- Press Release
- Oct 5, 2022
NASA LaRC Solicitation: Parachute Systems for Venus
Synopsis – Dec 23, 2008
Solicitation Number: NNL09PARAVENUS
Posted Date: Dec 23, 2008
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Dec 23, 2008
Original Response Date: Jan 16, 2009
Current Response Date: Jan 16, 2009
Classification Code: A — Research and Development
NAICS Code: 541712 – Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (except Biotechnology)
Contracting Office Address
NASA/Langley Research Center, Mail Stop 144, Industry Assistance Office, Hampton, VA 23681-0001
This is a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley Research Center (LaRC) Request For Information (RFI). It is emphasized that the requested information is for preliminary planning purposes only and does not constitute a commitment, implied or otherwise, that NASA will solicit for such procurement in the future. White papers in response to this notice will also verify reasonableness and feasibility of future requirements and promote competition. The Government is not responsible for any costs incurred in furnishing this information. Respondents will not be notified of the results of any government assessments.
All information obtained as a result of this RFI is intended to be used by the Government for program planning and acquisition strategy development. As stipulated in FAR 15.201(e), responses to this notice are not considered offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract. If a solicitation is released in the future, it will be synopsized in FedBizOpps and on the NASA Acquisition Internet Service. This is a 2 step process requiring a Notice of Intent by January 5, 2009 and a White Paper Response to the RFI by January 16, 2009.
NASA is developing potential proposals for the upcoming New Frontiers Program Announcement of Opportunity (2009) that involve multiple strategies for Venus exploration. Many of the suggested mission concepts aim to deliver scientific payloads through the atmosphere of Venus to the surface. Four options are being considered that likely require parachute systems: a lander, a deployed balloon reconnaissance platform, a large probe, and a smaller probe. A key component of these options is a Venus parachute subsystem. It is highly desirable that this subsystem have a strong heritage to previous planetary missions, and especially those implemented in the past 15 years. This announcement supersedes any previously released RFI. Each of the four primary options has a unique set of elements, as summarized below.
For the Venus Lander, the backshell will be ejected and a single canopy will be deployed at an altitude of ~ 65-67 km and a velocity of ~Mach 0.8. The atmospheric entry interface heat shield will be jettisoned after parachute deployment. The Venus Lander is to touch down in approximately 50 minutes from parachute deployment at an impact velocity of less than 10 m/s. The entry vehicle mass (backshell, Lander, and heat-shield) will be 800 to 1000 kg, and the Lander mass will be no more than 695 kg.
For the Balloon Reconnaissance Platform, the backshell will be ejected and a single canopy will be deployed by a mortar at an altitude of ~ 60 km and a velocity of Mach 0.8 to 1.2. The heat shield will be dropped, and approximately 10 seconds after the parachute is deployed, inflation of the balloon will begin. Approximately 30 seconds after the parachute is deployed, the Balloon Reconnaissance Platform will be released from the parachute. The speed at release should be less than 50 m/s.
For the Larger Probe, a mortar will deploy a pilot parachute which will carry off the backshell and deploy the main canopy. This system will utilize a 300-500 kg total flight system mass and deploy the parachute at ~ 60-65 km for later release around 50km. The parachute subsystem will consist of two basic groupings of components: a mortar deployed pilot parachute for backshell separation and main parachute deployment; and a main parachute for heat shield separation and descent speed control. Deployment will occur at a velocity of ~Mach 0.8. The heat shield will be jettisoned approximately 5 seconds after main parachute deployment. The main parachute will be jettisoned at an altitude of 15 to 30 km.
For the Small Probe, a mortar will deploy a single canopy which will carry off the backshell and extract the Small Probe pressure vessel from the aeroshell. This system will utilize a 85-120 kg total flight system mass and deploy the parachute at ~ 60-65 km for later release around 50 km. The parachute subsystem will consist of two basic groupings of components: a mortar deployed pilot parachute for backshell separation and main parachute deployment; and a main parachute for heat shield separation and descent speed control. Other components are similar to the large probes described above.
Requirements for the development of the parachute subsystem for each of the four options above may include the following: 1. Sufficient ground testing to establish the function and reliability of the mortar deployment assembly. 2. Ground and flight testing to validate the strength and performance of the pilot and main parachutes. 3. Appropriate flight tests to establish the function and reliability of the complete parachute subsystem (from mortar firing to post heat shield separation in one test) at relevant conditions (Mach=0.8 and equivalent deployment initiation density). 4. Appropriate documentation of the parachute subsystem including stress reports, performance reports, and mechanical interface engineering reports. 5. It is anticipated that the requirements will include delivery of one flight ready unit to NASA for vehicle integration no earlier than, 2015.
RFI Requirements and Preparation of White Paper responses. Interested parties should respond with the following critical information: 1. General Description: (a) Physically describe the subsystem including mass and volume. (b) Describe subsystem operation (e.g., how the subsystem is packaged and deployed). 2. Flight or Technology Heritage/Qualification: (a) Describe company relevant experience to include experience with drag devices in the size range described above. (b) Briefly describe any other issues or considerations that the Government should be aware of for employment of a drag device in this application. 3. Test and Inspection Program: (a) Describe the type of tests and number of each envisioned to develop and qualify the complete parachute subsystem; (b) Provide information which describes existing manufacturing, inspection and test, and acceptance plans to control this type of work, and list any current International Standards Organization (ISO) certifications or equivalent. 4. Costs: (a) Provide Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) costs to deliver flight devices broken out at a minimum in the following categories: design, testing, and flight unit fabrication/delivery. (b) Provide assumptions used in development of ROM costs. 5. Delivery: (a) Provide an estimated delivery time frame. (b) What are the major risks to meeting the delivery – how can they be overcome? 6. Experience: (a) Interested parties must have experience with mortar-deployed parachute systems and the development and fabrication of parachute systems for planetary exploration missions.
Interested parties are requested to submit a Notice of Intent to the Contracting Officers identified below. Important additional information will be sent to interested parties who are capable providers of parachute systems and who agree to execute a non-disclosure agreement assuring that the data provided will protected in accordance with the agreement. Notices of Intent are requested by 4:30 pm Eastern Time on January 5, 2008 and shall include the following: (a) demonstrated capability in providing parachuate systems; (b) point of contact for executing non-disclosure agreement; and, (c) secure fax number or e-mail address for encrypted e-email.
Responses fulfilling the RFI requirements are requested by 4:30 pm. EST by January 16, 2009. Interested firms should submit white paper responses and requests for information to David Gilman at David.A.Gilman@NASA.gov, Liliana J. Richwine at firstname.lastname@example.org and Susan McClain at Susan.E.McClain@NASA.gov. If additional information is required to respond to this RFI, please contact the points of contact listed above. Such information may be International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) or other controlled information, and if so determined, the information will not be available via the internet in accordance with NASA LaRC Internet Publishing Content Guidelines and Export Controlled Regulations. If this information is controlled, you will be required to provide evidence of registration with the Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls. You would be required to provide a copy of your registration letter received from the Department of State or your PM/DTC Code. Additionally, you would be required to provide the name and contact address of the Empowered Official as defined in Part 120.25 of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) (22 CFR 120-130) who is authorized to receive and assume responsibility for the ITAR controlled information.
Limit your white paper response to 15 pages or less not including diagrams, pictures, or figures. Existing documents that describe suitable existing products or proposed products are acceptable as Attachments to your response; please limit the total attachment volume to less than 30 pages. Responses that can stand on their own without further explanation are expected. However, if NASA has specific questions, please provide your contact information so we can contact you.
Personnel from Vigyan, Inc. (under LaRC contract NNL07AA00B) may also be involved in reviewing the ROM costs. Company names and identifiers will be removed from the information prior to providing it to Vigyan personnel. As such, to the extent that any information submitted in response to this RFI is marked as or construed to be proprietary or business-sensitive, submitters are hereby notified (a) about the potentiality that such information may be disclosed to Vigyan and (b) submission of information in response to this RFI constitutes consent to such handling and disclosure of submitted information.
An ombudsman has been appointed — See NASA Specific Note “B”.
The solicitation and any documents related to this procurement will be available over the Internet. These documents will reside on a World Wide Web (WWW) server, which may be accessed using a WWW browser application. The Internet site, or URL, for the NASA/LaRC Business Opportunities home page is http://prod.nais.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/eps/bizops.cgi?gr=D&pin=23 . It is the offeror’s responsibility to monitor the Internet cite 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. Any referenced notes may be viewed at the following URLs linked below.
Point of Contact
Name: Liliana J Richwine
Title: Contract Specialist/Contracting Officer
Name: Susan E. McClain
Title: Contracting Officer