Status Report

Special Notice: Improved Solar X-Ray Spectra

By SpaceRef Editor
June 13, 2003
Filed under ,

General Information

  • Document Type: Special Notice
  • Solicitation Number: Reference-Number-NRMAJ000300031
  • Posted Date: Jun 13, 2003
  • Original Response Date: Jul 28, 2003
  • Original Archive Date: Aug 12, 2003
  • Current Archive Date:
  • Classification Code: B — Special studies and analysis – not R&D

Contracting Office Address

Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Mountain Administrative Support Center, 325 Broadway – MC3, Boulder, CO, 80305-3328


In the absence of other qualified sources, it is the intent of the Space Environment Center (SEC) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the Department of Commerce to acquire data from an X-Ray Spectrometer flown on a sounding rocket to calibrate GOES X-Ray Instrumentation from the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, Alaska. A. BACKGROUND: The SEC requires improved on-orbit calibration of solar X-ray instrumentation hosted on the Geostationary Operational Environmental Spacecraft (GOES). The only instrument that can provide the needed data is the Advanced X-Ray Spectrometer (AXS). The AXS wavelengths are precisely those of interest to NOAA. The instrument was developed to be flown on a sounding rocket, necessary to get beyond the X-ray absorbing atmosphere, and provide a highly calibrated reference measurement of the solar X-ray spectrum. This reference spectrum will be used to ‘transfer’ the calibration of the AXS to the GOES X-ray Sensors (XRS) and the GOES 12 Solar X-ray Imager (SXI). B. SCOPE: The proposed contract will upgrade the AXS, obtain data from the instrument when it is in flight and analyze the data. C. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: September 1, 2003 to August 31, 2006. D. SOLE SOURCE: NOAA has determined that only the University of Alaska’s Geophysical Institute can meet all of the following government needs: 1) The University of Alaska has the only known instrument capable of delivering the needed data, the AXS. The AXS is a unique, existing instrument, custom built for scientific research. It can be flown, refurbished or modified, recalibrated, and flown again. This meets the critical need for multiple calibrations of the GOES instruments to determine any degradation over time. No satellite-borne instruments can meet these requirements since they cannot be calibrated in flight against a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) primary standard such as the Synchrotron Ultraviolet Radiation Facility. AXS is not available commercially, and any institution, commercial, academic, or governmental, would need an extensive development period to create a similar instrument. 2) The scientific team that developed the AXS, led by Dr. Scott Bailey now resides at the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. This team has the expertise to upgrade the instrument, calibrate the instrument, integrate the instrument onto the rocket payload, and reduce the raw data into the final calibrated deliverable sought by NOAA. This capability has been extensively documented in peer-reviewed literature and at scientific conferences. 3) The data must be obtained within the next two years since the estimated lifetime of the NOAA SXO instrument is 3 years, which began at the start of 2003. Due to the Geophysical Institute team’s previous experience, it is the only group that will be able to upgrade the instrument, arrange for the instrument to be returned to the rocket manifest, and obtain and analyze the data within the required time period. 4) Since the University of Alaska has substantial current capability and funding from NASA the cost to NOAA of flying this instrument and obtaining the necessary data set is impressively mitigated by the fact that the rocket program is already funded and in place. The Geophysical Institute has instruments already manifested for flight on the solar research rocket and has a long-term, close working relationship with the rocket program’s principal investigator. In addition, other payloads help reduce the cost to NOAA. E. Conclusion: The Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska is therefore uniquely qualified to carry out this effort. This notice may represent the only notice. See note 22.

Original Point of Contact

Susan Labovitz, Contract Specialist, Phone (303) 497-7943, Fax (303) 497-3163, Email – Rhonda Nelson, Procurement Technician, Phone (303) 497-3487, Fax (303) 497-3163, Email

Place of Performance

Address: University of Alaska Geophysical Institute 903 Koyukuk Drive Fairbanks, Alaska

Postal Code: 9975-7320

Country: United States

SpaceRef staff editor.