News


[Commerce Business Daily: Posted January 26, 1998]
From the Commerce Business Daily Online via GPO Access
[cbdnet.access.gpo.gov]

PART: U.S. GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENTS
SUBPART: SERVICES
CLASSCOD: A--Research and Development--Potential Sources Sought
OFFADD: Phillips Laboratory, Directorate of Contracting, 2251
  Maxwell Avenue SE, Kirtland AFB, NM 87117-5773
SUBJECT: A--MINIMUM COST DESIGN EXPENDABLE LAUNCH VEHICLE TECHNOLOGY
SOL F29601-98-C-0058
POC Shari D. Barnett, Contracting Officer, 505-846-6189; Ken
  Hampsten, Project Officer, 505-853-4139
DESC: The Air Force Research Laboratory, Contracting Directorate,
  on behalf of the Space Vehicles Directorate, Space Technology
  Integration and Demonstration Division, Space Demonstrations
  Branch, Kirtland AFB, NM intends to award a sole source, follow-on
  contract to Microcosm, Inc. for the following described effort
  based on technology developed and demonstrated by Microcosm
  under multiple, previous Small Business Innovation Research
  (SBIR) contracts variously entitled, "Scorpius." BACKGROUND:
  The Air Force is the lead government agency chartered to advance
  technologies associated with Expendable Launch Vehicles (ELVs)
  and related support systems. Currently, launch costs represent
  a significant fraction of a spacecraft's total life cycle investment.
  The intent is to establish a true "free market" economic model
  in space transportation by transitioning next generation expendable
  launch vehicle development and operation over to the private
  sector. To expedite this process, it is necessary to underwrite
  high risk/high payoff system architectures and associated technologies.
  This level of risk reduction streamlines future private financing
  of commercial full scale system development and operation.
  OBJECTIVE: The goal is to reduce ELV life cycle cost by a factor
  of 5-10 while maintaining 0.99 system reliability. The objective
  of this effort is to analyze, design, develop, fabricate, integrate
  and flight test a near orbital ELV testbed. The ELV testbed
  will be used to validate (benchmark) system scalability, cost,
  reliability and performance. The approach is to develop a low-cost
  ELV based on the 1960's pressure fed "Big Dumb Booster" (a.k.a.
  Minimum Cost Design) concepts, utilizing 1990's design methods,
  materials and technologies. Minimum Cost Design concepts basically
  use the vehicle's Gross Lift-Off Weight (GLOW) as an independent
  variable to minimize system development and recurring cost.
  The vehicle architecture shall be designed to meet the following
  criteria: (1) modular, propulsion POD construction with a focus
  toward simple manufacturing methods, (2) approximately a factor
  of 10 reduction in total vehicle parts with high replication
  of identical parts and large reductions in precision parts,
  (3) implement parallel staging techniques, (4) composite propellant
  tanks and primary structures designed with a safety factor
  of 2, (5) high energy mixing Gas Generator (GG) tank pressurization
  technology, replacing complex turbomachinery, (6) uses liquid
  oxygen (LOX) and Jet A kerosene propellants, (7) all composite
  thrust chambers, incorporating film and ablative cooling, (8)
  low-cost engine gimbals, powered by the Jet A main propellant
  line, eliminating auxiliary power units (APUs) and (9) industrial
  grade PC based computers with state-of-the-art commercial software
  and GPS/INS (Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation
  System) system(s). The contractor shall be responsible for
  all aspects of system analysis, design, development, fabrication,
  integration and test of the ELV testbed. The period of performance
  for the above tasks is 24 months with an anticipated start
  date of April 1998. A contract will be awarded to Microcosm,
  Inc provided other sources cannot furnish the services at more
  favorable terms. Respondents are required to provide sufficient
  information concerning their ability to fulfill the above requirements
  within the period of performance in order for the project office
  to determine the requirements can be met. A draft program plan
  as well as resumes of key personnel must also be included in
  the response. Responses are limited to a total of 25 pages
  including program plan, resumes, attachments, diagrams, etc.
  Submit responses to Ms Shari D. Barnett, AFRL PRS/PKVS. 2251
  Maxwell Avenue SE, Kirtland AFB NM 87117-5773 no later than
  21 calendar days after the date of this announcement by 3:00PM,
  Mountain Daylight Time. The proposed contract action is for
  supplies or services for which the Government intends to solicit
  and negotiate with only one source under authority of FAR 6.302.
  This notice of intent is not a request for competitive proposals,.
  However, all proposals received within forty-five days after
  date of publication of this synopsis will be considered by
  the Government. A determination by the Government not to compete
  this proposed contract based upon the responses to this notice
  is solely within the discretion of the Government. Information
  received will be considered solely for the purpose of determining
  whether to conduct a competitive procurement. Firms responding
  should indicate if they are a Small Business, a Socially and
  Economically Disadvantaged Business, an 8 (a) Qualified Business
  or a Woman-Owned Business. To be considered a Small Business,
  the following applies: SIC 8731, size standard 1,000 employees.
  Foreign-owned firms are advised there may be restrictions to
  becoming the prime contractor. An Ombudsman has been appointed
  to hear concerns from offerors or potential offerors, primarily
  during the proposal development phase of this negotiated acquisition.
  The purpose of the Ombudsman is not to diminish the authority
  of the Program Director or Contracting Officer, but to communicate
  contractor concerns, issues, disagreements, and recommendations
  to the appropriate government personnel in the pre-proposal
  phase of competitive, negotiated acquisitions. Before contacting
  the Ombudsman, potential offerors should first communicate
  with the Contracting Officer. In those instances where offerors
  cannot obtain resolution from the Contracting Officer, they
  are invited to contact the Ombudsman at the Phillips Research
  Site of the Air Force Research Laboratory, Mr. Eugene DeWall,
  Deputy Director of Contracting (AFRL PRS/PK), at (505) 846-4979,
  or at 2251 Maxwell Avenue SE, Kirtland AFB NM 87117-5773. When
  requested, the Ombudsman will maintain strict confidentiality
  as to the source of the concern. NOTES 22 and 26.
EMAILADD: barnett@plk.af.mil
EMAILDESC: click her to contact the contracting officer via e-mail
CITE: (W-026 SN161671)