Status Report

NASA Presolicitation Notice: Technology Development of a Laser-Based Ignition System for Rocket Engine Applications

By SpaceRef Editor
September 3, 2002
Filed under ,

General Information

  • Document Type: Presolicitation Notice
  • Solicitation Number: 8-1-2-T6-D9621
  • Posted Date: Aug 31, 2002
  • Original Response Date: Sep 18, 2002
  • Original Archive Date: Aug 31, 2003
  • Current Archive Date:
  • Classification Code: A — Research & Development

Contracting Office Address

NASA/George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, Procurement Office, Marshall Space Flight Center, AL 35812


NASA/MSFC plans to issue a Request for Offer (RFO) for follow-on effort to provide engineering and technical support for continuing the technology development of a fiber optic coupled laser ignition system for rocket engine combustion chambers.

This effort involves support for conducting laser ignition research and tests (tests to be performed at MSFC), including hardware design and fabrication, and test data reduction. Specific tasks include conceptual design, feasibility design studies, preliminary and detailed engineering design, fabrication, instrumentation, testing support, inspection, assembly, and check-out of hardware associated with the laser ignition system. The proposed contract will be Indefintie Delivery/Indefinite Quantity with a 2-year base period and 3 one-year options. NASA/MSFC intends to negotiate only with CFD Research Corporation (CFDRC) of Huntsville, Alabama under the authority of 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1) for the acuqisition of supplies or services from only one source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements. The multi-pulse laser ignition system concept required for this effort has been successfully demonstrated and evaluated for continued development into a fiber optic coupled laser ignition system. The multi-pulse laser ignition concept is unique and was developed by CFDRC and the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), who have applied for the patents for several conceptual components associated with the laser ignition concept.

This acquisition is a follow-on effort to 2 previous purchase orders performed by CFDRC and seeks to continue the development of CFDRC and LANL’s orignal concept into the fiber optic coupled laser ignition system. Under the previous orders, CFDRC expanded their original concept for igniting propellant mixture in rocket chambers, successfully demonstrated a concept feasiblity study with hot-fire demonstrations using its miniaturized laser ignition system, evaluated their concept for development into a fiber optic coupled laser ignition system, and provided optical window design, CFD laser ignition simulation results, and hardware test components including optical windows and window adaptor modules. This effort requires further study to optimize CFDRC’s original laser ignition system using data and hardware developed from the previous orders and refurbishment of CFDRC’s existing miniaturized laser ignition system for further testing. The Government has invested a substantial amount in continuing the development of this concept for rocket engine application which would be duplicated if the Government were to begin pursuit of another ignition concept for its applications. Therefore, CFDRC is the only source that can continue with the technology development required by this acquisition.

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 4:30 p.m. local time on September 18, 2002. See Note 25 for description of the information that must be provided. 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. All qualified responsible sources may submit an offer which shall be considered by the agency. See note 22.

An Ombudsman has been appointed.=20 See NASA Specific Note “B”. Any referenced notes can be viewed at the following URL:

Original Point of Contact

Roxanne C. Melton, Contracting Officer, Phone (256) 544-6561, Fax (256) 544-6062, Email – Cynthia B. Hollingsworth, Contracting Officer, Phone (256) 544-1656, Fax (256) 544-6062, Email

SpaceRef staff editor.