Status Report

NASA Presolicitation Notice: Quick Look Launch Service Selection Tool

By SpaceRef Editor
January 25, 2005
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General Information

Document Type: Presolicitation Notice
Solicitation Number: NNK05096584Q
Posted Date: Jan 25, 2005
Original Response Date: Jan 31, 2005
Current Response Date: Jan 31, 2005
Original Archive Date: Jan 25, 2006
Current Archive Date: Jan 25, 2006
Classification Code: A — Research & Development
Naics Code: 541710 — Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences

Contracting Office Address

NASA/John F. Kennedy Space Center, Procurement, Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899


NASA/KSC has a requirement for research and development entitled, “Quick Look Launch Service Selection Tool.”     The goal of this task is to deliver a suite of tools, based in a Geographic Information System (GIS) environment, which will allow NASA to visualize debris hazards in the form of impact footprints for any combination of vehicle, launch pad, and azimuth. The user would enter simple vehicle and mission parameters and be shown areas potentially hazarded by inert and explosive debris. The user would be flagged if an existing impact limit line were compromised. The following tasks will be performed during the study:       (1)     Hold a kickoff meeting     to discuss tasking and scheduling.    

Useful discussion topics include: launch vehicles and payload characteristics of interest and trajectory selection. Tasking will be modified as necessary.    

(2) Compile vehicle data based on the types of vehicles NASA has identified as likely candidates for selection. Review PLATER methodology and verify that the methodology is applicable for vehicles of interest.    

(3) Code the main risk processes and algorithms within PLATER into a user oriented software suite. Particular attention will be paid to user interface, ease of use, and future supportability. (4) Perform software testing on the integrated toolset to ensure results match output from original PLATER algorithms. (5) Finalize software documentation for the launch service selection toolset.    

(6) Prepare lesson plans for launch service selection toolset training. Training will include installation and use of the launch service selection toolset. NASA/KSC intends to purchase these professional services from RTI International, 3040 Cornwallis Road, Research Triangle Park, NC     27709-2194; Email:; Web: This sole source procurement is entered into under the authority of 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1), only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements.    

he product     required from RTI is a quick look Launch Service Selection Tool aimed at     assessment of the launch area risks associated with a given vehicle, launch pad and azimuth. Full blown launch area risk estimates and debris impact footprints require mission specific data including: detailed vehicle and payload characteristics, breakup debris characteristics, nominal and off nominal vehicle trajectories, tumble turn data, launch pad, launch and flight azimuth, and wind data. Typical launch area risk estimates take between six to ten months assuming all relevant data is complete and accurate. Payload customers shopping for a launch vehicle cannot afford to use higher fidelity public risk estimates in their decision making process.    

In 1996, RTI proposed a Preliminary Launch-Analysis Template for Elbow Room (PLATER) method of quickly visualizing the debris impact footprint for a variety of vehicles launched at various azimuths. If the impact footprints exceeded the bounds of the impact limit lines, there was a good chance that public risk would be unacceptable given a full-blown risk assessment.    

The method was originally used by the United States Air Force to assess the usability, from a launch safety standpoint, of inactive launch pads or undeveloped real estate on Cape Canaveral. This RTI-developed method, coupled with RTI”s extensive experience in “full-blown” launch area risk assessments for the United States Air Force and the FAA, provide evidence that it is in the best interest of the government to conduct this effort with RTI based on their experience and knowledge, and based on the application of this study to the NASA office needs: this work would allow NASA to enter simple vehicle and mission parameters and be shown areas potentially hazarded by inert and explosive debris. The user would be flagged if an existing impact limit line were compromised.    

The Government intends to acquire a commercial item/service using FAR Part 12.    

Interested organizations may submit their capabilities and qualifications to perform the effort in writing to the identified point of contact not later than 4:30 p.m. local time on January 31, 2005.    

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. All responsible sources may submit an offer which shall be considered by the agency. Offers may be emailed to: by the time and date set for closing (1/31/2005 not later than 4:30 p.m.).    

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

Tina M. Landes, Contract Specialist, Phone (321) 867-1500, Fax (321) 867-4848, Email

Email your questions to Tina M. Landes at

SpaceRef staff editor.