Status Report

NASA WFF Solicitation: The Design and Construction of a Stable Base for the NASA Polarmetric Radar

By SpaceRef Editor
August 30, 2009
Filed under , ,

Synopsis – Aug 25, 2009

General Information

Solicitation Number: NNG09309867L
Posted Date: Aug 25, 2009
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Aug 25, 2009
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No
Original Response Date: Sep 14, 2009
Current Response Date: Sep 14, 2009
Classification Code: 59 — Electrical and electronic equipment components
NAICS Code: 334511 – Search, Detection, Navigation, Guidance, Aeronautical, and Nautical System and Instrument Manufacturing

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Wallops Flight Facility, Code 210.W, Wallops Island, VA 23337


This notice is issued by the NASA/GSFC to post a Sources Sought Synopsis via the internet, and solicit responses from interested parties. This document is for information and planning purposes and to allow industry the opportunity to verify reasonableness, capabilities, and feasibility of the requirement, as well as promote competition. Prospective offerors must submit their business size. Prospective offerors are invited to submit written comments or questions to: Diana W. Frimmel, no later than September 8, 2009. When responding reference NNG09309867L.

Comments may be forwarded to Diana W. Frimmel via electronic transmission or by facsimile transmission. No phone calls will be accepted.

Background NASA has a portable polarimetric S-band research radar (NPOL) that is used to support the NASA precipitation program. It is designed to be deployed anywhere in the world to be set up and used to collect precipitation data in coordination with field campaigns and satellite missions. In the past few years, it has been deployed to Key West, Florida; Senegal, Africa and Panama. A contract has just been awarded to replace the existing pedestal and the 18 ft diameter antenna with a new, larger pedestal and a new 28ft diameter antenna. This upgrade will provide for increased angular resolution allowing for collection of meaningful data at greater distances from the radar.

The NPOL radar is shipped in standard ISO 20 ft shipping containers. During deployments of the radar, the current antenna and pedestal are attached to the tops of the sea containers arranged to form a stable base of radar operations. This design eliminates the need for a pouring a concrete pad on which to mount the pedestal. However the current arrangement will not be usable for the larger antenna and more massive pedestal that is being procured. This request is for the design and fabrication of a new way to stabilize the antenna and pedestal so that it can operate in high winds without a radome in remote locations worldwide. The resulting design shall provide a stable base suitable for easy short term deployments in remote locations. Final specific details on the size, mass, center of gravity and overturning moments of the new antenna and pedestal will be provided. The general size and weights are listed in below. Salient Specifications The design shall address the following requirements and the bidder shall provide evidence of compliance. 1. All parts and components supplied for the stable base shall survive and operate under the same extreme environmental conditions as specified for the antenna and pedestal. An expected life of all the parts supplied when operating under possible extreme environment conditions shall be at least 20 years.

2. Installation of the radar at a remote site using the stable base system shall require only minimal site preparation for a moderately level site. It shall not require concrete footers or pads to be poured. 3. The design of the stable base system shall be easy to setup (assemble) and tear down (disassemble). Assembly by an experienced crew shall take less than 4 hours from the arrival of the shipping containers on site to the final assembly of the stable base system and shall require only a 45 ton crane and manual labor. 4. The components of the stable base system shall be designed for ease of handling, packing and transport. All new fabricated parts including a platform for the pedestal, guy wires, braces, outriggers, etc shall be designed to easily fit in a 20 ft sea container for shipment. All crating needed for the shipment of component parts shall be provided and be designed for reuse multiple times. 5. The design of the stable base system shall include consideration of the ease of assembly of the antenna, ease of mating the antenna to the pedestal and ready accessibility to the antenna and feed horn for repair in the field. As a separate option the proposal shall include the addition of a hydraulic system to raise and lower the pedestal. 6. Design shall provide the maximum practical height of the center of the radar beam above the plane of the ground. (This is important to minimize beam blockage at remote sites. The current pedestal sits on top of the coupled sea containers) 7. The design shall not require the use of ballast or extra weights which would have to be shipped. 8. Detailed assembly instructions shall be provided and an on site demonstration of the assembly of the stable base and the installation of radar on it shall be required before acceptance. 9. A list of critical components which might fail in the field shall be provided. Final acceptance tests will be at the NASA Wallops facility. At that time the government will provide access to the NPOL radar system including the new antenna and pedestal. The radar will be in 4 to 6 sea containers used for shipment. The government can furnish two empty sea containers if needed during the development of the stable base system. Delivery of all the components for the stable base system shall be no later than June 30th 2010. Earlier delivery is preferred however final acceptance will depend on the receipt of the new antenna and pedestal now being built and scheduled to be delivered nlt June 30th 2010.

Appendix A Antenna and Pedestal characteristics Antenna * Mass 2497 lbs * Diameter 28 ft

Appendix B

Environmental Operating Conditions Below are the specifications for the antenna and pedestal 3.3 Environmental Considerations

3.3.1 Temperature

Operating: -30* to 55* C Storage: -50* to +70 *C

3.3.2 Humidity 100 percent, condensing.

3.3.3 Ground Winds

The system shall be designed to overcome the effect of ground winds as follows:

Operate with less than 1 dB degradation in performance in sustained winds up to 96.6 kilometers/hour (60 mph).

Survive sustained winds up to 161 kilometers/hour (100 mph) with antenna in horizontal stow (either stow pins or brakes).

Survive wind gusts up to 193 kilometers/hour (l20 mph) with the system stowed in a position, recommended by the manufacturer, which will maximize the survival of the system.

3.3.4 Salt Atmosphere Coastal regions including islands in the middle of the ocean.

* Survive exposure to continuous salt fog created by nearby breaking surf for periods of several months without serious corrosion or loss of performance.

3.3.5 Precipitation

Heavy rain rates as in Tropical regions; hail (diameter < 10 mm) in Temperate regions; sleet and heavy snow as in regions at High Latitudes. Survive Icing with accumulations up to 25.4 mm (1 inch) on all surfaces or 13.5 mm (1/2 inch) on all surfaces with 129 km/hr (80 mph) wind gusts. 3.3.6 Sand and Dust Desert regions. * Survive hot, dry conditions with blowing fine dust and sand without adverse effects on the operation or performance of the system. 3.3.7 Altitude The entire system shall survive shipment in an unpressurized aircraft up to an altitude of 12 kilometers. The contractor shall provide a list of equipment that is not rated to an altitude of 12 kilometers, including any special shipping requirements. This presolicitation synopsis is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government, nor will the Government pay for the information submitted in response. Respondents will not be notified of the results. An ombudsman has been appointed — See NASA Specific Note “B”. The solicitation and any documents related to this procurement will be available over the Internet at a later date. These documents will reside on a World Wide Web (WWW) server, which may be accessed using a WWW browser application. The Internet site, or URL, for the NASA/GSFC Business Opportunities home page is It is the offeror’s responsibility to monitor the Internet cite for the release of the solicitation and amendments (if any). Potential offerors will be responsible for downloading their own copy of the solicitation and amendments, if any.

Any referenced notes may be viewed at the following URLs linked below.

Point of Contact

Name: Diana W. Frimmel
Title: Contract Specialist
Phone: 757-824-1290
Fax: 757-824-1974

Name: Pamela J Taylor
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: 757-824-1068
Fax: 757-824-1974

SpaceRef staff editor.