Status Report

NASA Presolicitation Notice: Specialized Components for the Sample Analysis at Mars Mars Experiment

By SpaceRef Editor
August 18, 2004
Filed under , , ,

General Information

Document Type: Presolicitation Notice

Solicitation Number: SAMEXP

Posted Date: Aug 18, 2004

Original Response Date: Sep 07, 2004

Current Response Date: Sep 07, 2004

Original Archive Date: Aug 18, 2005

Current Archive Date: Aug 18, 2005

Classification Code: 99 — Miscellaneous

Naics Code: 541330 — Engineering Services

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 210.Y, Greenbelt, MD 20771


The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) submitted a proposal in response to an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for participation in the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Investigations. The NASA GSFC has proposed an instrument suite designated Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM), which if selected, will be designed to carry out a detailed in situ chemical and isotopic analysis of the solid phase material sampled from the surface and subsurface of Mars as well as a sensitive and detailed study of atmospheric gases.

The SAM experiment will require a number of specialized components (pressure regulators, capillary leaks, pressure sensors, cartridge heaters, thin-film heaters, microvalves, miniaturized turbomolecular vacuum pumps, and electronic designs and packaging for the high voltage power supplies and filament emission regulator) with proven flight heritage in order to successfully meet the requirements specified in the MSL AO.

If the SAM proposal is selected, the NASA GSFC intends to non-competitively procure the services of ARi Industries, Autoflo Products, Collimated Holes Incorporated, Kulite Semiconductor Products, Minco Products Incorporated, Aker Industries, Creare Incorporated, and Battel Engineering to supply specialized components for the SAM experiment. Each non-competitive procurement will be conducted in accordance with 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1)- “Only One Responsible Source”.

The non-competitive procurements are described below. Autoflo Products will provide a miniaturized pressure regulator that can achieve a 250C bakeout requirement. Autoflow designed and developed a small proprietary pressure regulator that can successfully operate under this condition.   The pressure regulator has flight heritage and is onboard the Cassini spacecraft. Autoflo’s pressure regulator is at the highest technical readiness level of any regulator in industry. Collimated Holes will provide capillary leak assemblies.

Collimated Holes designed and developed capillary leaks for the Cassini/Huygens GCMS experiment.   Collimated Holes developed a leak tight interface between the glass and metal adapter that could withstand the high temperatures needed for the GCMS. Collimated Holes developed a proprietary glass to metal seal and have capillary leaks fully spaceflight qualified onboard the Cassini spacecraft. Collimated Holes is the only manufacturer that has capillary leaks with flight heritage. Kulite Semiconductor Products will provide miniaturized pressure sensors used on the Cassini/Huygens GCMS experiment.

Kulite Semiconductor designed and developed the processing steps required to insure survivability of their standard pressure sensors. Kulite Semiconductor is the only manufacturer of pressure sensors with flight heritage that can survive a 250C bakeout.

ARi Industries and Minco Products Incorporated will provide cartridge and thin film heaters. Both ARi and Minco Products provided heaters for the Cassini/Huygens GCMS. ARi and Minco Products have heaters with flight heritage. The same proprietary designs, fabrication drawings, processes and specifications used by both companies to manufacture the Cassini/Huygens heaters can be used for SAM. Aker Industries will provide microvalves needed in the gas processing system.

Aker Industries has provided microvalves for the following planetary missions:   the Galileo mission to Jupiter, the Cassini/Huygens Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer, and the CONTOUR Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer.      Aker’s valves are technologically advanced with features that have not been duplicated anywhere in the world. Aker’s valves have a Technical Readiness Level (TRL) of between 8.5 and 9.0 which is the highest TRL of any valve of this type. Creare Incorporated will provide miniaturized turbomolecular vacuum pumps. Creare’s miniaturized turbomolecular pump is the smallest pump of its kind in the world and the design is such that it allows venting directly to the Martian atmosphere. This pump eliminates the need to have a backing pump which would add a considerable weight penalty for SAM.

Creare’s miniaturized turbomolecular pump has been successfully qualified under simulated Mars conditions and the pump now has the highest technological level of any existing miniaturized pump.

Battel Engineering will provide electronic designs and packaging for the high voltage power supplies and filament emission regulator. The high voltage power supplies and filament emission regulator are two of the most complex packaging designs in the electrical systems for SAM. Battel Engineering is providing the high voltage package to the University of Arizona’s Mars Phoenix mission for a mass spectrometer instrument having similar high voltage requirements as SAM. Battel Engineering can use the same designs for high voltage breakdown protection for the SAM suite as is currently being developed for use on the Phoenix program.

These components will only be procured if the NASA GSFC SAM Experiment proposal is selected for implementation.  

No solicitations exist; therefore, do not request copy of the solicitations. The Government does not intend to acquire a commercial item using FAR Part 12.  

See Note 26. Interested organizations may submit their capabilities and qualifications to perform the effort in writing to the identified point of contact not later than 4:00 p.m. local time on September 7, 2004.

Such capabilities/qualifications will be evaluated solely for the purpose of determining whether or not to conduct any of these procurements on a competitive basis.

A determination by the Government not to compete the proposed efforts 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. An Ombudsman has been appointed.

See NASA Specific Note “B”. Any referenced notes may be viewed at the following URLs linked below.

Original Point of Contact

Michele Rook, Contracting Officer, Phone (301) 614-5587, Fax (301) 614-5619, Email

Email your questions to Michele Rook at

Current Point of Contact

Michele Rook, Contracting Officer, Phone (301) 614-5587, Fax (301) 614-5619, Email

Email your questions to Michele Rook at

SpaceRef staff editor.