Status Report

NASA Graduate Certificate in Space System Engineering

By SpaceRef Editor
January 24, 2012
Filed under , ,

Synopsis/Solicitation Combo – Jan 20, 2012
General Information
Solicitation Number: NNX12TA67P
Posted Date: Jan 20, 2012
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Jan 20, 2012
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No
Original Response Date: Feb 10, 2012
Current Response Date: Feb 10, 2012
Classification Code: U — Education and training services
NAICS Code: 541611

Contracting Office Address

NASA Shared Services Center Procurement Division Building 1111 Stennis Space Center, MS 39529-6000


NASA/NSSC intends to issue a sole source contract to Stevens Institute of Technology School of Systems & Enterprises/Castle Point on Hudson, Hoboken, NJ 07030 for a training program entitled “Graduate Certificate in Space System Engineering.” The objective of the program is to provide a project management leadership curriculum for JSC employees selected for the Space Systems Engineering Development Program. The contractor shall provide a Graduate Certificate Program in Space Systems Engineering for 26 participants in SSEDP.

The curriculum in this program must satisfy the following requirements:

* The curriculum shall consist of 2 modules earning each participant 3 semester hours of graduate credit per module. The modules shall be delivered in the following format: –

Each module shall consist of 40 hours (5 days) of in-class instruction broken into segments designated as Part A & Part B.

– Participants shall have 5 weeks between Part A & Part B to accomplish class assignments, papers, and individual and group projects. – Participants shall have 5 weeks between the end of a module and the beginning of the next module.

– The curriculum shall emphasize space systems design and development, key space systems engineering processes and tools, and a holistic understanding of systems engineering principles. The curriculum will be customized to address these key areas.

– The curriculum shall emphasize systems engineering and integration of space hardware and software, organizations, people, processes, and tools.

– The curriculum shall emphasize crucial activities spanning the entire project lifecycle. – The curriculum shall combine lectures, classroom activities, case studies, readings, individual and group projects, papers, and development assignments that can be applied to the participants’ on-the-job project work.

– The curriculum shall be provided onsite at NASA JSC or offsite within a 5 mile radius of NASA JSC.

– The curriculum shall be provided according to a flexible delivery schedule that is suited to the needs and constraints of the participants in the SSEDP. This may include rescheduling modules to avoid interference with mission schedule and goals or redesigning the delivery format.

– The group and individual projects required for each module will be based on real NASA projects. The products produced will provide benefit back to the project and will provide experiential learning opportunities for the participants.

– The two modules shall emphasize the following Space Systems Engineering capabilities and topics:

o Mission and System Design Verification and Validation This course provides hands-on opportunities to apply key principals of space systems engineering. Students are given a set of customer expectations in the form of broad mission objectives. Using state-of-the-industry mission design and analysis tools, students apply systems engineering processes to define top-level system requirements, design key elements, and conclude with a system design review. In V&V, participants experience system realization processes first hand by integrating, verifying, validating, and delivering the shoe box-sized EyasSAT satellite. From the part-level to the system level, participants implement a rigorous assembly, integration, verification, and validation plan on space hardware/software applying “test like you fly, fly like you test” principles.

o System Architecture and Design This course discusses the fundamentals of system architecting and the architecting process, along with practical heuristics. Furthermore, the course has a strong “how-to” orientation, and numerous case studies are used to convey and discuss good architectural concepts as well as lessons learned. Adaptation of the architectural process to ensure effective application of COTS will also be discussed. In this regard, the course participants will be introduced to an architectural assessment and evaluation model. Linkages between early architectural decisions, driven by customer requirements and concept of operations, and the system operational and support costs are highlighted.

* The curriculum shall provide instruction in accordance with NASA Procedural Requirements 7123.IA and the NASA Systems Engineering Handbook. At a minimum, the curriculum should cover the following Systems Engineering principles and topics outlined in the NPR and the Handbook:

o Fundamentals of Systems Engineering

o System Design – Stakeholder Expectations
– Technical Requirements Definition
– Logical Decomposition
– Design Solution Definition

o Product Realization
– Product Implementation
– Product Integration
– Product Verification
– Product Validation
– Product Transition

o Technical Management
– Technical Planning
– Requirements Management
– Interface Management
– Technical Risk Management
– Configuration Management
– Technical Data Management
– Technical Assessment
– Decision Analysis

o Engineering with Contracts o Integrated Design Facilities

o Engineering Design Tools

o Human Factors Engineering

The contractor shall meet the following requirements:

* The contractor shall have demonstrated previous positive performance in providing a graduate certificate program in Space Systems Engineering at least one NASA field center.

* The contractor shall be accredited in accordance with the U.S. Department of Education guidelines.

* The contractor shall have previously demonstrated a substantial knowledge of NASA space system engineering practices, procedures, priorities and development requirements.

* The provider must be flexible to allow tailoring of the assigned individual and group projects to make them more relevant to the participant.

This offering shall be held at the Holiday Inn near NASA’s Johnson Space Center beginning February 27, 2012.

Pursuant to FAR 13.106(b), the acquisition of these services has been determined to be reasonably available from only one source. Competition is impractical for the following reasons:

This unique curriculum in Space System Engineering is provided by the Stevens Institute of Technology, which currently provides the largest graduate program in system engineering in the U.S. and is the largest provider of system engineering education worldwide. Stevens Institute is an internationally-recognized university with specialization in system engineering for space applications. The Stevens Institute instructors have written and/or edited the only integrated collection of 14 published textbooks and references that capture the full spectrum of system engineering and its application to NASA design experience and lessons learned. Further, Stevens Institute is the provider of choice for system engineering training for the National Security Agency, Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Defense and key industry organizations.

This one-of-a-kind curriculum provides NASA’s aspiring and practicing system engineers with design experience and lessons learned from over 35 years of NASA, Department of Defense and industry experience designing and operating space missions and systems. The curriculum courses are 3-semester hour modules which constitute the only program in the U.S. offering the following unique combination of hands-on space system engineering development:

* Space domain focus on system engineering–balanced and integrated technical domain and system management tied to NASA’s NPR 7123.1a and NASA’s Systems Engineering Handbook.

* Hands-on courses and laboratories are delivered onsite which saves travel dollars for JSC and time for employees.

* The courses have a flexible delivery, scheduled to suit employee constraints and work schedules (for example employees attend 3 days in one week, have a break of 3-4 weeks, and then complete the remaining 2 days in another week).

* Professors actually wrote the book. Applied Space System Engineering, along with a host of NASA employees, industry and other government experts in space system engineering. This book forms the foundation of the curriculum.

* These two courses earn participants 3-semester hours of graduate credit leading to a Graduate Certificate in Space Systems Engineering.

Since May 2007, JSC has piloted three system engineering curriculum including programs from University of Southern California, California Institute of Technology, and the Stevens Institute of Technology. Based on written and verbal feedback received from the participants, the Stevens Institute curriculum received the highest ratings of the three programs because the curriculum emphasized design and development of space systems, whereas the other two programs did not. In addition, participants stated that the breadth of knowledge the instructors possessed was far superior to any previous systems engineering instructors they had encountered because the instructors had “real-world” experience. Furthermore, participants stated that the curriculum content had immediate application and relevance to their current projects and work assignments. In addition, this curriculum was used in the inaugural class of JSC’s Space Systems Engineering Development Program from 2008 – 2010, and the curriculum continues to receive raving reviews for content and quality of instruction. NASA/JSC’s Engineering Directorate and Constellation SE&I, in conjunction with Human Resources and many of NASA/JSC’s finest system engineers, have worked for the past 18 months to shape this program to meet the exact needs of NASA/JSC employees. While other vendors may provide generic system engineering curriculum, it would not be time or cost effective for NASA to select another vendor, which would require the vendor to customize the content for space applications.

Stevens Institute Technology professors. Dr. Dinesh Verma and Dr. Wiley Larson and their team, are the only known source that can provide the necessary breadth and depth of this integrated curriculum across the spectrum of robotic space systems and crewed space systems. Research using the internet web determined that no other firms or universities were able to perform this requirement. Due to Steven’s Institute’s 55 years of unique experience in system engineering training and education with other governmental agencies and leading companies, and the fact that the workshops are derived from NASA experience, Stevens is the only reasonable choice to meet NASA’s requirements. The Steven’s Institute is one of the oldest universities in the country, specializing in system engineering education and training. Their knowledge of NASA programs, culture, and interaction with personnel has proven their capability. Due to the legacy of success that this space system engineering development concept has demonstrated, there is no other source that can replicate the comprehensiveness and quality of this supplier’s training.

The Government intends to acquire a commercial item using the procedures in FAR Part 13.106.

Interested organizations may submit their capabilities and qualifications to perform the effort in writing to the identified point of contact not later than 3:00 p.m. central standard time on February 10, 2012. 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.

Oral communications are not acceptable in response to this notice.

Capabilities and qualifications should be submitted to Amanda McInnis at [email protected]

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: William Richard Horton
Title: Contract Specialist
Phone: 228-813-6120
Fax: 228-813-6493
Email: [email protected]

Name: Eli Ouder
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: 228-813-6168
Fax: 228-813-6315
Email: [email protected]

SpaceRef staff editor.