Status Report

NASA GSFC Solicitation: Future Collaborative Research and Education Opportunities

By SpaceRef Editor
December 21, 2005
Filed under , ,
NASA GSFC Solicitation: Future Collaborative Research and Education Opportunities

Synopsis – Dec 21, 2005

General Information

Solicitation Number: 12212005
Posted Date: Dec 21, 2005
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Dec 21, 2005
Original Response Date: N/A
Current Response Date: N/A
Classification Code: A — Research and Development
NAICS Code: 927110 – Space Research and Technology

Contracting Office Address

NASA/George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, Procurement Office, Marshall Space Flight Center, AL 35812


NASA at Marshall Space Flight Center, on behalf of The National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC), is soliciting expressions of interest to complement our existing resources in order to strengthen the proposals to be submitted for future research. The respondent should understand that initial contributions of resources will be at the expense of the provider. However, this investment in time, personnel, and/or facilities may result in the award of peer-reviewed research in which the respondent would be a partner. This will be the basis for establishing potential cooperative agreements between the NSSTC and the organization for the partnership endeavor.

The NSSTC, headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama, is a collaborative research and education initiative focused on selected key scientific disciplines. It consists of researchers and resources from government, academia and industry collaborating in an environment that enables cutting edge basic and applied research and fosters education of the next generation of scientists and engineers. It is a unique blending of people, facilities and tools to encourage advances in Earth Science, Space Science, Materials Science, Biotechnology, Advanced Optics Technology, Space Propulsion Physics, and Information Technology Systems. An Engineering Organization provides support to all research centers.

NSSTC consists of a core partnership between NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and the Alabama Space Science and Technology Alliance (SSTA). The SSTA is comprised of the research universities in the State of Alabama, with the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) acting as the host university for the SSTA. Each core partner brings unique and valuable assets to NSSTC that are available for NSSTC use. Each also brings the capability to enable growth and to manage the external environment to assure continued political and financial support for NSSTC. This is a major strength in today’s highly competitive research world. As a partnership of existing organizations, NSSTC goals and objectives will be intimately tied to the missions and plans of the partners.

The research performed by NSSTC will cover the range of maturity from basic science through technology development to mission operations and data analysis. In appropriate disciplines, laboratory experiments, sounding rockets, balloons and aircraft are used as platforms for the investigations being pursued in addition to manned and unmanned spacecraft.

NSSTC will also establish research partnerships with academic institutions, government agencies and private industry when appropriate. Again, the purpose is to benefit the research goals of each organization. These partnerships will again be formed after mutual agreement of the executive authorities of each organization and will be executed through a Space Act Agreement or other appropriate mechanisms.

The concept of the NSSTC is that of an integrated research center. Teams of researchers, each working at their own location or in a location as deemed most effective will conduct the research. For example, individual researchers may choose to perform portions of their work at another location to take advantage of special facility capabilities or to promote increased technical exchange.

NSSTC will be implemented through seven research disciplines. The research disciplines are broken into two types, Research Centers and Affiliated Technologies. The Research Centers are the Space Science Research Center, Global Hydrology and Climate Center, and the Information Technology Research Center. The affiliated technologies are Propulsion Physics, Material Science, Optics and Energy Technology, and Biotechnology. The Engineering Support Organization supports the seven research disciplines. A brief description of each follows:

1. SPACE SCIENCE RESEARCH CENTER The Space Science Research Center (SSRC) will consist of researchers in solar physics, astrophysics, astrobiology, and space plasma physics, and high-energy plasma physics. Major research areas include high-energy astrophysics (gamma and x-ray astronomy and cosmic ray physics) and solar-terrestrial physics (solar and space plasma physics and planetary atmospheres). Primary customers for this unit will include NASA’s OSS (Structure and Evolution of the Universe, Origins, and Sun-Earth Connection themes), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Defense, National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Energy.

2. GLOBAL HYDROLOGY AND CLIMATE CENTER The Global Hydrology and Climate Center (GHCC) will consist of researchers in the global hydrology and climate science disciplines. Research associated with the energy and water cycle of the atmosphere and exchanges between the land, oceans and atmosphere will be performed. Major research areas include troposphere winds and dynamics, lightning and severe storms, passive and active microwave measurements of the atmosphere, water vapor and aerosol measurements, monitoring climate variability, regional and climate modeling, atmospheric chemistry, land use change, urban impacts, and archeological uses of remote sensing. In addition to Energy and Water Cycle research, the Earth Science unit, through the Global Hydrology and Climate Center, has strong outreach, education, and application components building on the science activity. Primary customers will include NASA’s Office of Earth Science, the Environmental Protection Agency, NOAA, and NSF.

3. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH CENTER The Information Technology Research Center (ITRC) will perform research and development in data, information and knowledge areas in multiple scales and disciplines, as well as address associated high performance networking issues. Basic and applied research will be performed to develop new computational techniques and systems that ultimately solve real-world problems by the transfer of innovative technologies and knowledge. Students, faculty and research scientists will be involved in all aspects of ITRC. 4. PROPULSION The affiliated technology of Propulsion Physics will consist of researchers in the breakthrough propulsion physics area. These researchers may be from NASA, universities, or the private sector. Primary customers for this unit will NASA’s Exploration Science Mission Directorate, the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC), and various advanced technology programs sponsored by the U.S. government.

5. MATERIALS SCIENCE The affiliated technology of Materials Science will be organized into focused research product teams that optimize materials science advancement to provide materials technologies that meet and exceed performance requirements for today’s cutting edge space transportation and space science programs. Major areas of interest will include electronic and photonic materials, composite fiber development, polymer research, ceramics and nano-materials research, lightweight alloy development, materials characterization and production of in-space manufactured structures, and materials development for space environmental durability, including radiation shielding. Primary customers for this center will include NASA’s Exploration Science Mission Directorate and the Science Mission Directorate.

6. OPTICS AND ENERGY TECHNOLOGY The Optics and Energy Technology Center will consist of researchers and engineers focused on advanced research and development in the areas of optical analysis, design, fabrication, engineering, testing and metrology of optical components and systems. Other areas of research will include optoelectronic components and systems for lightweight compact optical information processing and high-speed optical communications. Additionally, optical scientists and engineers will provide enabling support to other NSSTC units, other NASA centers, other government agencies, and industry customers. The work of this center will be fully integrated with graduate and undergraduate education in optical science and engineering as well as supporting a K-12 optics outreach program.

7. BIOTECHNOLOGY The affiliated technology of Biotechnology will pursue the goals of Science in the National Interest by providing research in Biotechnology to complement the HEDS activity. The scientist and engineers, working in collaboration with NASA and industrial scientists, will conduct research in selected areas of biotechnology of interest and importance to NASA. New knowledge in biological and chemical systems and the application of that knowledge to commercially viable products and processes is the focus of this research discipline. The primary customers are the National Research Community (Principal and Guest Investigators), National Science Community (Academia, Industry, Government), Exploration Science Mission Directorate, and MSFC Space Product Development Department.


The Engineering Support Organization will focus on performing fundamental engineering research, project engineering and development efforts supporting NSSTC science and education goals. By enabling the teaming of NASA, university and industry engineering talent, the engineering support organization will provide an essential engineering core capability to enhance the NSSTC scientific credibility and competitiveness. The engineering organization will support the NSSTC activities by performing prototype flight instrument and sensor technology development, mission concept definition, project management, and information systems definition and operation. Major customers will be the NSSTC science units with anticipated growth into the crosscutting and unique technology development programs of NASA.

Interested parties should contact Mary Traweek at 256-961-7453 (or Marty Kress at 256-961-7001), and provide a ‘capabilities’ statement that should include as a minimum but not limited to the following:

A. An overview of the organization, B. Specific capabilities (skills and/or facilities) the organization can provide to one or more of the scientific disciplines, C. Rationale as to the importance of these capabilities will add to the NSSTC, E. Resumes on key personnel, F. Descriptions of facilities which could contribute to the NSSTC research areas, and G. Current or similar endeavors with customers to substantiate experience.

NSSTC investigators recognize that with so many cutting edge science investigations vying for funding, the final criteria determining selection are often non-scientific in nature. Issues such as cost, engineering support, management approach, partnerships, etc. often define the winning proposals from those that have all passed the scientific relevancy and value screening.

A panel of scientists and engineers will review the information to determine if the respondent meets the NSSTC needs. These organizations will be invited to the NSSTC to make a formal presentation of their capabilities, to respond to questions, and to obtain clarification regarding the NSSTC and its research centers and affiliated technologies.

The format of the capabilities statement is at the discretion of the respondent. Provide 10 copies of the capabilities statement.

Capabilities statements will be received through July 31, 2010.

Primary Point of Contact:

PS51/Isaac W. Jones Jr. Contracting Officer National Space Science and Technology Center 320 Sparkman Drive Huntsville, Alabama 35805 (256)961-7029

Point of Contact

Name: Isaac W. Jones Jr.
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: (256) 544-5705
Fax: (256) 544-5439

Name: Michael R. Sosebee
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: (256) 544-0415
Fax: (256) 544-8688

SpaceRef staff editor.