Status Report

NASA Community Announcement: SOFIA Third Generation Science Instrument

By SpaceRef Editor
April 7, 2015
Filed under , , ,

Synopsis – Apr 06, 2015


General Information

    Solicitation Number: NNH15ZDA007J

    Posted Date: Apr 06, 2015

    FedBizOpps Posted Date: Apr 06, 2015

    Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No

    Original Response Date: N/A

    Current Response Date: N/A

    Classification Code: A — Research and Development

    NAICS Code: 541712


Contracting Office Address


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




Summary of Announcement: NASA’s Astrophysics Division plans to solicit proposals for the development of a Third Generation Science Instrument (3G SI) for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) via an Amendment to ROSES-2015 in June 2015.


Background and Details: The SOFIA observatory consists of a German built 2.7 meter telescope mounted in a Boeing 747 SP aircraft supplied and modified by NASA. Flying at altitudes up to 45,000 feet, SOFIA observes from above more than 99 percent of Earth’s atmospheric water vapor, thereby opening windows to the universe not available from the ground. The SOFIA Program conducts Principal Investigator (PI)-led investigations to advance NASA’s strategic goals in astrophysics, which are to discover the origin, structure, evolution, and destiny of the Universe and search for Earth-like planets. Additional information concerning these areas of investigation is provided through appropriate links found on the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) homepage at .


Currently, seven first- and second-generation science instruments are commissioned, or in commissioning, or in development by institutions in both the U.S. and Germany, including both imaging cameras and spectrographs. This Community Announcement is for the intended release of a program element in the ROSES-2015 NRA for the development and delivery of a 3G SI for the SOFIA observatory.


The total funding available for the SOFIA 3G SI is expected to be $17M. The current SOFIA Program planning budget is sufficient to select and develop one new instrument over the period of Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 to FY 2019. NASA has the goal to commission any new instrument selected in the 2018 time frame.


Proposals in response to the final SOFIA 3G SI solicitation will be due 90 days after its formal release. Participation will be open to all categories of U.S. and non-U.S. organizations, including educational institutions, industry, not-for-profit organizations, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, NASA Centers and other Government agencies. Institutions under the jurisdiction of the German Space Agency (Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft-und Raumfahrt – DLR) are not eligible to propose under the SOFIA 3G SI solicitation. The participation of all eligible non-U.S. institutions and investigators is conducted as a no-cost transfer agreement.


The SOFIA 3G SI program element posted in ROSES-2015 may contain provisions that differ substantially from this Community Announcement, in which case the provisions in the program element and ROSES-2015 will take precedence.


This Community Announcement is issued to provide the scientific community with advance notice that NASA plans to release a solicitation in the near future for the purposes of procuring the above SOFIA 3G SI. It is expected that the solicitation will be released as Program Element D.11 of the ROSES-2015 NRA by an amendment in early June 2015. It is anticipated that Step-1 proposals will be due in mid July and full Step-2 proposals will be due at the end of August. The due date for proposals will be not less than 90 days after the release of the solicitation.


Additional Info: This solicitation for third generation science instruments for SOFIA will appear on the NSPIRES web page for program element D.11 of ROSES-2015. Once it is posted it will be found by going to and following the link for Program Element D.11.


Questions regarding this community announcement may be directed to:


Point of Contact

    Name: Dr Eric Tollestrup

    Title: Program Scientist NASA SOFIA Program

    Phone: 202-358-1256

    Fax: 202-358-3062


SpaceRef staff editor.