements is the indispensable foundation for all geo-referenced data used by society. Furthermore, modern geodetic measurements are making fundamental contributions to mitigating the impact of geohazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, debris flows, landslides, land subsidence, seal level change, tsunamis, floods, storm surges, hurricanes and extreme weather. Geodesy is also at the heart of present day ocean studies and contributes to atmospheric science and hydrological studies. As part of NASA's response to the two aforementioned NRC reports, the SGP is developing a prototype Space Geodesy (SG) station located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, Maryland. This prototype SG station consists of the next generation SLR, VLBI, GNSS, DORIS, and addresses the measurement of the vector ties between the invariant reference points on the co-located systems.
This RFI is limited to obtaining the information necessary to assess the interest and improve understanding of existing capabilities for addressing the SG initiative and recommendations identified in the aforementioned NRC reports. The next-generation SG prototype also serves as the basis for future production units. Therefore, the scope of this RFI includes: 1) the advanced engineering design effort to transition from the SG prototype design into the first production unit; 2) developing the first, next generation SG production units, including construction and testing; 3) site preparation and infrastructure development, 4) completing the on-site, field installation; 5) successfully completing on-site acceptance testing; and 6) operation of an SG station with all techniques. GSFC's Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory (GGAO) facility is available for production unit integration and testing prior to deployment and installation at the remote site. Site Preparation
NASA is performing site surveys at key geodetic locations to support the development of site specifications and determine future Space Geodesy stations. Each potential Space Geodesy site, depending upon its location, may require varying amounts of site preparation. Respondents may use the NASA assessment as a basis for estimating the cost of implementation. Any use of additional site-specific data in the cost estimation should be stated in the response.
High level VLBI requirements are located on the RFI web page. In particular see "Design Aspects of the VLBI2010 System," TM-2009-214180, that describes an earlier phase of development. Section 4 System Description is the most relevant part. The link http://ivscc.gsfc.nasa.gov/technology/vlbi2010-concept.html has a system block diagram and the major points. Technical details of many of the current components are described in presentations at a VLBI2010 workshop this spring in Germany located at: http://www.fs.wettzell.de/veranstaltungen/vlbi/tecspec2012/index.html . Some high level requirements for the VLBI2010 system are listed below:
Antenna >= 12m diameter
Antenna slew rates >= 12o/sec in azimuth, 2o/sec-5o/sec in elevation Receiver spanned bandwidth 2.2 GHz to ~14 GHz
SEFD < 2500 Jy
Data recording rates >= 8 Gbps using four bands of 0.5 GHz to 1 GHz each
Noise and pulse calibration subsystems
Duty cycle up to 24/7
Frequency standard <10 -14 at 50 minutes
Delay uncertainty ~ 4 psec A next generation, production unit VLBI system will be deemed successful when the following have been achieved: (1) Successful unattended operation. (2) Four-band, dual linear polarization raw data processed to phase delay observables. (3) Geodetic observing schedule recorded, processed and analyzed for baseline results. (4) Comparison of performance to legacy VLBI systems currently in operation and demonstration of superior geodetic results, e.g., reduction of tropospheric noise from rapid slewing.
An overview of the current NGSLR prototype system is located on the RFI web page. In particular, see "NGSLR Hardware Manual: Supporting the Next Generation Satellite Laser Ranging System." Some high level requirements for the NGSLR system are listed below:
Twenty-four hour tracking of LEO, LAGEOS & GNSS satellites
One millimeter normal point precision on LAGEOS
Accuracy/stability at the MOBLAS level or better
Aircraft avoidance system for all satellite ranging
Mean time between failures: > 4 months A next generation, production unit NGSLR system will be deemed successful when the following have been achieved: (1) Successful completion of a co-location test with MOBLAS-7. (2) Successful operation of the autotracking. (3) Automated tracking for a full shift. (4) Demonstrated tracking of the full range of the ILRS satellites. (5) Demonstrated tracking of LEO to GNSS satellites during both day and night.
Modern commercially available GNSS systems will be installed at each station that is capable of tracking of multiple satellite systems. The system installation may be covered by an existing NASA subcontract or be the site developer's responsibility. However, the infrastructure installation (e.g. - power, data lines.) will be the site developer's responsibility. The "infrastructure" should also include the monument build and specification, with the preferred type being deep drilled braced architecture but modifiable by mutual agreement, based on local geology.
For more information regarding existing GNSS site specifications, the IGS site guidelines were approved in July 2012 and are located at the following URL: http://igs.org/network/guidelines/IGS_Site_Guidelines_April2012.pdf
A production unit GNSS system will be deemed successful when the following have been achieved:
(1) Successfully installed, is operating and routinely delivering standard (RINEX) format GNSS Level 1 data to the CDDIS archive Vector Tie System The Vector Tie System (VTS) will autonomously measure and monitor the vector ties between the SG station main survey point and the invariant reference points on the co-located SG systems. The current prototype VTS is being developed using commercially available, highest-accuracy, survey instruments (such as a Robotic Total Station), survey accessories, and survey processing software. The implementation of the VTS may include the tasks:
Establish and maintain a local, 3-dimensional geodetic control network, stable to an accuracy of less than 1 millimeter.
Determine optical reference points and invariant reference points for SG systems.
Autonomously collect and process survey data to compute vector ties, relative to the International Terrestrial Reference System (ITRS).
Provide final survey results in SINEX format to the CDDIS archive.
A production unit VTS will be deemed successful when the following have been achieved:
(1) Successful unattended operation. (2) Determine vector ties to an accuracy of less than 1 millimeter. (3) Routine delivery of VTS monitoring data in SINEX format. (4) Geodetic observing schedule recorded, processed and analyzed for baseline results.
It is not NASA's intent to publicly disclose vendor proprietary information obtained during this solicitation. To the full extent that it is protected pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act and other laws and regulations, information identified by a respondent as "Proprietary or Confidential" will be kept confidential. It is emphasized that this RFI is NOT a Request for Proposal, Quotation, or Invitation for Bid. This RFI is for information and planning purposes only, subject to FAR Clause 52.215-3 entitled "Solicitation for Information or Planning Purposes". This RFI is NOT to be construed as a commitment by the Government to enter into a contractual agreement, nor will the Government pay for information submitted in response to this RFI. No solicitation exists; therefore, do not request a copy of the solicitation. If a solicitation is released it will be synopsized in FedBizOpps and on the NASA Acquisition Internet Service. It is the potential offeror's responsibility to monitor these sites for the release of any solicitation or synopsis. The Government reserves the right to consider a small business or 8(a) set-aside based on responses hereto. All questions must be submitted in writing via e-mail to all the points of contact as outlined below. As part of its assessment of industry capabilities, the NASA/GSFC may contact respondents to this RFI, if clarifications or further information is needed.
Instructions to Respondents:
NASA appreciates responses from all capable and qualified sources including, but not limited to: NASA Centers, universities, university affiliated research centers, federally funded research and development centers, private or public companies, and government research laboratories. Respondents are required to address the following items and must properly identify/mark any classified and proprietary information:
1. Describe any relevant interest, experience, and capabilities in serving as: 1) a single, SG site system integrator for developing and installing a next generation SG production station, consisting of VLBI, SLR, GNSS, and VTS systems; 2) prime contractor for total SG site system integration; 3) a subcontractor for one or more of the following systems: VLBI, SLR, VTS, or other next generation SG component; or 4) providing a specific service, capability or product in manufacturing a production-system.
2. Describe any relevant interest, experience, and capabilities for providing, as part of delivery, a 2 year commissioning period for operating the system(s) and an option for future extended operations.
3. Describe any areas of technical/development, schedule, or programmatic risk associated with preparing next generation SG stations, specifically for potential international sites.
4. Describe any areas of technical/development, schedule, or programmatic risk associated with developing production-versions of the next generation SG stations.
5. Provide a summary of similar, SG type systems that your company has already built (if any) and how they have been used in a system/mission application.
6. Identify any systems that your company has that are similar to existing SG designs and how they compare to the requirements summarized above and in the supporting documentation.
7. Level of design and manufacturing maturity: a. Describe existing in-house design and manufacturing capabilities. b. How many and what types of similar, SG-type systems have been built and are operating? c. Describe heritage based on previous work. d. Describe of level of testing planned or actually performed.
8. Company Technical Capabilities a. Identify any specifications from the requirements summarized above and in the supporting documentation that your company has met in previous designs and are considered routine.
b. Identify any specifications from the listed system requirements that your company has not previously demonstrated but are within the capabilities of your organization.
c. Which specifications from the listed system requirements cannot easily be met by your company?
9. Export Control experience and Expertise a. Summarize any relevant foreign export experience or capability, including ITAR; b. Discuss any relevant on-site construction experience performed in foreign countries;
10. Rough order of magnitude (ROM): The purpose of the ROM is to serve as guidance to develop budgets for the future implementation. Therefore, please provide ROM estimates and identify any non-recurring engineering costs for the following:
a. Delivery of the first, production-version, next generation SG station within 4-5 years and one (1) follow-on station. For the purpose of the ROM estimate, assume the first two (2) next generation SG sites will be located at NASA GSFC's GGAO in Greenbelt, MD and at Monument Peak, Mount Laguna, CA (site evaluations for these sites can be found at http://space-geodesy.gsfc.nasa.gov/news/Fall2012RFI.html ).
i. Identify ROM costs and schedule for your relevant area of interest (e.g. - prime SG system integrator, single system developer, or other) for developing, integrating, installing, and performing on-site acceptance tests and delivery for one (1) Space Geodesy production system that meets the requirements listed above and in the supporting documentation, consisting of VLBI, SLR, GNSS, VTS;
ii. Identify ROM costs and schedule for delivery of one (1) follow-on systems or station;
iii. Identify ROM costs for a two (2) year commissioning period for operating the station and/or relevant system(s). NASA is particularly interested in any cost and operational efficiencies in having a single station operator responsible for all on-site systems.
iv. Identify ROM costs, schedule, and risks for additional activities associated with the implementation of stations located outside of the United States (assume NASA has existing international agreements and partnership arrangements in place for the partner station).
b. Describe potential areas and approximate cost and schedule savings if an option to purchase up to eight (8) additional, next generation SG stations, at a rate of about one (1) per year thereafter existed;
11. For SLR ROM estimate(s): a. Include advanced engineering for transitioning the NASA prototype design to a production unit design (e.g. - replacing obsolete parts and incorporating lessons learned). Assume integration and testing of the SLR systems prior to deployment is performed on-site at NASA's GGAO in Greenbelt, MD. 12. Provide the following: a. Company name, name of corporate point of contact, telephone number, full mailing address, and e-mail address; b. Size of the company, number of years in business; affiliate information (if applicable): parent company, joint venture partners, potential teaming partners, experience with international site construction; c. Corporate competencies; d. Past performance information which reflects the company's relevant capabilities, experience, facilities, and/or manufacturing within the last five years. Please provide a brief description of the topic/effort; the value of the action; if your company was the prime contractor or the subcontractor; and the point of contact information (POC) of the customer (name of the company/Agency, customer's name, phone number, and email address).
Instructions for Submitting RFI Response
* Submit by October 5, 2012 no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)
* Electronic submission is preferred.
* The responses shall be addressed in 15 pages or less, 12-point font size, one inch margins.
* Respondents are welcome to submit supplementary information. There is no page limit in supporting documentation
*Format: Microsoft Word (.docx) or Portable Document Format (.pdf).
* Mark all responses: Space Geodesy Submission
All responses shall be submitted to:
Pauline Barrett, Sislyn.P.Barrett@nasa.gov, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Code 210Y, Bldg 22, Room 114, Greenbelt, MD 20771 Questions and comments are welcomed. All questions regarding and correspondence associated with this RFI should be conducted by email.
For further information on this RFI, please contact Stephen Merkowitz, Space Geodesy Project Manager, at Stephen.M.Merkowitz@nasa.gov. The web page http://space-geodesy.gsfc.nasa.gov/news/Fall2012RFI.html will also be updated throughout the RFI period with relevant information.
No solicitation exists; therefore, do not request a copy of the solicitation. If a solicitation is released it will be synopsized in FedBizOpps and on the NASA Acquisition Internet Service. It is the potential offeror's responsibility to monitor these sites for the release of any solicitation or synopsis.
Interested offerors/vendors having the required specialized capabilities to meet the above requirement should submit a capability statement of 15 pages or less on or before, October 5, 2012 indicating the ability to perform all aspects of the effort described herein.
Please advise if the requirement is considered to be a commercial or commercial-type product. A commercial item is defined in FAR 2.101.
This synopsis is for information and planning purposes and is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government nor will the Government pay for information solicited. Respondents will not be notified of the results of the evaluation. Respondents deemed fully qualified will be considered in any resultant solicitation for the requirement.
Point of Contact
Name: Sislyn P Barrett
Title: Contracting Officer