Status Report

NASA Solicitation: Notice of Partnering Opportunity with NASA GRC for the “Planetary Instrument Definition and Development Program”

By SpaceRef Editor
August 2, 2011
Filed under , ,
NASA Solicitation: Notice of Partnering Opportunity with NASA GRC for the “Planetary Instrument Definition and Development Program”

Synopsis – Jul 29, 2011

General Information

Solicitation Number: N/A
Reference Number: NNC11ZMA003L
Posted Date: Jul 29, 2011
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Jul 29, 2011
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No
Original Response Date: Aug 15, 2011
Current Response Date: Aug 15, 2011
Classification Code: A — Research and Development
NAICS Code: 541712 – Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (except Biotechnology)

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Glenn Research Center, 21000 Brookpark Road, Cleveland, OH 44135


NASA/GRC is hereby soliciting information about potential partnering opportunities for the purpose of openly soliciting a partner to assist in the preparation of a proposal with NASAS GRC for the “PLANETARY INSTRUMENT DEFINITION AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM”, to be submitted to NASA Headquarters.


The NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) seeks partners for proposal development in response to Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) – 2011, Solicitation: NNH11ZDA001N, C.16 Planetary Instrument Definition and Development. This Notice of Partnering Opportunity (NPO) seeks potential partners to participate in a proposal development activity that addresses the definition and development of scientific instruments to characterizing the near-surface soil mechanics properties and providing geophysics and prospecting data of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs), the Moon, Mars, or Phobos. The offeror(s) chosen will participate directly as a member of the proposal team in the various stages of the instrument definition, design, technology development and integration, and the proposal process.



The Planetary Instrument Definition and Development Program (PIDDP) supports the advancement of spacecraft-based instrument technology that shows promise for use in scientific investigations on future planetary missions. The goal of the program is not to develop flight- qualified hardware, but rather to define and develop scientific instruments or components of such instruments to the point where the instruments may be proposed in response to future announcements of flight opportunity without additional extensive technology development.

Planetary Instrument Definition and Development Program Status: The Appendix C.16 Announcement of Opportunity (AO) was released, as amended, on June 10, 2011. {AEF75D0F-2272-7DE7-D52A-295B47C8F5CF}&path=open

The Planetary Instrument Definition and Development Program has contributed to the development of flight hardware flown on, or selected for, many of NASA’s planetary missions. The proposed instrument technology must address specific scientific objectives of likely future science missions. More information on the Earth Venture project is available at


The GRC planetary instrument team is issuing this Notice of Partnering Opportunity for the purpose of openly soliciting an instrument partner to assist in the preparation of a PIDDP proposal to be submitted to NASA HQ. This open and competitive process is being conducted in accordance with NASA FAR Supplement 1872.308. By this Notice, the GRC team is seeking information from partners regarding their availability, capabilities, past performance, and anticipated development costs that relate to planetary science instruments, technologies and capabilities for the PIDDP AO. This Notice also authorizes NASA GRC to award contracts to its selected spacecraft partner without further competition or justification, should the proposal be selected.

This partnering opportunity is being issued to select a teaming partner for the GRC planetary instrument technology development and integration, and to support the team throughout the instrument definition and development. The offeror(s) chosen will participate directly as a member of the proposal team in the various stages of the instrument design and proposal process.


Participation in this partnering synopsis is open to all categories of U.S. and non-U.S. organizations, including educational institutions, industry, not-for-profit institutions, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, as well as NASA Centers and other U.S. Government Agencies. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Other Minority Universities (OMUs), small disadvantaged businesses (SDBs)(8a), veteran-owned small businesses, service disabled veteran-owned small businesses, HUBZone small businesses, and women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) are encouraged to apply. Participation by non-U.S. organizations is welcome but subject to NASAs policy of no exchange of funds, in which each government supports its own national participants and associated costs.



This Notice is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government to enter into a contract. This Notice is subject to revision or cancellation at any time.

Based on the responses to this Notice, GRC anticipates selecting one or multiple instrument suppliers with which GRC would then immediately work directly with in development of the multifunctional cone penetrometer. During the proposal development phase, more specific roles and cost estimates for the selected partners will be developed. If the GRC instrument proposal is selected, GRC intends to negotiate without further competition or justification, a contract with the proposal partner, consistent with their agreed upon role and this Notice. During these contract negotiations, the specific statement of work, contract terms and conditions, and contract value will be formalized.

There will be no exchange of funds between NASA and the selected partner for the GRC planetary instrument proposal development. That is, NASA will not be responsible for any costs incurred by respondents in preparing a response to this Notice or by the selected partner in preparation of the GRC planetary instrument proposal.


GRC Planetary Instrument Schedule:

Schedule: The following schedule describes the major milestones for the Earth Venture proposal.

AO release (amended): June 10, 2011 Proposals Due: August 26, 2011 Selection Announced: NASA Fiscal Year 2012 ATP: Six months after proposal due date

Pre-selection proposal support

The potential partner shall provide support using their own resources. This will involve: *Weekly telecom meetings with the science and engineering team *Helping to define the end-to-end performance requirements, including instrument interfaces and technology developments, etc. *Identifying study topics, prediction performance, and conducting trade studies *Cost estimation for all proposal phases *Preparation of the instrument proposal for submittal to NASA *Updates to technical, cost and schedule inputs as required for integrated proposal submittal

It is expected that the selected partner would provide (at no cost to NASA), conceptual designs, technical data, proposal inputs, schedule and cost estimates consistent with the proposal AO when released.

PLANTARY INSTRUMENT – Multi Functional Cone Penetrometer

The offeror shall propose an instrument (or subsystem thereof) capable of characterizing the near-surface soil mechanics properties and providing geophysics and prospecting data of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs), the Moon, Mars, or Phobos. This instrument, a multifunction cone penetrometer, will provide data to reduce risk, improve the operability, and reduce the end-to-end mission cost of design and verification testing of regolith-interacting mechanical systems for extraterrestrial surface operations. Science requirements derived from prior NASA studies explicitly discuss surface penetration, in part to characterize surface composition. The GRC instrument team seeks to develop a cone penetrometer (CP) to accomplish soil mechanics characterization goals, and will incorporate additional functions. This larger goal is accomplished by developing a small-scale multifunction CP that integrates the full suite of currently developed terrestrial CP functions. This multifunction CP will provide geotechnical, geophysical, and resource prospecting data in a single compact package. Proposers should address technical innovations required in measurement functions, and drive and anchoring mechanisms. In particular, integration of stress, shear modulus, and temperature sensing in a compact cone package are sought. Innovative approaches to self-anchoring mechanical devices and drive mechanisms enabling light weight, compact instrument packaging are sought. The plan should also identify major milestones and facilities available for assembling and testing each component.


The evaluation team will use the following factors in selection and award. The government will evaluate the submitted proposal based on these factors that are listed in order of importance:

a.Technical capability: Offeror(s) will be evaluated on the approach for design, development, integration, and test of the proposed instrument innovations. The approach to infusion of instrument technology developments will be of primary importance. b.Relevant experience, past performance, and availability of key personnel: This criterion evaluates the offeror’s relevant recent experience, past performance in similar development activities, and key personnel available to support the development. Capability includes quality and management process certifications and systems. c.Cost and Schedule: Offerors will be evaluated on cost and schedule performance on similar development activities. Proposals will be evaluated on the affordability of their approach, and the overall probable cost, including the offeror’s willingness to share cost risk. Top-level schedules will be evaluated as to the overall approach and to validate their reasonableness and risk. This criterion also evaluates the offerors on their resources commitment and ability to control both cost and schedule. d.Facilities: Offerors will be evaluated on the appropriateness of design and modeling capabilities to support the effort, and appropriateness and accessibility of fabrication and testing facilities to support the effort. This criterion also evaluates the offeror’s facilities (development, integration, testing and analyses) to conduct the proposed effort. e.Proposal Preparation: Offerors will be evaluated on their prior proposal preparation experience, and willingness to commit resources (skills and time) that would support the proposal phase.

NASA GRC anticipates completing its evaluation and selection process by August 17, 2011. Selected partners will be contacted directly by the GRC project manager or management sponsor to develop the proposal. At that time, GRC may ask for supplemental information to your proposal. At a minimum, non-selected firms will be notified and provided the basis for the selection decisions.

All proposals will be treated as proprietary information and controlled as such.


The response is limited to a 40 page Powerpoint presentation that fully addresses the evaluation criteria in not less than 12-point font, submitted as an electronic PDF document. Excluded from the page count are the cover letter, title pages, table of contents, resumes, and an acronym list. Offerors are free to attach additional appendices that further describe their capabilities. However, only the required 40 Powerpoint pages will be evaluated for selection.

The offerors proposals are due to NASA GRC no later than 5 p.m. EDT on August 15, 2011. Any responses received after this time and date will be handled as late proposals in accordance with FAR 15.208.

Responses to this Notice must be submitted in the form of an email.

A response on compact disk can be submitted by mail or hand-carried, which includes delivery by courier services to the following address:

NASA Glenn Research Center Attn: Ernest Mensurati MS 60-1 21000 Brookpark Rd Cleveland, OH 44135

The written offer package shall include discussion of the following:

*The approaches for supporting PIDDP proposal

*The approach for design, development, integration, and test of the proposed instrument. Identification of major subcontractors and suppliers. Planned for use of facilities including Government furnished facilities,

*The demonstration of a clear understanding of the technical challenges for the instrument.

*Address instrument requirements *Identification of major design and development risks

*Any unique capabilities, facilities, or experience with this type of instrument

*A rough order of magnitude (ROM) cost estimate, schedule, and a draft top level Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).

*The proposal structure shall indicate implementation in accordance with NASA Procedural Requirements (NPR) 7120.8 NID, NASA Research and Technology Program and Project Management Requirements with the understanding that an update of cost, schedule and technical inputs may be necessary as part of the proposal development process.

Additionally, the proposal shall:

*Discuss relevant experience, past performance, technical capability and availability of key personnel. Provide substantive evidence of successful participation in similar developments.

*Include originally proposed costs and schedules of similar developments and actual costs of the same with rationale explaining variances.

*Provide a proposed contract in either a fixed price or cost reimbursable environment and indicate the cost risk associated with either arrangement.

*Provide estimated cost breakdown at the major subsystem level. Also describe the offerors cost estimating methodology, whether it is based on parametric cost estimating, history of similar activities, or a bottoms-up estimating process.

*Provide names, telephone numbers, and email addresses for the principal technical point of contact (POC) and contracting POC for work done on similar development activities.

*Discuss facility availability, access and the ability to meet the proposed objectives.

*Identify the pertinent mission for which you have provided proposal writing support and mission support beyond Phase A. Provide data on scope of the design, the role that you played in the proposal process, the portions of the proposal you have written or provided assistance in writing, and a customer reference POC.



All questions pertaining to this Notice must be submitted to Jane M. Cochran, via email. Responses to the questions will be posted on the solicitation page.


GRC will impose local restrictions on communications regarding this notice and the processing of responses. All communications with potential respondents will be restricted to the technical and procurement points of contact identified in the synopsis of this Notice.


It is the responsibility of potential respondents to monitor the NASA Acquisition Internet Service (NAIS), GRC Procurement site for any further information concerning this Notice.

Evaluators of proposals, which are submitted under this process, may include non-US Government personnel (i.e. the Principal Investigator). Therefore, proposers are hereby on notice that proposals submitted hereunder may be released outside the Government, but shall be released solely for the purpose of evaluation of proposals as part of this selection process. All proposers acknowledge acceptance of this condition by the submittal of their proposals.

Point of Contact

Name: Mark J Hyatt
Title: Engineer/Project Manager
Phone: 216-433-3248
Fax: 216-433-8000

Name: Ernest C. Mensurati
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: 216-433-2727
Fax: 216-433-2480

SpaceRef staff editor.