Status Report

NASA Sources Sought Notice: Teaming Opportunities for the Advanced Component Technology Element for the Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Scie

By SpaceRef Editor
April 15, 2005
Filed under , ,

Document Type: Sources Sought Notice
Solicitation Number: SS-ACT05-L30
Posted Date: Apr 15, 2005
Original Response Date: Apr 25, 2005
Current Response Date: Apr 25, 2005
Original Archive Date: Apr 15, 2006
Current Archive Date: Apr 15, 2006
Classification Code: A — Research & Development
Naics Code: 541710 — Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Langley Research Center, Mail Stop 144, Industry Assistance Office, Hampton, VA 23681-0001


Description NASA Langley Research Center is seeking University and Industry partners to develop technology proposals in response to the announcement below. Synopsis: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released addendum A.28 -The Advance Component Technology (ACT)- under the Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) NRA on January 28, 2005.   The objectives of the ACT Program are to research, develop, and demonstrate component and subsystem level technology that: (1) Reduce the risk, cost, size, and development time for the Earth-Sun System Division (ESSD) observing instrument and platforms, and (2) Enable new ESSD observation measurements. The program brings instrument and platform components to a maturity level that allows their integration into other NASA technology development programs such as the Instrument Incubator Program (IIP) (See Some components are directly infused into mission designs by NASA flight projects. Other components “graduate” to other technology development programs for further advancement. Within this development environment, the ACT Program can rely upon other NASA and external technology programs for very low technology readiness and complementary advanced instrument components and subsystems, and the IIP for technology infusion opportunities. The ACT addendum (A.28) under the ROSES NRA solicits in situ measurements, highly compact and low power instrument electronics, detector array devices, active and passive microwave antennas, active electronics for Earth Science instruments (example: large aperture Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)), and passive electronics for Earth Science instruments (example: low mass/power radiometers).      

NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) is seeking partners from other government agencies, industry, academia, and Federal Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) to participate with NASA LaRC Principal Investigators (PI) to develop and execute proposals in the specific areas defined below.    

It is expected that selection of the proposal(s) and availability of funds would result in component development contract(s) for the selected partner(s). This partnering opportunity does not guarantee selection for award of any contracts, nor is it to be construed as a commitment by NASA to pay for the information solicited. It is expected that the partner(s) selected would provide (at no cost to NASA) conceptual designs, technical data, proposal input, project schedules and cost estimates consistent with the requirements of the NRA.    

Potential partners must demonstrate the capabilities and experience to provide component technology consistent with the efforts synopsized for each intended LaRC proposal. Partners must work collaboratively with NASA and other potential industry and academic partners to perform the required tasks. Partner selection(s) will be made by LaRC based on the following criteria in the following order of importance:    

(1) Relevant experience, past performance, technical capability, and availability of key personnel. This criterion evaluates the proposers- relevant recent experience, past performance in similar development activities, technical capability to perform the development and key personnel available to support the development. Substantive evidence (points of contact and telephone numbers) of successful participation in similar developments should be included.

(2) Cost and schedule control. This criterion evaluates the proposers’ ability to control both cost and schedule. The proposer should provide evidence of successfully controlling cost and schedule for similar development programs and provide evidence of management processes in this area.    

(3) Facilities. This criterion evaluates the proposers- facilities (development, testing, and analyses) to conduct the development or demonstration of the proposed task. The proposer should discuss facility availability, access, and the ability to meet the proposed objectives.

Responses should be limited to 5 pages (12 point font) and address each of the criteria. All responses should be sent to: NASA Langley Research Center, Attn: William Edwards, Mail Stop 420, Building 1250, Room 129, Hampton, VA 23681, or via email to: The due date for submission is COB April 25, 2005. Procurement questions should be directed to Tom Weih, NASA LaRC Procurement Office, 757-864-3878, Technical questions should be directed to the contacts below or to William Edwards at the email address noted above, phone number (757) 864-1555. The specific technical requirements and NASA LaRC point of contact for technical questions are provided below:    

1. Avalanche Photodiode (APD) FPA Development for DIAL and Ranging Applications Technical Point of Contact: Dr. M. Nurul Abedin, (757) 864-4814, email address NASA Langley Research Center is assembling a spread system to demonstrate a DIAL/Laser Range Detection instrument in the laboratory.    

The spread system will be designed to test instrument concepts and technology in preparation for the development of a flight instrument. This DIAL/Ranging instrument requires an advanced avalanche photodiode to operate at moderate temperatures and over a large detection area for long-term lidar remote sensing at 0.8 um to 5 um wavelength range.    

The development of an avalanche photodiode will enhance the capabilities to study aerosols, clouds, trace gases, greenhouse gases, surface topography, biomass, winds, atmospheric pollutants monitoring (CO, etc.), and detection of a large number of species in the near and mid-IR using active remote sensing techniques.    

NASA Langley Research Center is looking for potential partners to develop a large format avalanche photodiode with a 5 ?m cutoff wavelength. Establish the highest responsivity such that the desired device will meet the minimum requirements shown below:

i.   Collecting Area for each Element ~ 64×64 ?m^2,
ii.   Bandwidth – 500 MHz,
iii.   Noiseless gain,
iv.   Quantum efficiency – 70%, and
v.   Noise equivalent power 10 -14 W/-Hz.

2. Phototransistor Focal Plane Arrays For the 0.6- to 2.5-mm Wavelength Range Technical Point of Contact: Dr. M. Nurul Abedin, (757) 864-4814, email address NASA Langley Research Center is looking for potential partners to develop high performance broadband one-dimensional (1×512 elements) to two-dimensional (up to 512×512 elements) arrays in the 0.6- to 2.5-um wavelength range. The proposed broadband FPA will be tested in the laboratory breadboard and will be used in the next generation Mars Orbiter and other planetary instruments with substantial reduction in size, complexity, and weight to measure water vapor, methane, and carbon dioxide in planetary atmospheres as well as aerosol, cloud, water vapor, N2O, CO2, and O3 for predictions of climate and weather for the Earth and Space Science Missions. Development of 1-D and 2-D arrays will enhance the capability for active and passive remote sensing imaging systems and also enable major advances in lightweight, compact Earth and planetary remote sensing instruments. The proposed goal of this study is to develop high performance Focal Plane Array devices such that the desired device will meet the following steps:

i.   Very high responsivity (1,000 Amp/Watt),   
  ii. High operating temperature (-20oC),
iii. Quantum efficiency – 60%,
iv. Noise equivalent power ?10 -14 W/-Hz,
v.   Pixel size ~ 25×25 -m2, and
vi. Focal Plane Arrays: 1-D (1×512 elements) and 2-D (512×512 elements).

3. Powering Electronics via Fiber Optical Interconnect Technical Point of Contact: Kevin M. Somervill, 757-864-6570, NASA Langley Research Center is actively planning and researching the potential to transmit useable power across standard fiber core optical cable for use in space based satellites. The Center envisions a technology study of current components and the development of prototype demonstration hardware.    

Specifically, NASA would like to develop technology demonstration hardware to concurrently transmit power and data communications via a single multi-channel interface. The Center is therefore seeking partners with which to develop power transmission and collection circuitry to be incorporated into existing technology as a monolithic device.    

The particular requirements include a fiber optic transceiver baseline with the following characteristics:

i.   Operational frequency of at least 2Gb/s per channel
ii. Four, or more, independent transceiver channels
iii. Support standard 50/125, 62.5/125, and 100/140 multimode fiber
iv. Radiation tolerant with TID 100Krad v.   SEU > 20-MeV-cm2/mg

Point of Contact

C. Tom Weih, Contract Specialist, Phone (757) 864-3878, Fax (757) 864-8863, Email – Mary Jane Yeager, Contracting Officer, Phone (757) 864-2473, Fax (757) 864-7709, Email

Email your questions to C. Tom Weih at

SpaceRef staff editor.