Status Report

Synthetic Aperature Radar – NASA’s Earth Observing Data and Information System

By SpaceRef Editor
March 28, 2013
Filed under , , ,

Synopsis – Mar 27, 2013

General Information

Solicitation Number: 4200440892
Posted Date: Mar 27, 2013
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Mar 27, 2013
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No
Original Response Date: Apr 12, 2013
Current Response Date: Apr 12, 2013
Classification Code: A — Research and Development
NAICS Code: 541712

Contracting Office Address

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


NASA/GSFC has a requirement for a five year contract with the University of Alaska at Fairbanks (UAF) for the continued operation of the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) for NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) pursuant to FAR 6.302-3, Industrial mobilization; engineering, developmental or research capability; or expert services.

Specifically, the effort will provide for the following: identify and obtain sources of SAR data, calibrate the data, process and archive the data, provide access to the data, support development and generation of new information products and services oriented to researchers utilizing the data, and provide the information products and services to a spectrum of users from fundamental and applied researchers to operational users and the general public. Satellites and airborne systems provide SAR data in various degrees of processing (from raw telemetered RADAR data to intermediate SAR data products to fully processed SAR imagery) to the SAR DAAC in support of NASA sponsored scientific applications, including oceanography, geology, glaciology, hydrology and ecology. There can be no interruption in services to the contract that expires June 30, 2013. According to FAR 6.302-3(b)(2)(ii), the use of the authority at (a)(2)(ii) is appropriate when it is necessary to: Establish or maintain an essential capability for engineering or developmental work calling for the practical application of investigative findings and theories of a scientific or technical nature. The current sets of capabilities possessed by UAF are essential to NASA in that the combination of technological skills, scientific and theoretical knowledge and practical hands-on experience are necessary to operate and manage the SAR DAAC. NASA requirements include the following:

1) Support NASA’s Earth Science objectives and the broad SAR user comunity by providing access (e.g. discovery, search, browse and download) to SAR data and products archived at the DAAC;

2) Provide operations support for acquiring, processing, archiving and distributing data for new and future missions;

3) Provide operations support for ingesting, archiving and distribution of PolSAR and InSAR type products, e.g. UAVSAR and AIRSAR data processed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL);

4) Manage the needs of the DAAC users, improve the exchange of data and information between earth scientists and SAR data users, share DAAC expertise with the user community, assist in locating and manipulating related data not archived at the DAAC, and serve as a point of contact for the development and implementation of new algorithms to derive SAR data and applications products; and

5) Provide support to the research and educational communities engaged in the use of SAR data products.

The UAF facility is necessary because it is the only facility in the U.S. that meets the geographic requirements for the collection and processing of SAR data. The UAF ground station is located above Latitude 64*N, allowing the greatest number of opportunities to acquire data (in terms of satellite passes) from the RADARSAT-1, RADARSAT-2, ERS-2 and ALOS polar orbiting spacecraft. A processing facility elsewhere would require the costly and technically difficult transmission of data from the ground station. As a result, this facility is the only facility that can meet the Government’s requirements for the collection and processing of SAR data with low data latency. Many NASA investigations rely on the UAF ability to process and distribute data in near-real time (NRT). In these instances, near real-time processing of SAR data often needs to occur so that products are available to scientists within six hours or less of collection at the sensor. This imposes several time constraints in the process, including the time between collection at the sensor and overpass by the satellite of the ground station, the data downlink time, the time required to transmit large volumes of data to the processing facility and the actual time required to create SAR products. All these steps are required to produce SAR products, but the total time required is not constant nor can it be fully characterized due to a number of factors. In order to mitigate latency risks due to data transmit times and allow NRT requirements to be met at a high percentage, co-location of processing with the downlink location is required. Only the UAF can provide the near-real time capability because of their proximity to the antenna collecting sensor data directly and passing it into the SAR DAAC systems, which makes them uniquely qualified to perform the work.

The Government does not intend to acquire a commercial item using FAR Part 12.

Interested organizations may submit their capabilities and qualifications to perform the effort in writing to the identified point of contact not later than TBD Eastern Standard Time. Such capabilities/qualifications will be evaluated solely for the purpose of determining whether or not to conduct this procurement on a competitive basis. A determination by the Government not to compete this proposed effort on a full and open competition basis, based upon responses to this notice, is solely within the discretion of the Government.

All contractual and technical questions must be submitted in writing via email (oral communications are not acceptable in response to this notice.) to Denise Sydnor at not later than TBD.

Oral communications are not acceptable in response to this notice.

All responsible sources may submit an offer which shall be considered by the agency.

Point of Contact

Name: Denise Sydnor
Title: Contract Specialist
Phone: 301-286-4764
Fax: 301-286-5373

SpaceRef staff editor.