Status Report

NASA Opportunity for Participation in NASA’s Disruption-Tolerant Networking Project

By SpaceRef Editor
June 4, 2011
Filed under , , ,
NASA Opportunity for Participation in NASA’s Disruption-Tolerant Networking Project

Synopsis – Jun 03, 2011

General Information

Solicitation Number: NNH11CAO001O
Posted Date: Jun 03, 2011
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Jun 03, 2011
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No
FedGrants Posted Date: Jun 03, 2011
Application Due Date Explanation: Open Proposal Period through December 31, 2012
Classification Code: A — Research and Development
NAICS Code: 541712 – Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (except Biotechnology)

Grant Specific Information
Funding Instrument Type: Other
CFDA Number: 43.007
Cost Sharing or Matching Required: No
Estimated Total Program Funding: not available
Expected Number of Awards: not available
Ceiling Amount: none
Floor Amount: none
Funding Activity: Other (O)
We will be awarding Space Act Agreements from this announcement not contracts or grants there will be no funding provided.
Eligible Applicants: 99 – Unrestricted
Link to Full Announcement:

Contracting Office Address

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



To support upcoming robotic and human exploration needs, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) anticipates that it and others will need to implement a unified architecture for internetworked communication and navigation services that span the solar system. Unlike the terrestrial internet, a future Solar System Internet (SSI) must be capable of accommodating intermittent connectivity, long or variable delays, asymmetric data rates, and high data loss rates. The underlying capability that enables the SSI is commonly referred to as “Disruption-Tolerant Networking” (DTN). The SSI will employ both opportunistic and scheduled communications paths to optimize routing among nodes of the SSI, while maintaining low communications overhead and data processing load.

NASA anticipates that all elements of its evolving Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) architecture will interface using the SSI. This architecture embraces the following: a. Spacecraft and landed vehicles distributed across the Solar System; b. The ground and space-based facilities and data communications assets of what are presently known as the Near Earth Network (NEN), the Deep Space Network (DSN), and the Space Network (SN); c. Data communications elements on and around bodies beyond Earth, including the intercommunications components of individual free flying spacecraft, collaborative constellations of spacecraft, or networks of landed vehicles; d. Data relays/gateways in remote locations, such as orbiting the Moon and Mars; and e. Planetary surface local and wide area networks (note that viewed in this context, the terrestrial Internet is subsumed in the SSI as a wide area network).

NASA wishes to support the development and mission infusion of international data communications standards for new DTN technologies through open cooperation and collaboration from and among the worldwide industrial supplier base to ensure that the evolution of the future DTN technologies (anticipated to be used by both government and industry) achieve the highest level of international interoperability and coordination. Specific contributions from industry could include: integrated spacecraft; spacecraft payloads; spacecraft components (such as communications terminals and onboard networks); local and wide area networks for deployment on remote bodies and planetary surfaces (including mobile, ad-hoc networks); integrated ground network components (such as a ground station running DTN data exchange with mission users across the terrestrial Internet); and end-to-space mission applications that are inherently capable of running across a DTN network where there is seldom a contemporaneous end-to-end data path.

In support of this effort, NASA has initiated a “Space DTN Project” that involves the cooperative work of its major research Centers and also some of NASA’s international partners. As part of NASA’s support for the Project, it may make facilities available to test and demonstrate new capabilities, using a ground-based “DTN Engineering Network” (DEN). Flight test and demonstration capabilities may also be available, using space-based testbeds, including spacecraft that are in their extended mission phases and thus may be made available for modest reprogramming. A major thrust of the NASA Project will be to use the International Space Station as an environment for the international development and deployment of DTN capabilities, and these facilities may be made available.

NASA is seeking to form a consortium of experts, thought leaders, and market leaders as a DTN Coordinating Group (DTN-CG). This Coordinating Group will contain members from academia, space systems companies, space communications services companies and the general supplier base of commercial space mission support equipment. The DTN-CG will serve as a worldwide body for promulgating and deploying the DTN technologies supporting the SSI. NASA envisions that members of this Coordinating Group will: 1. Collaborate on specifying the technology and standards that will apply to the SSI; 2. Review and provide inputs into architectural trade studies across the elements of the SSI architecture to determine the optimum characteristics and protocols; 3. Exchange information on the availability or future availability of DTN-enabled ground and space product lines; 4. Contribute in the planning and participate in demonstrations performed on NASA’s ground-based DTN Engineering Network and DTN-enabled flight systems, including utilization of the ISS as an international testbed; and 5. Conduct or support R&D to develop innovative implementation technologies that can expedite the infusion of DTN into future interoperable space products.

This Opportunity seeks participants in the DTN Coordinating Group. NASA anticipates using its authority to enter into Space Act Agreements to support this activity, including providing necessary access to NASA personnel and technical information, however, there will be no provision of funds in connection with this opportunity. Respondents will be responsible for financing their own activities. NASA will seek to facilitate the informal participation of respondents who are not initially selected to join the DTN Coordinating Group; however, this cannot be guaranteed.

Response Date: This announcement is open through December 31, 2012. NASA will engage in ongoing review of proposals as received prior to the Response Date of December 31, 2012. NASA reserves the right to amend or withdraw this Announcement at any time prior to the Response Date.

NASA will not issue paper copies of this Announcement. Selection of the initial members of the DTN Coordinating Group will be at the discretion of NASA. NASA will seek to facilitate the informal participation of respondents who are not initially selected to join the DTN Coordinating Group; however, this cannot be guaranteed. It is anticipated that the work of the DTN Coordinating Group will be available for use by the technical community and the public and submitters should avoid providing non-public or proprietary information to support their request to participate in the DTN Coordinating Group.


Agency Name: NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)

Opportunity Title: Opportunity for Participation in the Disruption-Tolerant Networking (DTN) Coordinating Group

Response Date: Electronic Proposals must be received by December 31, 2012 at 4:30 P.M. EST via email to Proposals may be submitted at any time before the response date.

Points of Contact: If you have any questions concerning this opportunity please contact:

Adrian Hooke SCaN DTN Project Manager Telephone: 202-358-0097 Email:

Jason Crusan Chief Technologist for Space Operations Telephone: 202-358-0635 Email: Instrument Type(s): It is anticipated that the DTN Coordinating Group will be managed under a mutually agreed charter setting forth the purpose and goals of the Group; NASA will participate under the authority of 51 U.S.C. 20113.

Selection Recommendation Committee: Government personnel from NASA, other Federal agencies, and NASA contractors may participate in the evaluation of requests for participation. Selection for participation on the DTN Coordination Group will be based on a consideration of evaluation criteria listed below.

Selection Notification Date: Notification of selection to participate in the DTN Coordinating Group is anticipated to be within 60 days of receiving a submission.

Submission Instructions: All submissions under this Announcement must be emailed to Paper submissions will not be reviewed. Submissions may be submitted at any time before the Response Date. You are encouraged to submit as early as practicable prior to the Response Date. Submissions received by the Government after the Response Date will not be accepted. If a submitter is concerned about information security during transmission NASA has the ability to accept secure transmission. Contact the Point of Contact for secure transmission requirements. Files can be submitted in MS Word, PDF, or RTF.


All categories of domestic entities other than U.S. federal government agencies are eligible to submit proposals in response to this Announcement. NASA will not consider proposals which do not include a domestic entity as the lead proposer.


4.1 Evaluation and Selection Process All submissions will be initially screened to determine their compliance to the eligibility (section 3.0) and submission instructions (section 5.0) of this Announcement. Submissions that do not comply may be declared noncompliant and rejected without further review. A submission compliance checklist is provided in section 5.0. This checklist provides submitters a list of the items that NASA will check for compliance before releasing a submission for evaluation.

Submissions deemed in compliance with this Announcement will be assessed against the evaluation criteria outlined in Section 4.2 by the Selection Recommendation Committee. Proposed collaborators should be aware that during the evaluation and selection process, NASA may request clarification of a specific point or points in a submission. Such a request and the collaborator’s response shall be in writing.

The Selection Recommendation Committee members will conduct independent assessments of the submissions according to evaluation criteria outlined in Section 4.2.

4.2 Evaluation Criteria The evaluation factors below are of equal weighting during evaluation.

Factor 1: DTN Research Contribution:

The level and degree of effort and understanding that the proposer has demonstrated in contributing to the field of Disruption-Tolerant Networking will be evaluated. High priority will be placed on organizations participating in the development of interoperable open DTN standards being developed by the DTN Research Group within the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF; ), and the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems ( ). Factor 2: DTN Product Development Capability

The capability to develop future commercial space product lines (at multiple levels of integration) that conform to and interoperate through conformance to open DTN standards will be evaluated. These product lines include: integrated spacecraft; spacecraft payloads; spacecraft components (such as communications terminals and onboard networks); local and wide area networks for deployment on remote bodies and planetary surfaces (including mobile, ad-hoc networks); integrated ground communications networks; ground network components such as ground station DTN routing capabilities; end-to-space applications that are inherently capable of running across a DTN network where there is seldom a contemporaneous end-to-end data path; and software that supports and enables DTN data exchange.

Factor 3: Organizational Capability: The level of organizational capability as measured by the experience and expertise of proposer’s personnel, and proposer’s ability to conduct independent research will be evaluated. Proposer should include resumes of personnel intended to support this effort (designated as support) and resumes of other personnel (designated as reach-back) who can provide input into questions that NASA may pose of the Working Group. Factor 4: Organizational Commitment:

Proposer should provide a letter of commitment that states that upon selection, Proposer agrees to support quarterly meetings of the DTN Coordinating Group with the personnel proposed. Proposer should describe any additional resources and mechanisms to work via independent R&D, or cooperatively with NASA, to develop innovative implementation technologies and their associated open standards.

In addition, NASA reserves the right to assess information outside the submission as it relates to the factors listed above.

4.3 Selection Factors

As described in Section 4.1, the results of the submission evaluations based on the criteria above and the subsequent Selection Recommendation Committee deliberations will be considered in the selection process. The Selection Recommendation Committee may take into account a variety of programmatic factors in deciding whether or not to select any submissions, including, but not limited to, financial stability of submitter, and compatibility to a variety of user platforms.

The Selection Authority shall be the Associate Administrator for Space Operations or his successor. The Selection Authority will make the final selection of those approved for this opportunity after the completion of negotiations, depending on the outcome of the negotiations.

4.4 Selection Notification

NASA will notify all submitted collaborators of the results of the evaluation and selection process. After the completion of the evaluation and selection process, NASA will begin negotiations with the selected submitter(s). The purpose of the negotiations is to define the terms and conditions of the Agreement supporting the participation of the submitters and to align the selected submitters with the anticipated Group Charter. All work will commence after the parties execute the Space Act Agreement.


Submissions must comply with the following requirements.

Page Limitations Submission Section ~ Total Pages Submission Cover Page ~ 1 Submission Title Page ~ 1 Points of Contact ~ 1 Submission Abstract ~ 750 words Submission Detail ~ 5 Appendix Resumes ~ No Page Limit Additional Documentation ~ No Page Limit

Pages in excess of the page limitations for each section will not be evaluated. A page is defined as one (1) sheet 8 x 11 inches using a minimum of 12-point font size for text and 8-point for graphs.

There is no limit on appendix documentation. The intent is to allow submitters to include current documentation in its current format without having to alter any documents.

The submission must include the following sections, in this order:

Cover Page: Title of Announcement and Submission Contact Information. An optional graphic image may be included.

Title Page, with Notice of Restriction on Use and Disclosure of Submission Information, if any.

Points of Contact: List contact information for all Points of Contact including a Technical Point of Contact. Provide: Name Title Address Phone and Fax Email

Abstract: Executive summary describing the prominent and distinguishing features.

Detail: The submission shall contain sufficient information to enable reviewers to make informed judgments to assess the three criteria of the submitted effort.

Appendix: Resumes Resumes may be included for key personnel. In general, resumes should be limited to no more than 1-2 pages each.

Additional documentation Include any documentation in the appendix that validates or supports the proposal

Compliance checklist and required documents The submitter is a domestic entity other than U.S. federal government agency Submission includes a description of the DTN Research Contribution Submission includes a description of the DTN Product Development Capability, if Submitter is a commercial entity Submission includes a description of the Organization Capability Submission includes an Organization Commitment

Point of Contact

Name: Adrian Hook
Title: SCaN DTN Project Manager
Phone: 202-358-0097
Fax: 202-358-3530

Name: Mr. Jason C Crusan
Title: Chief Technologist for Space Operations
Phone: 202-358-0635
Fax: 202-358-3530

SpaceRef staff editor.