Status Report

NASA ARC Solicitation: CEV Heat Shield Ablator Material Screening and Development Block 1 Low Earth Orbit

By SpaceRef Editor
September 1, 2006
Filed under , , ,
NASA ARC Solicitation: CEV Heat Shield Ablator Material Screening and Development Block 1 Low Earth Orbit

Synopsis – Sep 01, 2006
TRL and IRL Definitions – Posted on Sep 01, 2006
General Information
Solicitation Number: NNA06BC65R
Posted Date: Sep 01, 2006
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Sep 01, 2006
Original Response Date: Sep 15, 2006
Current Response Date: Sep 15, 2006
Classification Code: 18 — Space vehicles
NAICS Code: 336419 – Other Guided Missile and Space Vehicle Parts and Auxiliary Equipment Manufacturing

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Ames Research Center, JA:M/S 241-1, Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000


The Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) Thermal Protection Systems (TPS) Advanced Development Project (ADP) is initiating a phased acquisition for test articles, design products and manufacturing demonstrations to support the TPS ADP’s effort to develop a preliminary design of a Block 1, Low Earth Orbit (LEO) return-capable heat shield by TPS Preliminary Design Review in December 2007. The goal of the TPS ADP is to reduce or eliminate the consequences and likelihood of TPS performance risks, in part, through the choice of TPS materials and system design features. The TPS ADP is pursuing this risk reduction activity by simultaneously maturing multiple Block 1 and Block 2 (lunar as well as LEO return-capable) TPS materials and heat shield system designs.

Using high density shuttle tile as a design reference, the CEV TPS ADP is seeking a comparatively low risk TPS solution for Block 1 (LEO) that meets all of the following required conditions: 1) It is an ablative TPS material solution; 2) It can be manufactured at full CEV-scale in a single piece (monolithic); 3) It is currently assessed to be at a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 6 or higher and it has been extensively ground tested at equivalent LEO-return heat fluxes;4) It is currently assessed to be at an Integration Readiness Level (IRL) of 4 or higher and 5) It has successfully flown on multiple relevant missions.

To meet this requirement, NASA/ARC intends to purchase SLA-561V test articles from Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company of Denver, CO in accordance with 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1), only one responsible source. SLA-561V is a proprietary thermal protection material produced solely by Lockheed Martin Space Systems.

SLA-561V has proven flight capabilities as evidenced by its applications on Stardust, Mars Viking, Mars Pathfinder, and Mars Exploration Rover. The monolithic design approach of SLA-561V combined with flight experience in a relevant environment and its high overall TRL and IRL values warrants pursuit of SLA-561V as the low risk Block 1 shuttle tile-alternative heat shield solution.

The first phase of the procurement will address the uncertainties and risks associated with material performance of 1.5 to 2.0 inch thick SLA-561V samples at high pressure and moderate heat flux regimes of the LEO re-entry environment. Arc jet coupons will be purchased for testing at NASA Ames Research Center. The second phase of the SLA-561V acquisition will seek to increase the maturity of the integrated heat shield design for the monolithic ablator path via the development of a comprehensive Design Data Book (DDB), a material properties database, a detailed thermal response model, failure limit characterization testing, and a full-scale manufacturing demonstration unit (MDU).

The Government does not intend to acquire a commercial item using FAR Part 12. See Note 26.

Interested organizations may submit their capabilities and qualifications, addressing all areas described in this notice, to perform the entire (two-phased) effort in writing by email to the identified point of contact not later than 12:00 noon Pacific Standard Time (PST) on September 15, 2006. Such capabilities/qualifications will be evaluated solely for the purpose of determining whether or not to conduct this procurement on a competitive basis. Capability statements must address the company’s ability to provide a TPS Block 1 LEO solution (a 5m heat shield) that is ablative and monolithic and is presently at a TRL of 6 or above and an IRL of 4 or above. TRL and IRL definitions are provided as an attachment to this synopsis. Comprehensive test data and flight heritage information must be provided to support the required TRL and IRL assessments. 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.

Oral communications are not acceptable in response to this notice.

All responsible sources may submit an offer which shall be considered by the agency.

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: Marianne Shelley
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: (650) 604-4179
Fax: (650) 604-0270

Name: Rachel Khattab
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: (650) 604-5237
Fax: (650) 604-0932

SpaceRef staff editor.