NASA Solicitation: Large Area Telescope Instrument Contract Extension With Stanford University

Status Report From: Goddard Space Flight Center
Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2013

Synopsis - May 09, 2013

General Information

Solicitation Number: RFP-NASA-LAT-EXTENSION
Posted Date: May 09, 2013
FedBizOpps Posted Date: May 09, 2013
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No
Original Response Date: May 24, 2013
Current Response Date: May 24, 2013
Classification Code: A -- Research and Development
NAICS Code: 336419

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 210.S, Greenbelt, MD 20771


NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has a requirement for the continuation of Contract NAS5-00147 with Stanford University for instrument operations and science analyses of the Large Area Telescope (LAT) instrument aboard the Fermi spacecraft. Stanford University has been performing both the instrument operations and the science analyses functions since the launch of Fermi.

NASA/GSFC intends to issue a sole-source Request for Proposal (RFP) to Stanford University. The estimated period of performance of this cost-no-fee (CNF) contract extension will be for approximately 3 years from August 11, 2013 through September 30, 2016.

Stanford University is the only organization currently qualified to perform the subject requirement for the following reasons: 1) This procurement will enable the science and flight operations activities to continue to be merged and carried out at Stanford University with a substantial university undergraduate and graduate student educational involvement. Only Stanford University possesses the high level scientific expertise, the detailed design, test and operations knowledge of the LAT instrument and Fermi spacecraft, and the capability to integrate the science operations and science data analysis.

This expertise and experience is essential because the majority of the science operations flow from the science data analysis and require knowledge both of the instrument science and instrument design, test and operation. In particular, this expertise is necessary for building the observing sequences and command loads required to implement the observing plan as well as developing and implementing procedures and contingency plans to identify and resolve in flight anomalies.

Similarly, the science data analysis is enhanced by direct knowledge of the instrument science operations. It would be unproductive to separate science operations from science data analysis; 2) Stanford University scientists and engineers are unique in their familiarity with the LAT instrument design, testing and calibration as well as the Fermi spacecraft. From 2000-2008, Stanford University designed, fabricated, calibrated, tested, and integrated the LAT instrument for the Fermi spacecraft, including at the Spacecraft level after delivery to Fermi.

Under contract NAS5-00147, Stanford University has successfully carried out the science operations of the LAT instrument on the Fermi spacecraft since Fermi launch in June 2008. Dr. Peter Michelson of Stanford University, as a leading expert in his field of high energy astrophysics, particularly X-ray and gamma-ray observations was selected by NASA Headquarters to lead the development, operation, and science data analysis of the LAT, based on an evaluation of his proposal submitted under the Announcement of Opportunity for exploration measurements in NASA's Fermi Mission (AO 99-OSS-03).

The LAT instrument is a state-of-the-art, one-of-a-kind instrument. In addition, Stanford University developed software for: testing the instruments on-orbit, generating observation sequences, checking telemetry received for health and safety of the instruments, processing the raw data so that scientists can manipulate, display, and analyze the scientific data received, and producing summary data. This effort requires the detailed understanding of the instrument and all related software. Since no other organization was involved with these activities on an in-depth level, no other organization currently has the knowledge and experience to perform the requirement.

Statutory authority for this procurement is 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1)--Only One Responsible Source. However, organizations who believe they can provide these services without any detrimental impact to the program schedules supported by this work should fully identify their interest and capabilities within 15 days after publication of this synopsis. Interested organizations may submit their capabilities and qualifications to perform the effort in writing to the identified point of contact not later than 4:30 p.m. time on May 24, 2013. Such capabilities/qualifications will be evaluated solely for the purpose of determining whether or not to conduct this procurement on a competitive basis. A determination by the Government not to compete this proposed effort on a full and open competition basis, based upon responses to this notice, is solely within the discretion of the government. All responsible sources may submit an offer which shall be considered by the agency.

The Government does not intend to acquire a commercial item using FAR Part 12. See Note 26. An Ombudsman has been appointed. See NASA Specific Note "B". Any referenced notes may be viewed at the following URLs linked below.

Point of Contact

Name: Joel Rivera
Title: Contract Specialist
Phone: 301-286-3815
Fax: 301-286-1773

Name: Julie A. Janus
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: 301-286-4931
Fax: 301-286-0341

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