Status Report

NASA Soliciation: JPL Radiation Hardened Application Specific Intergated Circuits in Support of Jupiter Europa Orbiter Mission

By SpaceRef Editor
December 4, 2010
Filed under , ,

Synopsis – Nov 26, 2010

Exhibit 1. Test Chip & Ques. on ASIC Technologies – Posted on Nov 26, 2010

General Information

Solicitation Number: TY-10-06
Posted Date: Nov 26, 2010
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Nov 26, 2010
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No
Original Response Date: Jan 21, 2011
Current Response Date: Jan 21, 2011
Classification Code: A — Research and Development
NAICS Code: 336419 – Other Guided Missile and Space Vehicle Parts and Auxiliary Equipment Manufacturing

Contracting Office Address

4800 Oak Grove Drive, Mail Stop 190-205, Pasadena, California 91109-8099


The California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Caltech/JPL), located in Pasadena, California, operating under a prime contract with NASA seeks information from potential contractors on the design, verification, manufacture, and validation of radiation hardened application specific integrated circuits (ASICs) in support of the Jupiter Europa Orbiter mission (JEO).

BACKGROUND: The Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) is a joint NASA/European Space Agency (ESA) mission that would consist of two (2) flight elements exploring the Jovian system: the NASA-led JEO, and the ESA-led Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter (JGO). JEO and JGO would execute a choreographed exploration of the Jovian system before settling into orbit around Europa and Ganymede, respectively. The launch of JEO would occur in 2020 with arrival at Jupiter in 2025. Jupiter Orbit Insertion (JOI) begins a 30-month Jovian system tour followed by a 9-month science mapping phase after Europa Orbit Insertion (EOI) in July 2028. The orbiter will ultimately impact the surface of Europa after the mission is completed.

The current JEO and JGO mission concepts include 11 and 10 complementary instruments, respectively, to monitor dynamic phenomena (such as Io’s volcanoes and Jupiter’s atmosphere), map the Jovian magnetosphere and its interactions with the Galilean satellites, and characterize water oceans beneath the ice shells of Europa and Ganymede. Jupiter is approximately ten (10) times the size of the Earth while its magnetic moment is nearly twenty thousand (20,000) times stronger. As the magnetic field at the equator is proportional to the magnetic moment divided by the cube of the radial distance, the Jovian magnetic field is proportionally twenty (20) times larger than that of the Earth. The Jovian moons of interest lie well within the radiation belt. The resulting radiation environment for the current mission concept is estimated at 2.9 Mrad total ionizing dose (TID) behind 100 mil thick aluminum. This level is seven (7) times greater than any previous NASA mission.

A pre-project office has been formed to begin preparation for this challenging mission. The pre-project is a joint undertaking of JPL and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL). JPL administers the release and response of this RFI. The JEO flight system is comparable in size and complexity to other spacecraft for similar missions such as Cassini or Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The concept would feature full redundancy for engineering functions, 3-axis stabilized pointing, radioisotope power source (RPS) with batteries for peak power management, bi-propellant chemical propulsion, a large gimbaled high gain antenna (HGA), and X-band and Ka-band transponders for tracking, telemetry and precision Doppler measurements. The proposed ten (10) year mission would require that all electronic components be hardened to a minimum of 300 kRad, although lower tolerance level could be considered as exceptions in limited cases where no alternative exists. The radiation challenges and long-duration demand the highest reliability in spacecraft and instrument design capabilities.

PURPOSE: JPL seeks to solicit candidate solutions for radiation hardened ASIC design, manufacturing, verification and validation from potential contractors. Mission assurance and risk mitigation requirements of the JEO mission will require that any ASICs used on the mission have been designed and verified with the most robust, thorough, and effective process possible in order to withstand the harsh radiation environment encountered during the mission lifetime. For digital designs, it is anticipated that prototypes in Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) will be designed and developed as intermediate products for use by the spacecraft and instrument design teams. Additional circuitries will be required for mixed signal development. Potential ASIC providers to this RFI are requested to address the translation of the FPGA design format, analog Intellectual Property (IP) cores, architecture, and radiation mitigation schemes to the candidate ASIC manufacturing process for both mixed signal and digital only designs. The specific design format required for the manufacture of the ASICs are also requested in response to this RFI.

REQUIREMENT: Respondents are requested to provide the following information: (1) processes, documentation, requirements, hardware and software tools, test benches, and any other relevant material as to why their proposed ASIC design, manufacturing, and verification and validation approach should be considered as a candidate solution for the JEO mission; (2) IP handling, foundry capability, radiation mitigation technology, and testing capability; and (3) case studies, test chips if readily available, and/or practical examples. Attached are information on the test chip and a list of questions regarding the ASIC design, manufacturing, and verification and validation process that are requested to be addressed (refer to Exhibit 1.) Additional questions can be expected as the evaluation continues. The JEO Pre-project office (JPL and APL) will vet all submittals. The results of this review will be used to compile a list of recommended ASIC vendors for JEO (to be released as a public document on the EJSM web portal in the later half of calendar year 2011) and to develop guidelines for implementing ASICs on the JEO program. The results will be published as a JEO document for both spacecraft and instrument development teams.

RESPONSE TO THE RFI: Please provide your response, including the following required information: (1) Company name and mailing address; (2) Contact person, phone, FAX number, and Email address; and (3) Company size (i.e., large business, small business, small disadvantaged business, woman-owned, Service-Disabled/Veteran owned, etc.) Please limit your written response to ten (10) pages.

RESPONSE DEADLINE: Please submit the above-requested information to the attention of Mary Helen Ruiz at Email address: no later than Friday, January 21, 2011.

POINT OF CONTACT: Please direct any questions regarding this synopsis to Tsun-Yee Yan via Email at: DISCLAIMER: It is emphasized that the requested information is for preliminary planning purposes only and does not constitute a commitment, implied or otherwise, that JPL will let a solicitation in the future. Neither JPL nor the Government will be responsible for any costs incurred by you in furnishing this information. Be advised that any information provided shall be deemed to be furnished with unlimited rights to JPL and APL, with JPL and APL assuming no liability for the disclosure, use, or reproduction of such data.

Point of Contact

Name: Mary Helen Ruiz
Title: JPL Business Opportunities Office
Phone: 818-354-7532
Fax: 818-393-1746

SpaceRef staff editor.