Status Report

NASA LaRC Solicitation: Teaming Opportunity for Astrobiology Science & Technology Instrument Development

By SpaceRef Editor
November 22, 2005
Filed under , , ,

Synopsis – Nov 21, 2005

General Information

Solicitation Number: SS-NNL05ASTID2
Posted Date: Nov 21, 2005
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Nov 21, 2005
Original Response Date: Nov 30, 2005
Current Response Date: Nov 30, 2005
Classification Code: A — Research and Development
NAICS Code: 541710 – Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Langley Research Center, Mail Stop 144, Industry Assistance Office, Hampton, VA 23681-0001


Teaming Opportunity for the Astrobiology Science and Technology Instrument Development and Mission Concept Studies NASA Research Announcement NNH05ZDA001N-ASTID under the OSS ROSES 2005 Solicitation. Note: Although a previous LaRC teaming opportunity under this ASTID NRA closed on November 16, 2005, this is a new specific teaming opportunity for “Solid-state Raman Spectrometer”.

Description: NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC)is seeking other government agencies, industry, academia, nonprofit organizations, and Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) partners for the Astrobiology Science and Technology Instrument Development and Mission Concept Studies NASA Research Announcement (NRA) (see {614C2109-0768-07EF-D96F-32627F1BD24E}&stack=push The ASTID program element requests proposals to develop instrumentation capabilities that will help meet Astrobiology science requirements on future space flight missions, as well as unique Astrobiology science objectives on Earth. Selected activities are expected to advance the development of scientific instruments or instrument components to the point where the instruments could be credibly proposed in response to future flight opportunity announcements, although proposals to build flight-qualified hardware are not a part of this program element. In addition, the development of laboratory instruments designed to open a new area of study for Astrobiology will also be considered. In addition, this program element also solicits proposals for Astrobiology mission concepts that may help increase the pool of ideas that may be considered for mission planning, as well as take advantage of mission opportunities such as offered by NASA’s Discovery ( ). Pending the approval of NASA’s Fiscal Year 2006 budget, approximately $6M may be available for this year’s support of selections for the ASTID program. Awards are expected to range from $30K to $300K per year, for a maximum of three years. For mission concept studies, approximately 5-7 studies may be selected for funding, each at the level of $100K – $150K. For additional information on the scientific goals and objectives of NASA’s Astrobiology program refer to the Astrobiology Roadmap, which is available on the Astrobiology web site at .

LaRC is seeking partners to participate with a NASA LaRC Principal Investigator (PI) in the ASTID Program to develop a proposal and assist with instrument definition and development. This partnering opportunity does not guarantee selection for award of any contracts, nor is it to be construed as a commitment by NASA to pay for the information solicited. It is expected that the partner(s) selected would provide (at no cost to NASA) conceptual designs, technical data, proposal input, project schedules and cost estimates consistent with the requirements of the NRA. Potential partners must demonstrate the capabilities and experience to provide the instrument components consistent with the efforts synopsized for the specified LaRC proposal. Partners must work collaboratively with NASA and other potential industry and academic partners to perform the required tasks. Partner selection(s) will be made by LaRC based on the following criteria in the following order of importance:

(1) Relevant experience, past performance, technical capability and availability of key personnel. This criteria evaluates the proposer’s relevant recent experience, past performance in similar development activities, technical capability to perform the development and key personnel available to support the development. Substantive evidence (points of contact and telephone numbers) of successful participation in similar developments should be included.

(2) Cost and schedule control. This criteria evaluates the proposer’s ability to control both cost and schedule. The proposer should provide evidence of successfully controlling cost and schedule for similar development programs and provide evidence of management processes in this area. (3) Facilities. This criterion evaluates the proposer’s facilities (development, testing, and analyses) to conduct the development or demonstration of the proposed task. The proposer should discuss facility availability, access, and the ability to meet the proposed objectives.

Specifically, NASA LaRC is seeking partners to participate with the NASA LaRC Prinicpal Investigator (PI) in the ASTID Program to develop a proposal for the following: Solid-state Raman Spectrometer; Technical Point of Contact: Narasimha S. Prasad, 757-864-9403,

LaRC is actively involved in the development of laser induced fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy based instrumentation for use on future planetary and space exploratory missions for remote as well as in-situ identification and analysis of biomarkers. Recent studies on a Martian meteorite have kindled interest in the possibilities of past life on Mars. Currently, LaRC is working on the state-of-the-art Raman spectrometers operating over deep-UV to near-IR spectral bands for analysis of potential complex biomarkers including simple and complex pre-cursor inorganic molecules. We are also interested in the development of reliable spectrometer configurations that could provide highest possible specificity and sensitivity in a compact self-contained architecture. For this specific proposal, LaRC is interested in the development of novel, ultra-compact, all-solid-state, near-monolithic Raman spectrometer configurations for in-situ analysis suitable for Rover type platforms that provides reasonable sensitivity in visible to near-IR spectral band. Incorporation of remote analysis capability for redundancy and un-ambiguous identification of the molecules for extreme specificity is encouraged. Modularity for multi-functionality will be considered a plus. The design concepts should incorporate space flight qualifying criteria like size, weight, energy need, ruggedness through reliability/redundancy, etc.

LaRC is interested in partners with the capability of designing and developing novel Raman spectrometers and assisting in the evaluation of their use in biomarker identification and analysis as well as participating in the development of the formal proposal to the ASTID Solicitation.

Responses should be limited to 5 pages (12 point font) and address each of the criteria. All responses shall be submitted electronically via e-mail by 5:00 local time, November 30, 2005 to: F. Wallace Harrison, at Technical Questions should be directed to Narasimha Prasad at the email address above, or 757-864-9403. Procurement questions should be directed to: Nancy Sessoms via e-mail at or (757) 864-2471; or in her absence to: Liliana J. Richwine via e-mail at or (757) 864-2478.

Point of Contact

Name: Nancy M Sessoms
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: (757) 864-2471
Fax: (757) 864-7709

Name: Liliana J Richwine
Title: Contract Specialist/Contracting Officer
Phone: (757) 864-2478
Fax: (757) 864-7709

SpaceRef staff editor.