Status Report

NASA ARC Solicitation: Smallsat Technology Partnerships

By SpaceRef Editor
April 2, 2013
Filed under , ,

Synopsis – Apr 02, 2013

General Information

Solicitation Number: NNA13ZUA001C
Posted Date: Apr 02, 2013
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Apr 02, 2013
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No
FedGrants Posted Date: Apr 02, 2013
Classification Code: A — Research and Development
NAICS Code: 541712

Grant Specific Information

Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement
CFDA Number: 43.009
Cost Sharing or Matching Required: No
Estimated Total Program Funding: $1,500,000.00
Expected Number of Awards: 10
Ceiling Amount: $300,000.00
Floor Amount: none
Funding Activity: Science and Technology and other Research and Development (ST)
Eligible Applicants: 06 – State controlled institutions of higher education
Eligible Applicants: 20 – Private institutions of higher education
Link to Full Announcement:

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Ames Research Center, JA:M/S 241-1, Moffett Field, CA 94035-0001


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Research Center (ARC) is releasing a Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) for Smallsat Technology Partnerships in support of the Small Spacecraft Technology Program in the Space Technology Mission Directorate. The CAN will be available on or around April 2, 2013, by opening the NASA Research Opportunities homepage at and then linking through the menu listings to “Open Solicitations.”

Through this CAN, NASA is seeking proposals from colleges and universities across the United States to develop and/or demonstrate new technologies and capabilities for small spacecraft in collaboration with NASA. Projects may be technology development or development of spacecraft or payloads for suborbital, balloon or orbital space flights. NASA intends to enter into cooperative agreements with institutions for selected projects.

The Smallsat Technology Partnerships is a pilot initiative to:

* Develop new technologies and capabilities for small spacecraft by engaging the unique talents and fresh perspectives of the university community

* Share NASA experience and expertise in relevant university projects

* Increase support to university student efforts in small spacecraft technology through funding and collaboration with NASA, to foster a new generation of innovators for NASA and the nation, and

* Engage NASA personnel across the agency in the rapid, agile, and cost-conscious small spacecraft development approaches that have evolved in the university community.

The goals of this notice include collaboration with university teams that have experience in small spacecraft development and also extension of support to colleges and universities that have little or no previous involvement in this field. These dual goals may be met by proposals that involve partnerships between colleges and universities with varying degrees of past experience.

The projects must be relevant to the development or demonstration of technologies or new capabilities for small spacecraft in support of NASA’s missions in science, exploration, space operations, or aeronautics.

Examples of relevant technologies are: propulsion, power generation and storage, guidance, navigation and control, communications, thermal management, radiation tolerance, structures and mechanisms, and flight software development.

Examples of relevant capabilities include: orbital maneuvering, formation flying, proximity operations, rendezvous, grappling, docking, in-situ and remote sensing, precision pointing, atmospheric entry, planetary landing, and mission operations and tracking.

Projects may be laboratory technology development or they may be development of spacecraft or payloads for potential suborbital, balloon or orbital space flights.

The following are not within the scope of this notice: science investigations, operational science missions, conceptual design projects, or mission studies.

Appropriate technologies for development must be at a starting Technology Readiness Level of at least 3 (analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept) and no more than 6 (system/sub-system model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment).

Appropriate technologies for development of spacecraft or payloads must be at a TRL of at least 5 (component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment).

The maximum value of any single award under each Cooperative Agreement will be $100,000 per year, per university or a maximum of $150,000 per year for projects with more than one university partner. A NASA civil servant labor allocation of up to 1.0 full-time equivalent (FTE) would be available to support NASA involvement in each selected project. Project duration will be one year, with possible continuation for a second year based on satisfactory progress and available funding.

Proposers will be requested to submit a Notice of Intent to propose on or around May 1, 2013. Proposals will be due on or around June 5, 2013.

Proposals shall be submitted electronically, and all proposers shall use NASA’s proposal data system, NSPIRES ( ) or ( ). In addition, the electronic proposals must be submitted by an authorized official of the proposing organization. Participation is open to US colleges and universities. Every organization that intends to submit a proposal in response to this CAN must be registered with NSPIRES, and such registration must identify the authorized organizational representative(s) who will submit the electronic proposal. Potential proposers and proposing organizations are urged to access the electronic proposal system(s) well in advance of the proposal due date to familiarize themselves with its structure and enter the requested information. Specific proposal submission deadline dates, evaluation criteria, and submission information will be identified in the CAN.

This solicitation leading to the award of cooperative agreements is issued pursuant to title 14 CFR Part 1260 for educational and nonprofit institutions.

NASA anticipates awarding approximately 10 cooperative agreements through this solicitation.

Awards based on this solicitation are contingent on availability of appropriated funds.

Obtain additional programmatic information from:

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

The NAICS Code and Size Standard are 541712 and 1,000 employees, respectively.

All responsible sources that meet the eligibility criteria stated in the CAN may submit an offer that shall be considered by the agency.

NASA Clause 1852.215-84, Ombudsman, is applicable. The installation Ombudsman is Deborah Feng, email, (650)604-0256.

It is the offeror’s responsibility to monitor the NSPIRES site for the release of the solicitation and amendments (if any). Potential offerors will be responsible for downloading their own copy of the solicitation and amendments (if any).

All questions must be submitted by email to the POC listed below and as indicated in the CAN. Questions will not be accepted by telephone.

Point of Contact

Name: Rachel Khattab
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: 650-604-5237
Fax: 650-604-3020

Name: Beatrice Morales
Title: Grant Officer
Phone: 650-604-2074
Fax: 650-604-0932

SpaceRef staff editor.