NASA Opportunity to Participate in its Centennial Challenges Program as an Allied Organization


Synopsis - Nov 21, 2012

UAS AOC NON Final Appendix 1, 2, and 3 - Posted on Nov 21, 2012

General Information

Solicitation Number: NNH13ZUA002L
Posted Date: Nov 21, 2012
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Nov 21, 2012
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No Original Response
Date: Dec 21, 2012
Current Response Date: Dec 21, 2012
Classification Code: R -- Professional, administrative, and mgmt support services
NAICS Code: 541611

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Headquarters Acquisition Branch, Code 210.H, Greenbelt, MD 20771

Description

NASA is considering the initiation of an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Airspace Operations Challenge (hereinafter "Challenge") to be conducted under the Centennial Challenges Program administered through NASA Headquarters located in Washington, D.C. Through this Opportunity Notice (NOTICE) NASA seeks to select a Lead Allied Organization and additional Supporting Allied Organization(s) to work with NASA to conduct this Challenge. Overall coordination of the Lead and Supporting Allied Organizations will be done by a NASA Challenge manager. The date for Challenge competition is expected to be between August 30, 2013 and June 30, 2014 depending upon the availability of a test range and competitor registration date.

A description of the Challenge outlining NASA's objectives and Challenge Concept of Operation is provided in Appendix 1 to this NOTICE. NASA previously released this information in a Request for Information (RFI) on October 16, 2012. The RFI link is http://go.usa.gov/YNNH .

Organizations may submit proposals for consideration as either Lead Allied Organization or Supporting Allied Organization. A Lead Allied Organization will be expected to address all areas of the Challenge discussed in the description section while Supporting Organizations may address as many areas as they wish to be considered.

Allied Organizations would be responsible for some, or all, of the following:

* Provide and operate a UAS flight range to host the UAS AOC. * Qualify potential competitors with regard to the flightworthiness of their aircraft and their compliance with the UAS AOC rules. * Provide and operate a UAS Traffic Squadron that can provide cooperative air traffic management for the challenge competitors. * Provide a "Ghost Squadron" capability that dynamically generates TIS-B messages for simulated aircraft whose flight paths are closely coordinated with actual aircraft that are in flight and participating in the Challenge. * Challenge planning. * Sponsor recruitment. * Competitor recruitment. * Challenge administration and execution. * Challenge marketing and publicity.

Appendix 2 provides a more extensive description of these areas of opportunity for Allied Organizations to partner with NASA in completing the execution phase of the Challenge. Further refinements and creative enhancements of the Challenge objectives by the Allied Organizations, with the concurrence of NASA, are encouraged.

NASA provides the monetary prize purse (which can be supplemented by outside organizations) but no funding for the conduct of the competition itself. Allied Organizations must administer the Challenges with their own funding, or they must acquire the funding needed to administer the Challenges through agreements with sponsoring organizations or through other means. NASA will not provide any funds or cost reimbursement to any of the Allied Organizations for their work in connection with the Challenge.

Sponsoring organizations are those entities that team with an Allied Organization to augment the prize purse, provide funding for administrative expenses of the Allied Organization, operating expenses of the Allied Organization and/or provide in-kind support through separate agreements with the Allied Organization.

SPACE ACT AGREEMENTS NASA anticipates entering into Nonreimbursable Space Act Agreements with one Lead and one or more Supporting Allied Organizations. Selection of Allied Organizations will be through a competitive process based on evaluation of submitted proposals. Participation as an Allied Organization will be contingent upon selection by NASA and negotiation of an appropriate agreement between NASA and the proposer. The Nonreimbursable Space Act Agreement will detail the contributions and responsibilities of NASA and the Allied Organization for a specific Challenge. The agreement will address intellectual property rights, concurrence on rules, team agreements, media rights, insurance, registration fees and eligibility, term, and related areas. NASA reserves the right to select for Space Act Agreement negotiations all, some, or none of the proposals submitted in response to this NOTICE, and in the event no proposals are selected, NASA reserves the right to post an additional NOTICE or NOTICES in respect of this Challenge. Respondents will be responsible for funding their own activities associated with responding to this NOTICE and conducting the Challenge. Allied Organizations may collect reasonable registration fees from competitors but the use of registration fees as a primary means to cover Challenge administration costs is discouraged. An example of a Space Act Agreement for Centennial Challenges Allied Organization is shown in Appendix 3.

ELIGIBILITY Domestic, U.S. non-profit organizations are eligible to submit proposals in response to this NOTICE. Neither Allied Organizations, their employees, nor associates or students associated with the Allied Organization may compete for NASA Prize funds in a Challenge that they manage. They may compete for non-financial recognition. Allied Organizations and their officers and employees may not have a financial or other interest in any teams that compete in any Challenge(s) they manage.

Multiple organizations may form a team to manage the Challenge and may submit a joint proposal.

CENTENNIAL CHALLENGES BACKGROUND The NASA Centennial Challenges program was established to conduct prize competitions to generate innovative solutions to technical problems of interest to NASA and the nation. Those competing for the NASA monetary prizes can be individuals, independent teams, student groups, research organizations or private companies.

The program seeks unconventional solutions from non-traditional sources and, thereby, hopes to identify new talent and stimulate the creation of new businesses. Unlike contracts and grants based on proposals, prizes are only awarded after competitors have successfully demonstrated their innovations. Competitors retain ownership of their intellectual property.

To be eligible to win a NASA Centennial Challenge monetary prize, an individual or entity-- (1) shall have registered to participate in the competition pursuant to any rules promulgated by NASA; (2) shall have complied with all the rules of the competition and requirements of applicable law; (3) in the case of a private entity, shall be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States, and in the case of an individual, whether participating singly or in a group, shall be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States; and (4) shall not be a Federal entity or Federal employee acting within the scope of their employment.

The Centennial Challenges in the past have typically required several annual competitions to occur before the total prize purses have been claimed. Competitions have been conducted in a first-to-demonstrate format and in a head-to-head contest format. The competition events, especially in the head-to-head contest format, typically involve public spectators, televised or webcasted coverage and are utilized as high-visibility opportunities for public outreach. Additional information can be found at www.nasa.gov/challenges.

NEW CENTENNIAL CHALLENGE The specific Challenge under consideration for which an Allied Organization is sought with this NOTICE is the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Airspace Operations Challenge (AOC) which is focused on finding innovative solutions to the problems surrounding the integration of UAS into the National Airspace System (NAS). The approach being considered would require competitors to maintain safe separation from other air traffic while operating their UAS in congested airspace, under a variety of scenarios. This will be accomplished, through the use of sense and avoid technologies, as envisioned in the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). The Challenge prize purse is currently targeted for $500,000. NASA may, in its discretion, augment or reduce the prize purse, or may expand or contract the scope of the Challenge, or may decide to postpone or cancel the Challenge, based on the responses received to this NOTICE or for other reasons in its reasonable discretion. All activities by NASA under or pursuant to the Challenge are subject to the availability of appropriated funds.

SELECTION CRITERIA NASA will select Allied Organization(s) based on the following evaluation criteria as appropriate to the areas proposed:

1) Capabilities of the organization to administer the Challenge and competition events including ability to:

a. publicize and promote the goals of the Challenge through creative use of public media including websites. b. encourage the participation of individuals, groups, students, and businesses, especially those outside the traditional aerospace community and those from minority and under-represented communities so as to attract a diverse field of competitors with wide geographic distribution. c. conduct competition events safely and impartially. d. formulate and finalize competition rules, judging criteria, and competition plans in consultation with NASA and with appropriate public comment. e. provide, as necessary, appropriate competition venues and supporting equipment. f. access technical expertise in the area of the Challenge and select qualified and impartial judges. g. conduct competitor registration and establish agreements with competitors covering legal, insurance, and other issues. h. maintain communication with competitors and with NASA. i. organize ancillary activities, including parallel student-class competitions (university, high school, or other levels) to enhance and broaden the impact of the Challenge. j. Report competition results to NASA and to the public. k. collect and report to NASA data on competitor progress and performance. l. access funds and other resources required to successfully execute these Challenge requirements.

2) Experience of the organization in similar or analogous activities that demonstrate competence, integrity, commitment to safety, and ability to work cooperatively in partnering arrangements.

3) Ability of the organization to support Challenge administration through internal financial resources or firm commitments of sponsors. Existing financial resources or sponsor commitments will be a positive factor in evaluation of proposals.

PROPOSAL INSTRUCTIONS Responses to this NOTICE should not be more than fifteen pages in length, not including any letters of commitment from sponsoring or partner organizations. Pages in excess of the page limitations for each section will not be evaluated. A page is defined as one (1) sheet 8 1/2 x 11 inches using a minimum of 12-point font size for text and 8-point for graphs. Proposals should not include proprietary information. Submitted information will be shared within NASA and with contractor personnel associated with the Centennial Challenges Program. Prospective Allied Organizations are encouraged to periodically check www.nasa.gov/challenges for any updates or clarifying information.

Organizations may apply for consideration as either Lead Allied Organization or Supporting Allied Organization. A Lead Allied Organization will be expected to address all areas of the Challenge discussed in the Description section while Supporting Organizations may address as many of them as they wish.

The proposal shall consist of:

Page 1: Cover page including:

- Name of the Centennial Challenge addressed by proposal. - Date of submission. - Name of Lead Organization. - Business mailing address and phone number of organization. - Web site of organization (if applicable). - Name, business mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number of primary officer of the organization having authority to enter into a Space Act Agreement with NASA - Name, business mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number of organization's point-of-contact for the proposal (if different from primary officer). - Name of Team organization(s) (if a joint proposal). - Business mailing address and phone number of Team organization(s). - Web site of Team organization(s) (if applicable). - Name, business mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number of primary officer of the Team organizations having authority to enter into an Agreement with the Lead Organization

Page 2-4: Briefly describe your organization(s), including history, primary activities, interests, capabilities, and financial and personnel resources. Include experience of the organization(s) that is similar or analogous to the proposed Challenge administration, and that demonstrates competence, integrity, commitment to safety and ability to work cooperatively in partnering arrangements as contemplated by the Notice. Provide an organization chart identifying key personnel to the proposed effort. Provide as supporting documentation (not counted in page count) the relevant experience of key individuals. Identify the person with primary responsibility for management of the Challenge and the anticipated level of effort. Describe your organization's interest in the Challenge that you are proposing to manage and your reasons for wanting to manage it.

Pages 5-12: Describe your approach to managing and supporting the Challenge including:

a. alternatives to the baseline competition format described in Appendix 1. b. your plans to encourage the participation of individuals, groups, students, and businesses, especially those outside the traditional aerospace industry and those from minority and under-represented communities so as to attract a diverse field of competitors with wide geographic distribution. Any inherent limitations on the number of potential competitors. c. ways to maximize the safety of the public, organizers, and competitors prior to and during competitions. d. alternative concepts for judging criteria, and your approach to developing competition plans e. a description of the venue, facilities and equipment needed, and your approach to securing them. Plans to ensure that proposed format, venue, and associated elements do not provide any competitive advantage to any competitor. f. flexibility to NASA selection of alternative competition venues. g. the areas of technical expertise you will need for the Challenge, how you will access that expertise, and your approach for identifying and selecting judges. h. conducting competitor registration and establish agreements with competitors covering legal, insurance, and other issues. i. maintaining communication with competitors and with NASA. j. organizing ancillary activities, including parallel student-class competitions (university, high school, or other levels) to enhance and broaden the impact of the Challenge. k. use of public media including websites, social networking tools, and media coverage prior to, during, and after the competition reporting competition results to NASA and to the public. l. providing brief monthly reports on team registration and other pertinent issues; quarterly written reports providing NASA with registered teams' aggregate reported information on their investments directly related to their participation in the CHALLENGE; and a Final Report on the CHALLENGE including an assessment of the effectiveness of the CHALLENGE and recommendations for improvement.

Page 13-15: Provide a proposed schedule for major milestones in the process of planning and conducting the Challenge. These include the date when competitors can register, and when the competition will take place. Reference milestone dates to the signing date of a Space Act Agreement for this Challenge.

Provide an estimate of the expected cost of managing the Challenge and an estimate of the expected registration fee that might be charged to competitors. Describe the financial resources that your organization has or will obtain through sponsorships or in-kind contributions to conduct this Challenge. Describe methods to be used to acquire funds to conduct Challenge including sponsoring organizations or entities. Provide a schedule that identifies major milestones toward securing funding or other resources needed for Challenge development or management. Discuss any dependencies between securing these resources and milestones for registration and the competition.

Describe your approach to staffing for Challenge administration and for conducting competition events. Provide a description of roles and responsibilities for organization personnel not previously cited who will be required to support the development and execution of the Challenge.

Include attachments for: - Letters of commitment from any known sponsoring organizations or others providing financial or in-kind contributions.

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS All proposals in response to this NOTICE, including signed letters of commitment, must be submitted in a single PDF file as an attachment to an electronic mail message to michael.hetle@nasa.gov no later than 11:59 PM, Eastern Standard Time, December 21, 2012. Paper and FAX submissions will not be reviewed or considered.

GENERAL INFORMATION NASA will notify proposers of the results of the evaluation and selection process. After the completion of the evaluation and selection process, as appropriate, NASA will begin negotiations with selected proposers to finalize the terms and conditions of a Space Act Agreement. All work, as required, will commence after the parties execute a Space Act Agreement.

CONTACT INFORMATION Questions regarding this NOTICE should be directed to Mr. Michael Hetle, Program Executive for Prizes and Challenges, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate; Integrated Systems Program Office at: (202) 358-2428, FAX: (202) 358-2920, or michael.hetle@nasa.gov. Answers to questions of general interest will be posted at http://go.usa.gov/YHmA .

Point of Contact

Name: Mr. Michael Hetle
Title: Program Executive for Prizes and Challenges
Phone: 202-358-2428
Fax: 202-358-2920
Email: michael.hetle@nasa.gov

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