Status Report

NASA Sources Sought Notice: Potential Remote Sensing Data Sources Sought for Suborbital Research Programs

By SpaceRef Editor
April 6, 2004
Filed under , ,

Sensor Matrix 01 – Posted on Apr 05, 2004

General Information

  • Document Type: Sources Sought Notice
  • Solicitation Number: NNA04L059125
  • Posted Date: Apr 05, 2004
  • Original Response Date: Apr 30, 2004
  • Current Response Date: Apr 30, 2004
  • Original Archive Date: Apr 05, 2005
  • Current Archive Date: Apr 05, 2005
  • Classification Code: A — Research & Development
  • Naics Code: 541710 — Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences
  • Contracting Office Address NASA/Ames Research Center, JA:M/S 241-1, Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000


SUBJECT: Potential Airborne Remote Sensing Data Sources Sought for Suborbital Research Programs      


This document is for information and planning purposes only and will allow industry the opportunity to verify reasonableness and feasibility of the requirement and to submit a capability statement. It does not constitute a Request for Proposal, Invitation for Bid, or Request for Quotation, and it is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government to enter into a contract. The intent is to create a database of suitable systems that may be included in future NASA Research solicitations, and to identify commercial capabilities that duplicate those currently in use by this agency. NASA reserves the right to determine the suitability of such sensors, based on their ability to fulfill its research requirements. Respondents will not be notified of the results of the review. It is not known at this time if a solicitation will result from this request for information (RFI). If a solicitation is issued, it will be posted on the NASA Ames Business Opportunities website. Capability Statements, System description and source qualifications should be submitted in electronic format to, by the response date specified above. In responding, reference RFI NNA04L059125.    

NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) is hereby soliciting information from industry to identify commercial remote sensing instruments that may be of use to NASA in furthering its research objectives, and to determine how they may apply to the specific science focus areas in its Earth Science Enterprise (ESE.) The mission of the NASA Earth Science Enterprise is to understand and protect our home planet. Using the unique vantage points of both space and suborbital platforms (aircraft, UAVs, and others,) the NASA ESE collects global and regional measurements that assist in answering questions about how the earth functions as a system. The Suborbital Science Program is undergoing significant change in content and nature. Traditionally the NASA ESE has maintained a set of platforms and sensors as in-house assets, but in order to increase innovation in ESE?s suborbital-based research, the Suborbital Science Program is beginning a transition away from a small core of NASA assets towards a catalog approach of NASA, federal and commercial sources. For those capabilities, which have become operational or commercially available, non-NASA assets will be used while NASA concentrates its resources on introducing innovative suborbital platforms and investigating new sensor technologies. Because we are at the beginning of the transition period, procedures to establish, maintain and exploit the catalog of sources are not yet finalized.     It is the intent of the Earth Science Enterprise however to satisfy its requirements for remote sensing data through commercial data providers wherever it is both cost-effective and appropriate for the ongoing scientific investigations. NASA recognizes that not all commercial systems conform to the precise requirements and specifications for scientific measurement. Based on responses received from this RFI, some instruments may be invited to participate in an assessment exercise involving field and/or laboratory calibrations, designed to objectively determine their suitability for specific science missions.    

Proprietary information (including information the contractor does not wish to share openly) should either not be included in the response, or should be conspicuously highlighted so it is not included in the summary the government intends to provide to field personnel. Respondents are encouraged to answer as many of the specific items as possible with their fullest disclosure.    

In addition, this request will serve to inform the commercial remote sensing community as to how they can better serve the larger earth science community through research and development in new sensing technologies. Interested and qualified sources are requested to provide a statement of capability and past performance information. Sources must demonstrate management and technical experience on similar acquisitions specifically addressing the requirements specified in this synopsis and demonstrate the ability to successfully compete for this requirement. The following information should be provided:    

1. General: company name, address, point of contact, web address, telephone and facsimile numbers, type and business size.     AGAIN, 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.    

2. A description of the respondent’s past experience in successfully performing this type of contract, including a description of the contract and name and phone number of the point of contact for the purchasing organization.    

3. Instruments submitted for consideration: provide sensor description, make/model/manufacturer, brief description of technology, and specifications (spectral bands, bandwidths, FOV/IFOV, radiometric and geopositional accuracies, size and weight, etc.).    

4. Operating Parameters: types of platforms used (note type restrictions, or if a dedicated platform is required). Altitude & airspeed operating envelopes, other limitations (e.g. cryogen durations).    
5. Data Products: description of deliverable products, data formats, metadata data (e.g. platform navigation data, geo-location, etc.)    

6. Calibration: brief description of calibration methods and frequency of measurements, data precision and accuracy (if known).    

7. Experience: provide a brief description of uses and applications.    

8. Sensor Requirements Matrix: The sensor matrix describes the airborne science measurements that the Earth Science Enterprise wants to conduct to further their research objectives. Please be aware that most of these science investigations require quantitative, traceable measurements; and as such, most data are required to be easily convertible to physical units, or to preferably be delivered as such. The intent is to learn which of the measurements described in the sensor matrix can be made by instruments currently in the commercial sector. (See attachment) Questions 1 through 7 is the vehicle for your company to explain exactly what the capabilities of your instrument are and how it has been used and calibrated. Please provide specific answers to these questions and in a standardized format, to make the resulting data easy to analyze and compare.    

Prospective offerors are invited to submit written comments or questions to: [Audrey Guerra at (650) 604-6474)], no later than April 15, 2004. When responding reference the RFI number.    

An ombudsman has been appointed — See NASA Specific Note “B”.     B. An ombudsman has been appointed to hear and facilitate the resolution of concerns from offerors, potential offerors, and contractors during the preaward and postaward phases of this acquisition. When requested, the ombudsman will maintain strict confidentiality as to the source of the concern. The existence of the ombudsman is not to diminish the authority of the contracting officer, the Source Evaluation Board, or the selection official. Further, the ombudsman does not participate in the evaluation of proposals, the source selection process, or the adjudication of formal contract disputes. Therefore, before consulting with any ombudsman, interested parties must first address their concerns, issues, disagreements, and/or recommendations to the contracting officer for resolution. If resolution cannot be made by the contracting officer, interested parties may contact the installation ombudsman. Concerns, issues, disagreements, and recommendations which cannot be resolved at the installation may be referred to the NASA ombudsman. Please do not contact the ombudsman to request copies of the solicitation, verify offer due date, or clarify technical requirements. Such inquiries shall be directed to the contracting officer or as specified elsewhere in this document.    

The Ombudsmen for each of the NASA installations and for the agency and their phone numbers are available at the following URL:   

Original Point of Contact
Audrey A. Guerra, Contract Specialist, Phone (650) 604-6474, Fax (650) 604-0912, Email – Carlos D. Torrez, Contracting Officer, Phone (650) 604-5797, Fax (650) 604-0912, Email

Email your questions to Audrey A. Guerra at

SpaceRef staff editor.