Status Report

NASA Solicitation: Sources Sought for a Space Network Ground Systems Architecture Concept Study

By SpaceRef Editor
May 27, 2008
Filed under , ,


Synopsis – May 27, 2008

General Information

Solicitation Number: Sources-Sought-Synopsis-SNGS-Study
Posted Date: May 27, 2008
FedBizOpps Posted Date: May 27, 2008
Original Response Date: Jun 10, 2008
Current Response Date: Jun 10, 2008
Classification Code: D — Information technology services, incl. telecom services
NAICS Code: 517919 – All Other Telecommunications

Contracting Office Address

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


NASA/GSFC is hereby soliciting information about potential sources for performing a Space Network Ground Systems (SNGS) Architecture Concept Study. The Space Network (SN) Modernization Project, located at the NASA GSFC, is beginning preliminary planning for the modernization of the existing SNGS located at Las Cruces, NM and at Guam, a U.S. territory.


The SN consists of a space segment, Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS), and a ground segment, SNGS. The SN provides the capability for global space-to-ground telecommunications and tracking coverage for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and near earth space flight missions, including both scientific and human space flight.

The functional objectives of the SNGS are: 1. Maintain health, safety, and control of all TDRS spacecraft. 2. Relay customer signals in forward and return directions between the ground demarcation points for NISN services or Local Interfaces and customer spacecraft via the TDRS with a very high figure of availability that provides for extremely high operational proficiency. 3. Provide tracking services for TDRS and customer spacecraft. 4. Provide SN customers with service planning, scheduling, and status & control of active supports. 5. Provide for the ability to operate, maintain, and sustain the flight and ground segments. 6. Provide for testing, monitoring and fault isolation of the SN assets and systems.

More information about the SN can be found at:


The SNGS has been evolving since the last significant modernization effort completed in the middle 1990’s. The SNGS has been expanded, and modified to support an evolving customer base while maintaining the fundamental architecture created by the last modernization project. The SN Modernization Project is beginning preliminary planning for the modernization of the existing SNGS to address issues associated with obsolescence, create a more flexible and organic architecture to address evolving customer requirements and advances in technology, to implement new methods and capabilities for using the TDRS to support customer spacecraft, to expand and improve the methods by which customer control centers interface with the SNGS for data and service planning and control, and to improve long term operational performance and maintainability.


In order to improve the SN Modernization Project efforts to plan for the modernization of the SNGS, NASA is seeking innovative and transformational replacement architecture concepts for the SNGS that meet the functional objectives and address the issues and goals outlined above. The NASA SN Modernization Project is planning to execute a SNGS Architecture Concept Study procurement to seek the best ideas and concepts from industry. It is expected that the study will generate new architecture concepts for the SNGS while addressing the technical readiness level of the components necessary to implement the architecture. An associated description for the concept of operations for this architecture will need to be included, along with risks, issues, and descriptions of any technology investments necessary to implement the architecture. It is anticipated that multiple Architectural Concept Studies may be awarded.

The study will describe the facility needs for the new system (power, cooling, square footage, etc.). The study will not need to address the modification of the power, cooling, or square footage of the existing facilities. It is expected that the new systems will be developed, integrated and tested at a location geographically separated from WSC. The new systems will then be installed and transitioned into operations at the NASA facilities in Las Cruces, NM, and Guam. It is anticipated that the mechanical components of the existing Space to Ground Link antennas at those facilities would be retained; however, all other RF components and support systems are under consideration for replacement in the architecture. A specific Statement of Work and list of deliverables will be provided with the study RFP, these are expected to include an architecture concept, companion operations concept, and describe the estimated effort and timeline for the implementation of the approach.

The contractor(s) will provide the personnel, materials, and facilities necessary to complete the study. The contractor(s) will need to have expert knowledge and experience of the principles and practices related to complex satellite communications, with knowledge of the SN in particular. The contractor(s) will need expert knowledge and experience in numerous areas including ground system and subsystem architectures, state-of-the-art digital modulation/demodulation techniques and coding schemes, RF amplification, filtering, timing systems, signal combining methods, distortion sensitivities, etc., and the commercial availability of these items in the marketplace. The contractor(s) will need relevant experience and the use of appropriate analytical toolsets and modeling. Further, the contractor(s) will need expert knowledge in software design for complex and high reliability software systems, and the use of appropriate modeling techniques to predict complexity, size, effort, and schedule for development. Knowledge of appropriate commercially available products will be necessary.

Other Information:

No solicitation exists; therefore, do not request a copy of the solicitation. If a solicitation is released it will be synopsized in FedBizOpps and on the NASA Acquisition Internet Service. It is the potential offeror’s responsibility to monitor these sites for the release of any solicitation or synopsis.

Interested offerors/vendors having the required specialized capabilities to meet the above requirement should submit a capability statement of 15 pages or less indicating their ability to perform all aspects of the effort described herein. Be sure to address specialized knowledge and experience in the areas identified in this synopsis.

Responses must include the following: name and address of firm, size of business; average annual revenue for past 3 years and number of employees; ownership; whether they are large, small, small disadvantaged, 8(a), HUBZone, and/or woman-owned; number of years in business; affiliate information: parent company, joint venture partners, potential teaming partners, prime contractor (if potential sub) or subcontractors (if potential prime); list of customers covering the past five years (highlight relevant work performed, contract numbers, contract type, dollar value of each procurement; and point of contact – address and phone number). Technical questions should be directed to: Ted Sobchak at (301)286-7813. Procurement related questions should be directed to: Michele Rook at (301)286-1236.

Please advise if the requirement is considered to be a commercial or commercial-type product. A commercial item is defined in FAR 2.101.

This synopsis is for information and planning purposes and is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government nor will the Government pay for information solicited. Respondents will not be notified of the results of the evaluation. Respondents deemed fully qualified will be considered in any resultant solicitation for the requirement.

The Government reserves the right to consider a small business or 8(a) set-aside based on responses hereto. All responses shall be submitted to Michele Rook at “NASA GSFC, Mail Code: 210.4, Attn: Michele Rook, Greenbelt, MD 20771” no later than June 10, 2008. Please reference “Sources-Sought-Synopsis-SNGS-Study” in any response. Any referenced notes may be viewed at the following URLs linked below.

Point of Contact

Name: Michele Rook
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: 301-286-1236
Fax: 301-286-6299

SpaceRef staff editor.